1. How To Detect If You Are Headed For A Mental Breakdown?

    January 10, 2014

    Are Headed For A Mental Breakdown?

    Do you feel so stressed and full of anxiety that you think you are headed for a mental breakdown? Have you gone through a horrific situation lately and due to this you are extremely fatigued, emotional, worn down, and ready to break down?

     

    If so, you are probably on your way to a breakdown.  Those that experience a mental breakdown don’t normally get there quickly. It is usually a process of stress induced situations and negative emotions that tend to take over one’s life.

     

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that among 26.2 percent of American adults, who are diagnosed with mental health disorders, almost 70% suffer from an anxiety disorder. They actually wonder if perhaps a vast majority of Americans are on the verge of a nation-wide breakdown.

     

    People respond to stressors differently, so while one person may have a lot of stress and tend to manage it, others may not be able to handle it as well and it can put them on a path to a breakdown. For example, sales is a demanding career field and can throw a lot of stress one’s way.  One person may be well able to let go of that stress on a daily basis. Maybe this person is doing daily meditation and yoga or other exercises to relieve the stress buildup.  Another person may not be able to handle it as well and as that stress load builds up, he may begin to feel extreme anxiety, agitation, fear, and have mood changes.  The stress build up can lead him to become confused, angry, withdrawn, act out, or a host of other symptoms can occur.  In the worst case scenario, the latter may tend to display psychotic behaviors, thus detaching somewhat from reality and having a complete breakdown.

     

    Mental breakdown symptoms

     

    If you are experiencing more than three out the following symptoms, you may be headed for a mental breakdown and ought to consider seeing a counselor for professional help.

     

    Mood changes. If you are experiencing mood changes frequently, you could be headed for a breakdown. If you are normally happy go lucky, but are not miserable many days, there is something underneath the surface causing the mood changes, which very well could be stress or emotional distress.

     

    Many tears. If you find yourself crying a lot and that is not like you, you may be struggling with some heavy emotions and stress. Crying is actually a good way to relieve stress and negative emotions, but if you are crying a lot more than normal, you could be on your way to a mental breakdown.

     

    Using alcohol/drugs. If you have been feeling a lot of pain, stress, frustration, etc. and opt to use alcohol and/or drugs to cope, you could be on the road to a mental breakdown. All such substances do is stuff all of that negativity deeper down into your consciousness, which will not heal or cure it.  Not only could you be headed for a breakdown, but also a life of addiction and negative consequences.

     

    Apathetic. If you were once full of life and vitality and lately you just don’t care about anything or anyone, your mental state is suffering.  If you don’t enjoy the things you used to or simply can’t focus on anything, you could be headed for a mental breakdown.

     

    Dietary changes. Those that are headed for a mental breakdown could either be eating way too much or not eating enough.  Stress and racing thoughts can cause a person to not feel hungry and cause digestive problems even when he or she eats.

     

    Shaking. When the nerves are on high alert, the body reacts physically.  If your hands are shaking or your body feels shaky in general, your thoughts and mind could be anxiously controlling your life.

     

    Sick all the time. Hypochondriacs always feel like something is attacking their bodies or they imagine they have come down with every sort of illness.  Chronic stress can certainly wear the body down and illness can become a result. If you feel sick all the time, see someone in regards to whether or not you are headed for a breakdown.

     

    Depression. Chances are if you are majorly depressed most of the time, you are headed for a mental breakdown. You could be ridden with guilt, shame, or chronic grief that continues to bring you down and down. If you feel as such, please seek professional help.

     

    If you can resonate with some of these symptoms, it may be time to seek a healthcare provider that can help you, as you may need to navigate through this time with someone who has experience helping others with the same issue.  Understand that mental breakdowns are not necessarily a bad thing; they are simply stepping stones to dealing with some unresolved issues in your life and making some necessary changes in order for you to live a happy and healthy life.

     Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbg_photos/2768320831/


  2. Untreated Stress Can Lead To A Nervous Breakdown

    January 4, 2014

    Untreated Stress Can Lead To A Nervous Breakdown

    We live in a world that is full of anxiety and stress. In fact, many doctors will tell you that a great deal of ailments and sicknesses are caused by an overload of chronic stress.  From finances to health to relationships, there seems to always be a stressor knocking at our door.  If you are allowing stressor after stressor to build in your life without treating it, it could lead to a nervous breakdown.

     

    Signs of chronic stress

     

    The first sign that you are carrying chronic stress is a change in your behavior or thought life.  If you are normally an upbeat, caring, thoughtful, and happy person, but have been displaying characteristics and emotions like selfishness, cruelty, bitterness, anger, fatigue, etc., then you are probably carrying a load of stress that is bringing you down. You might not even notice that your attitude and behavior is changing. It may be a loved one or friend that points out your moodiness or lack of drive.

    For example, if a man’s finances have been off for the past few months and he has been stressing over it, he might not be sleeping well at night, overeating because food makes him feel better, or lashing out at his kids because the stress has caused him to have a short fuse.  The financial stress and strain is wearing on this man little by little and if he does not do something to relieve or eliminate the stress, he could be headed for a nervous breakdown.

