Whether it's the get-it-over-elections, the stock market, rising prices, job worries, or a host of other reasons, we are helping more people than ever manage their stress levels. The challenge comes in when someone wants to change their reactions without changing the cause.

What happens when you become stressed, how do you manage its symptoms? Do you take a pill, zone out in front of the TV, stuff it away with your favorite snack? When the pill wears off, the TV is finally turned off and the snack bag is empty, you are still going to be faced with the cause. What to do next…

It has been found that it is not the amount of stress that we are under than leads to long-term detrimental health conditions. Instead it is how we perceive the stress and just as important, feeling as if we have any control over it. Look at the 4 steps below and see which one you can work with right now to start dealing with the source of your stress instead of just treating the symptoms.

  1. Accept what is. Yes, you are stressed right now. Quit denying it, stop trying to cover it up or rationalize it by saying, “but others have it worse that me.” Just admit that things are really as bad as they are. No amount of positive thinking, right actions, affirmations or the like is going to change the fact that you are human and sometimes things are going to be great and others times it will be absolutely awful. Admit you are human so you can move on.
  2. Do you set yourself up to fail? There was a gentleman who needed medical care immediately. He set himself up for failure though, by insisting that he could only seek this care if there was no copay involved, nothing was to be spent out of his pocket (this was not how his insurance was set up). For a few dollars, he would have received the care he needed without having to wait. Instead he chose self sabotage by make impossible demands that could not be met. What impossible demands are you making that keep you in a state of stress?
  3. Is there a lesson to be learned that you are refusing to accept? Maybe you need to; find a different job, take on an additional job for needed income, leave that toxic relationship, start exercising… Begin to see the world for the way it really is instead of the way you would wish it to be.
  4. What needs are you ignoring? We all have needs that, for whatever reason, we have pushed aside. Yet we will subconsciously draw in people, places and situations that point to this unmet need time and time again. Nothing will fill this void for you, not your significant other, your job, your bank account balance…nothing but you. What need is calling out for your attention?

Take action within the next 24 hours on one of these steps. Then continue for the next 21 days. At the end of that time you will find that your skills to handle your stress will have increased. Let’s face it, stress reduction is a fallacy. With all the demands of our day-to-day living, the stress that is waiting for us to tap into will always be there. What will you do to better handle it and its source?

Dawn Ferguson

(636) 699-7791