HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH STRESS
How NOT to Deal With Stress
While there are many good techniques for dealing with the physical and
emotional causes and consequences of stress there are also some which
are just not the right solution. Short-term symptom relief
and long-term cures for chronic stress are possible. And, stress is
funny as compared to other conditions in that relieving the symptoms
can sometimes be a step towards relieving the condition itself. Also,
relieving the immediate symptoms or effects of stress can help prevent
many of the ills that stress can cause. However there are
many strategies commonly employed towards these ends that are
actually counter-productive. Despite the best intentions and the most
"obvious" expected results, here are a
million ways to go wrong.
Here are some of the more typical errors.
In an attempt to alleviate the tension and worry that accompany stress,
some individuals will unwittingly engage in self-destructive behavior
or displaced aggression.
The stress that can lead you to being short-tempered can also urge you
lash out angrily at a trusted friend or loved one. It can incline some
to excessive alcohol consumption, with its attendant, stress-creating
problems, or coffee drinking with the result of
high caffeine intake, leading to more stress symptoms. It can lead to
aggressive or violent behavior, even towards the very ones who can
provide the most support and comfort
One of the more common results of stress is insomnia. When something is
troubling you, and you are physically uncomfortable, it's difficult to
relax enough to sleep. When you do finally manage to fall asleep, it's
interrupted during the night, or not the type of deep sleep that is
Taking a sleeping medication or some natural sleep aid may be helpful
in some situations, but
long term dependence on any kind of drug to deal with life's problems
is self-defeating in the long run. Instead, learning to use some simple
techniques to focus the mind and induce a
relaxing state can not only have a great affect on this situation but
has many other benefits as well..
A heightened focus on problem solving is natural for some types of
individuals. But obsessing, even in the face of serious issues, is
counter-productive. Try to see the problem as you would if it were
being experienced by a friend. You would be concerned, of course. We're
often much better at maintaining objectivity when the problem belongs
to someone else.
Some people try to cope with stress by doing the right thing for the
wrong reasons. Throwing oneself into projects at work is one way people
shifting focus away from their problems at home. As with so many other
techniques avoidance can only be
partially successful, and only temporarily at that.
Case in point. A friend of mine came into work a few years
ago. We all knew she was on a tight budget and also tended to
take the easy way out on a lot of issues. During a discussion
in the office, she mentioned that her car had begun making a strange
noise, and it was getting louder and louder. We asked what
she had done about it, and she replied, "Oh, I just turn the radio up
louder so I don't have to hear it."
We never knew if she was telling the truth or pulling our legs, but
that's the tactic a lot of people take.
True, some problems will go away on their own and ignoring them can
sometimes be a viable
strategy. But circumstances combined with personal reactions which lead
chronic stress do not disappear simply because we're not thinking about
A temporary break to gain perspective and get the emotions under
control is healthy. Hiding one's head in the sand is not.
Fundamentally, all these incorrect and unhelpful methods have a common
fallacy. Reality doesn't go away when some aspects of it are
or unpleasant. Life is filled with genuine obstacles in our pathway
achieving values. The existence of those hurdles and the need to
overcome them - when combined with doubts about our ability to do so -
leads to stress.
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