It’s not a surprise to anyone that the stress in our lives has morphed into a stress epidemic. Although we should be enjoying all the technological advances in communication that make our lives easier, instead we seem to have just piled on more to do, not less. The fact that we can communicate so much faster and easier just adds to our non-stop, “to do list.”
We have busy and complicated lives, families that need constant attention, work deadlines and of course that little voice in our head that’s never satisfied with our efforts. Yes, it’s true a lot of stress we put on ourselves. Easy to say but hard to control. It affects our concentration, causes sleepless nights, plus it contributes to our aches and pains and negatively disturbs our general well-being.
That old neck and back pain becomes more pronounced during times of stress. Sometimes we don’t even notice how it influences our lives. This stress epidemic affects our relationships, our mood, our productivity and our health.
Let’s be clear, a little bit of stress is not necessarily all bad. Sometimes we need a little push to complete important tasks and stay on track. It helps us to perform under pressure like finishing a report at work or keeping up with family obligations.
So what is the solution? If only it was as easy as pushing a button.
The Happy Medium
Finding that happy medium between what we must do every day and what we take on unnecessarily is everyone’s goal. Find the sweet spot to minimize and manage the bad stress and employ the stress that motivates us.
- Learn to say no! A lot of us find that really hard to do, and we simply keep adding to our list. We do it because we want to be part of a team and we think others expect it of us. Let go of the people pleaser in you. If you say no, they will find someone else.
- Have a support network. It always helps to talk about issues with someone you trust to brainstorm solutions. Sometimes just the act of talking about a problem helps relieve the pressure.
- Find time in your day just for you. Even five minutes at a specific time everyday may give you the break you need to cope and recharge.
- Develop a picky plate and be scrupulous about how much and what you put on it.
- Gradually reduce the amount of coffee, alcohol, and nicotine you take in each day. If that thought is stressing you already, just try reducing a little each week.
- Go outside and listen to the birds for 5 minutes, but don’t take your phone. Simple but calming.
Whether the source of our stress is the demands made by the world or the demands we put on ourselves, you can control its degree with some conscious actions. Pair down that “to do list” to what you can and really want to do.
This spring decide to give yourself the treat of a massage at Back On Track Wellness in Burlington. You may find that to be a great way to escape the stress epidemic and put you back on track again. And don’t forget to listen to the birds.Tags: mental health, stress