November 20, 2007.
"Stress, in addition to being itself and the result of itself, is also the cause of itself."
Too much going on, too many balls in the air, too little time to get it all done; does any of this sound vaguely familiar? More likely than not, you have probably found yourself stuck smack dab in a stress mess on occasion. There a few feelings more unsettling than finding yourself up to your eyeballs in stress; nerve-racking gut wrenching stress. You want things to slow down, you need things to cool off; but the stress keeps coming at you faster and faster - whirling all around you like a suffocating tornado.
You cannot breathe, you cannot think. All you need is a moment or two to catch your breath and regain your balance. But sometimes that moment proves ever so elusive. With life's pressure cooker gets turned up full blast, you begin to feel inextricably entangled in the mess, with no way out and nowhere left to turn.
"I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once."
Stress can come rushing at you from all angles and in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes stress can emerge from nagging problems that just won't go away. On other occasions, stress surfaces from difficulties that suddenly bolt into your life from out of nowhere. Then, of course, there's always the troublesome array of tension, anxiety, pressure and so on that we must deal with daily.
To make matters a little stickier (as if you really needed it to be), stress seems to feed on itself; fostering its own brand of negative momentum if left unchecked. If you don't immediately deal with the stress you feel, more and more stress will find its way into your life. And if you're not careful, stress can completely overpower you, leaving you completely drained and defeated. To combat stress, you need to develop some stress busting techniques and you need develop them right now.
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
In order to combat stress, we first must understand why we feel it in the first place. Most of us have a tendency to rush about in today's fast paced society. Constantly in a hurry, life oftentimes places a great deal of pressure on us; sometimes a ton of pressure. And to make matters worse, a large portion of the pressure we feel is self-inflicted. That's right; we create most the pressure we feel. We don't do it on purpose, but we do so nonetheless. Rather than slow things down and take our time every once in a while, we generally allow our lives to turn into a fast and furious, frenetic frenzy; leaving us frazzled and frayed.
We don't want the pressure, heaven knows we certainly don't need the pressure; but pressure is precisely what we get. Far too often all that racing around creates a chaotic, commotion filled mess for us to deal with. And this untidy mess can cause us to lose order in our lives and if we're not careful, lose control as well. That's why we must untangle the stress mess before it completely entangles us.
"Peace is always beautiful."
Ready to unload the stress? OK, let's go. First and foremost, you must condition yourself to turn off the stress the minute you feel it; turning it completely off. Not easy, mind you; it does take some practice. But it is absolutely necessary if you're ever going to get rid of this stressful mess once and for all.
That requires learning to let go, providing yourself a few precious moments whenever necessary to relax and unwind. The world's most powerful antidote to stress is total, complete relaxation.
By consciously slowing things down and relaxing, letting go of those things that brought on the stress to begin with, you begin to detoxify your system, systematically purging the stress from your body. In place of the stress, a calming, soothing, peaceful feeling of tranquility will gradually overtake you. Don't fight the feeling!
As your mind clears and your body unwinds, your spirit steadily brightens, your mood progressively heightens and before long, you start feeling like yourself again. Minus the stress, of course.
While stress may not be unavoidable, falling victim to it certainly is. The next time stress comes a' calling, give yourself a break. Relax, unwind, prop your feet up, breathe deeply and tell that old bugaboo stress to take a hike - and step out of that stress mess for good.
The Bottom Line: Never allow stress a chance to make a mess of your life.
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