Rise above it all...
How we manage stress is key to a healthy lifestyle. If stress becomes unmanageable, at some point our body goes through a “strain” and this breakdown causes various emotional and physical problems. Problems such as constant body aches, decrease in energy, increased anxiety, panic and depression. To find out how well you mange stress take the Stress Management Inventory.
Stress Management Inventory
How true are the following statements
(rarely true) 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 (usually true)
_____I believe that I have serious stress related problems
_____I use alcohol, drugs, or excessive activities to reduce my stress
_____I feel that I am always nervous about getting things done
_____I have difficulty trying to relax
_____I have problems staying focused when someone is talking to me
_____I have been referred to as unapproachable, emotionally unavailable, or withdrawn
_____I avoid social situations
_____I tend to get emotionally upset when someone disagrees with me
_____My appetite has either increased or decreased dramatically in the past months
_____I use gambling or shopping to forget about troubles
_____I often have problems sleeping
_____I often have health problems and have no good reason for them
_____I often feel like running away from everything
_____I often become emotionally upset or angry when things do not go my way
_____I often withdraw or become verbally aggressive when confronted at home or work
_____I am often angry and irritable
_____I feel that I compete more than converse
_____When told a problem I often become withdrawn or aggressive as a response
_____I have been told that I get “stressed-out” quite easily
_____I rarely smile, try to compliment, or feel good about life
___________ TOTAL SCORE
This scoring index should be used to suggest how well you manage stress.
25-40 = Good
41-65 = Average
66-85 = Needs Improvement
86-100 = Poor
7 Steps to Effectively Manage Stress
1 – Health Practices, Health Practices, Health Practices
The best intervention for stress addresses both the physical and the emotional components. Commit to a healthy eating, plenty of rest, and a good exercise program. What ever the challenge may be, work on what is in your control and it will surely help to deal with what you can’t control.
2 – Know Your Limitations
Saying no is one of the most overlooked stress management technique we can use. Putting on the “superman or women persona” only invites more than our share, and makes it harder to ask for assistance.
3 – Plan Ahead, Be Pro-active
The truth is that by planning ahead, as if you will not get interrupted throughout the day, will often allow more time to get things done. Stephen Covey, best selling author, states that taking time to plan is one of the most effective habits of highly effective leaders.
4 – Use Counter Thinking to Reduce Negativism
In several studies of depressed patients, the use of counter thinking techniques has been shown to be as effective as prescribing anti-depressant medications. Replace your negative thoughts with more positive counter thoughts. I can vs. I can’t.
5 – Develop a Strong Social Support Network
Identify allies and resources through networking. Just having an objective opinion may be all that’s necessary to get back on track.
6 – Keep Things In Perspective
We only have 24 hours in a day. Make a list of all your achievements over the years and keep focused on the strengths as you commit to working on the weaknesses.
7 – Know When to Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When there are persistent signs of physical deterioration and feelings of isolation, get assistance at once. Your EAP can be a great resource to give objectivity and support. Continue to identify the areas in your life that are not working and seek out new ways and resources to change them.
REACH provides confidential counseling and referral assistance to help with concerns of stress. To speak to a counselor or set up an appointment call toll free 1-800-273-5273.