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Life Stressors and How To Manage Them

stressed woman low res

When I first meet with a client who is feeling overwhelmed and overworked, the first part of the conversation goes something like this.

Me: Let’s start talking about you. Why are you here? What do you want to get out of this program / coaching session?

Client: I’m so STRESSED!!!

Me: Okay, what parts of your life are stressing you out?

Client: EVERYTHING!

Me: When do you feel stressed?

Client: ALL OF THE TIME!!

Of course, it may start out like that but we drill down and get a feel for exactly what, how, why and when the client is feeling stressed and work on solutions and strategies to combat that.

But doesn’t that conversation sound like a person who has multiple stressors? And is that you?

A stressor is a condition, external event or item that causes stress forming within each person in multiple ways with physical, emotional and mental symptoms.

Today, I’m going to look at six TYPES of stressors. If you’re playing along at home, write down the six types of stressors as sub-headings on a piece of paper and then underneath those sub-headings list examples of each type that you encounter in your daily life.

Then we’ll look at ways to help you hopefully eradicate those stressors, or if we can’t eliminate them because it’s simply not possible, I’ll provide some action points which will minimise the impact it can have on your life.

As you list your stressors, also list your own action points or use mine to help you build a stressor strategy plan.

Okay! An event that triggers a stress response may include:

* ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSOR

This may be loud music, over-illumination, over-crowding, small spaces.

HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

Seek help with any phobias and look at hypnotherapy as a way to get you through difficult situations where you know you get anxious. Remove yourself from the situation or if you can’t, change your habits to minimise your exposure to the stressor. For example, if you are fearful of large crowds, can you change your commute time to be a little earlier to miss the peak hour crowds?

* DAILY STRESS EVENTS

We’re talking things such as bad traffic, losing your keys, getting the kids out the door to school on time and the quality and quantity of any physical activity you have during the day.

HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

Get yourself organised. A little pre-planning can go a long way. Taking 30 minutes each night to prepare school lunches, put breakfast bits out on the table, things like that will save you so much time in the morning. Be proactive about having a positive outlook as much as possible to help you overcome small events you have no control over such as traffic and stop them raising your blood pressure. Meditation and mindfulness works a treat for this sort of stress.

* LIFE CHANGES

These are often known as life shocks and include events such as divorce and bereavement.

HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

These can be some of the toughest days you will ever face. It’s important to talk to people to help get you through life shocks – whether it be friends and family or a professional therapist. And while looking after your health may feel like the last thing you want to do or you may simply forget to, it’s really important you eat well, drink plenty of water and get a little bit of exercise so your body can support you at such a traumatic time.

* WORKPLACE STRESSORS

In this fast moving world, workplace stress is through the roof and if you’re running your own business you may be feeling the impact of high workload and low output, late nights at your desk, incorrect posture and if your job is physical, heavy lifting.

HOW TO MINIISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE
Be realistic about your workload and manage it accordingly. Delegate if you have to. Sub-contract if you need to. Manage your clients effectively so you aren’t ON CALL 24/7 and heading for a nervous breakdown. Get a business or life coach to help you plan for the future and have a strategy in place for busy times.

* CHEMICAL STRESSORS

This is the big three! Tobacco, alcohol and drugs (recreational and prescription). Overuse and abuse of these can lead to some serious health complications and lifestyle stressors.

HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

Quit smoking, pull back on your drinking and do not take recreational drugs or unnecessary prescription or over the counter drugs. If you have to take prescription medicine for a condition, work with your GP and a naturopath on strategies that can minimise any side-effects the medicine may cause.

As for smoking, you know my view on that. Quit it now. If you can’t, get some help. Therapists, hypnotherapists and websites such as www.quitnow.gov.au will support you.

Drinking too much too often can have psychological, physical and lifestyle impacts. Ask yourself honestly if you drink too much and if you do, take active steps to cut down. Once again, seek professional help if it feels too hard and unachievable. You can do it with the right support and guidance.

* SOCIAL STRESSORS

Does anyone have a mother in law who fits that mother in law stereotype perfectly? Or if anyone feels the need to ‘live up to’ a certain expectation of the ‘perfect family’? Maybe you are from a deeply religious family but you are questioning your religion? These can all be stressors that can kick-start those symptoms of stress.

HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE

Learn to be comfortable within yourself and have realistic expectations of your life. Do not compare yourself to anyone or any other family. What goes on behind closed doors will surprise you. Live your truth and if faced with any form of nastiness or passive aggressive behaviour, respond with kindness and distance yourself from the person or situation. Seek help from friends and family or a professional if it’s getting out of control.

Living your truth and being authentic with kindness and care will take these worries out of your life and change your reaction to the negative behaviours of others.

The thing with stress that I often talk about when I speak at events or run my programs or coaching sessions is that there is never a one size fits all solution.

Everyone is different.

Everyone’s stressor(s) is different.

Everyone’s reaction is different.

Everyone’s strategy and solution will be different.

But everyone’s goal is the same.

Eradicate or minimise stress in your life and you will feel healthier and more vital than ever.

There is ALWAYS a way.

 

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