The important part of the title is “your approach”. Just like your own finger print, your stress is unique and the approach to deal with stress and anxiety is as individual as you.
- Thinking is an important aspect of any approach to daily stress or anxiety. The style of our thought patterns often plays a role in how we deal with challenges such as stressors or symptoms of anxiety. One of the Best approaches is seen in the Centre for Positive Psychology that is directed by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania.
2. Physical Activity remains an important part of any approach to the management of daily stress and symptoms of anxiety. There is quite a lot of research to support the benefits of regular exercise for mental and physical health. Especially exercise that you enjoy. I previously reviewed an article posted by the American Psychological Association.
Your Approach to Taking Care of Yourself is as Unique as your Fingerprint
3. Getting Help . Help can come in the form of a good book that you find to have the information that you need , such as Kabot-Zinn’s Full Catastrophie Living or a therapist who is trained in the area in which you need help. Psychologists and other mental health professionals, especially in private practices, are able to list the areas of specialty in their public listings. You can also see what organizations and licensing bodies they are affiliated with. If you feel that you need the assistance of a professional – it’s important to get someone suitable for you. Most will even answer questions before you make a commitment to refer yourself.
These are some key features that I recommend considering.. I’m interested in your views.
I recently read a story in the Globe and Mail about a remarkable achievement of four adventurers in the Canada who completed what was called a “dangerous and unprecedented” ski trek between Jasper and Lake Louise, Alberta. They skied across mountains, ice fields and extreme terrain on wooden skis without GPS, Satellite Phone or any high tech equipment. They faced extreme conditions and lost up to 22 lbs. The traverse took 21 days. When they finished, they ended up on a highway where they had a coffee at a cafe and then simply went home in different directions (I’m sure there was at least a high five). This amazing and “epic” trip happened 50 years ago before selfies and social media that would chronicle their moves every step of the way and announce their victorious completion the moment it happened. But they are only being truly recognized in this newspaper story now. I found it amazing to think that the four young men went about their lives simply knowing that each had accomplished something that was admirable and “award worthy” but kept it to themselves as their own personal victory, with media hype, CNN coverage or a Youtube post.
Sometimes it’s simply Enough for Only You to Know that You Have Accomplished Something
I think that there is some wisdom here for those who climb their own personal “mountains” in life. Whether it’s an epic hike or dealing with a difficult situation, problem, relationship or challenge. Whatever our achievement is, sometimes it’s enough for on YOU to know that you have done it.
There are times in life where our challenges are ours to face on our own. It’s sometimes a very lonely and isolated feeling. And, sure, it’s always great to have support and share our accomplishments, but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way – sometimes it’s just you.
I think that one of the greatest challenges is to have enough self respect and acceptance of ourselves to recognize our own courage, commitment and ability without the approval or recognition of anyone else.
The new Netflix Series “13 Reasons Why” based on the same titled book by Jay Asher, has met with what would truly be called “critical acclaim”. It seems that for every review that is raving and complimentary, there is a review that is quite critical. Some people feel that the series is a great work that highlights mental health issues. I’ll leave the reviews to the experts and the viewers who formulate their own opinions (although I’d like to hear yours, certainly). However, I do think that 13 Reasons matters for three important (maybe more) reasons:
- It Gets Us Thinking. A work like this gets us thinking about our perspective on the issue of human relationships as well as our influence on those around us. The series highlights the idea that we actually influence those people in our lives, and vice versa, perhaps more than we think. Any work of art, literature or media that does this is valuable.
- It Gets Us Talking. The Series and Book has allowed us to simply talk and discuss the subject matters and the story in coffee shops with friends and on social media. This hopefully leads to a sharing and development – and even progression – of ideas about human relationships, caring and mental health
- It gets Us Acting When we think and talk about ideas in a constructive and open way, there is usually some form of, again hopefully positive, action that follows. A series like “13 Reasons” will probably lead to some changes in peoples’ behaviour in the form of a more positive relationship style or communication style with others.
I’d be interested in your views.
Photo Credit Netflix.com
When you ask someone where they are truly at peace or some place where a person can go to collect themselves, you often get a variety of answers. Some people have that “special place” like a cottage or shore by the ocean that allows them to “get their head screwed on straight” realaxt heir thoughts or work through a problem by doing some serious thinking. Sadly, some people do not have such a place and feel trapped at times when the need is there to get away from it all.
It’s important to many to have an oasis, a sanctuary, an escape, or even a room in the house(or apartment) that they can call their own. Once there, it really doesn’t matter if you practice fancy mindfulness, meditation or Just Be. Simply being there on your own, feeling safe and calm , is sometimes enough. But if your place involves banging through the waves in a speed boat with the wind blowing through your hair – well that’s fine too. It’s your place.
The thing that is important is to be able to find that tranquility or space when you need it.
I’d be interested in other people’s experiences and what Your special place is.
Even though the list can be endless, I think that the following 5 components of tacking your stress are essential for any plan!
1 . ENJOY the activities that you are using to deal with your stress.
The American Heart Association has outlined the importance of actually incorporating enjoyable and pleasurable activities into your stress management plan. Doing things that you simply don’t enjoy does not work
2. Include Physical Exercise in you Stress and Anxiety Management.
3. Deal with Stress at Work.
4. Learn Assertiveness and Self Respect
5. Avoid the overuse of substances or artificial way to Reduce Stress .
Using substances like alcohol, drugs or ingestion of food and drinks such as cola or coffee can become an ineffective way – as well as problematic- to deal with stress. Simply put – It’s important to watch this aspect of your life and not make your “go to’s” a problem area for you. A relaxing coffee, tea, meal or other things like this can be a great part of your day. The National Library of Medicine has an interesting article on stress and vulnerability to addiction that is linked here.
Please add your comments and tips . This is just part of a plan for stress and anxiety management that can be effective.
Mindfulness, first made really popular by John Kabot-Zinn (sp) the author of “Full Catastrophe Living”, wanted people to be able to be present in their own experience of stress, joy, excitement and just simply the human experience. We now have a wide variety of “Mindful” approaches to stress anxiety and life management. Ultimately it’s the experience of living a moment in the fullest and hopefully feeling positive, aware and good.
We can all be our own experts on developing an approach that is unique and effective for each of us. The other day I was caught in a moment where I watched some spring chickadees at my bird feeder as I pulled into my driveway. A few minutes passed as I watched them fly to and from the protection of a nearby bush. I really didn’t think about it as mindfulness at the time but I was not thinking about anything else for those few minutes except the two small creatures and the beauty of the scene (cue the music). Anyway, that a mindful experience.
I’d be interested to hear about the experiences of others.
In Canada, this is the first holiday weekend to kick off the spring/summer season. At the supermarket today, I saw people stocking up on groceries, barbecue supplies and beer for a weekend of kicking back and some serious R and R. …… Hopefully. As I observed the campers on their way out of town and the people in some hurry to officially start the weekend, I wondered if their formula for this weekend really added up to self care, relaxation , rejuvenation and simply spending quality time to achieve a weekend that would resulted in some peace of mind and happiness. It might be “overthinking it” but it’s worth taking the time to think about these events as a means of achieving what we really want for ourselves instead of going through the motions of a few days — only to land at Tuesday morning without having gotten a break for ourselves.
Everyone has a different definition of their needs foe a holiday weekend. The important thing is to have some idea of what it means to you. What do you do on these holidays to unwind?