    Other signs of stress or that you are headed for a breakdown include:

     

    • Emotional outbursts
    • Isolation
    • Severe depression
    • Victim mentality
    • Hopelessness
    • Loss or gain of weight
    • Constant guilty feelings

    Ways to relieve stress

     

    It is important to understand how you can relieve and/or eliminate your stress.  You really can’t avoid stress, because it pops up periodically whether at work, at home, or anywhere!  The key is to find out what stress relievers work for you and use them on a regular basis. Here are some common stress busters that you can try:

    Deep breathing/meditation/yoga. All three of these fall into the same category. There are many people who can attest to the fact that deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are great stress busters.  What is great about deep breathing and yoga is that you can do these exercises each day and only spend about 15 minutes per day doing such to experience stress relief. Find a quiet place to sit and breathe deeply and let go of cares, concerns, and stress.  Think happy thoughts or as in meditation, simply concentrate on the inhale and exhale. You will notice the stress leaving your body.  Yoga is a great form of exercise and a stress reliever. You can do yoga classes or do it in the privacy of your own home.  Commit to these stress busters regularly for less stress and happier living.

    Exercise. Many people find that regular exercise helps them de-stress and feel better emotionally and physically.  You can take a brisk walk, go jogging, play tennis, disc golf, golf, hit the gym, or any other sport or exercise regimen that appeals to you. If you exercise 3 to 5 times per week, you are not only de-stressing, but also burning calories and strengthening your body.

    See a therapist. If you are having a rather difficult time with stressors, such as relationship problems, divorce, extreme anxiety and fear, depression, etc., consider seeing a counselor to learn how to cope with the root issues that are stressing you out. Sometimes people just need a little bit of insight and encouragement to get through the rough patches and therapists are well equipped to help.

    If you, or a loved one, is struggling with chronic stress and is headed for a nervous breakdown, rest assured that help is available.  Talk to a professional or at the very least, a close friend or family member about what you can do to change the situation and cope with the stressors.  Know that if you or someone close to you has a nervous breakdown, that he or she does not have a mental illness.  A nervous breakdown is a temporary condition that can be relieved with encouragement, support, and some form of treatment.  Life can resume back to normal and the person can be happy and free once again.

     

     Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hojas_cayendo/5204062581/

     

     


  3. Learn How To Defeat Stress

    October 5, 2013

    defeat stress by Sam Cleveland

    Stress can get incredibly burdensome. It can affect both your productivity and health. This is why it pays to take control of frustrating situations by training yourself. With good coping skills, you can surely take on seemingly unbearable challenges of the day. Below are practical tips for you to handle pressure, and enjoy more out of life.
     

    Find the Source of Your Stress

     
    First, you need to know why, how, and when you feel pressured, so you’ll have a better perspective of yourself.  This can be difficult as there are many factors which disgruntle you. For other situations, the reasons for stress may not be obvious.

    To avoid the confusion, you need to be more attentive on your daily tasks. You may realize how certain deadlines can always put you on the edge. Perhaps heavily reading through documents make you feel drained. A good way to find the sources of your stress is to make a journal. You can plot the days when you mostly experience straining activities, and which times are more relaxed.

    By identifying the culprit scenarios, you can find ways to avoid or control them. If your keyboard is not easy to use, you can have it replaced. When it seems you have too much task to work on, discuss it with your supervisor. In time, you will see the pattern of your stress levels. When you understand how you react in given situations, you can find a way to lighten your load.
     

    Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep

     

    Sleep recharges your body after a whole day’s work. Try get to less of it, and you’ll end up feeling lousy the day after. It also doesn’t help if you’re constantly stressed out with irregular sleeping habits. You end up feeling tired and when it’s time for you to finally rest, you’ll have more difficulty to snooze.

    It’s best to sleep for six to eight hours a day. This is the optimum amount of time for your body to rest through the night. You should also rest early, so you won’t feel pressured of dozing off within a scheduled time. If you are having a hard time to get sleepy, try doing a breathing exercise. This helps you lessen the tension in your body as well as the stress hormones in your body are lowered.
     

    Visit a Health Retreat

     

    Most people experience lifestyle tensions due to pollution, noise, and other urban environmental factors. You can to recharge your body by taking a trip to a health retreat centre. This venue is not just a resort for you to go to on vacation. It’s specifically made to make sure you establish a healthy state of mind.

    Most health retreats consist of specialised facilities such as day spas, heated pools, and dance studios for yoga sessions. They can even be located in mountainous areas, so visitors could engage in mountain trekking, hiking, or other physically enriching activities. Health retreats also serve nutrient-packed dishes. All in all, the activities, facilities, and food selections help to detoxify your body. When you get home, you’ll be more ready to fight another batch of stress-related challenges.
     

    Organize your life

     

    Clutter in your office, home, and even your car can mentally influence you. It shows disorder, and these would make you feel even more stressed out. You’ll end up thinking of a schedule to get your place in order. You might often feel out of focus in your daily work task because of the mess. Important items such as the keys to your car might be lost in the shuffle. Organising your desk, the rooms of your house, and everything else you see in your life can benefit you. It can give you a clear mental state which aids you to combat stress.

    To have a healthy state of mind, remember to be active and organize. You should also consider a trip outside the city to help you in lowering your stress levels.

     

    Author Bio: Sam Cleveland writes for a number of websites like Living Valley Springs – an Australian health retreat company. As a nature-lover he often takes time travelling or camping at least once a month. Nature can give you freedom and a priceless beauty.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparral/730400293


  4. Say Goodbye to Stress for Good

    August 1, 2013

    stressed out

    Stress is a killer. It is something that grows and grows inside you and without the proper attention it can lead to all sorts of problems including serious health conditions. Stress isn’t good for anyone but it is hard to escape from so what can you do to make sure it doesn’t take over your life?

    Managing Your Stress

    It’s impossible not to get stressed from time to time. Even the smallest things can raise the blood pressure and release the stress hormone, known as cortisol, into your system.  This is a natural process and there is no getting away from it but you can help yourself manage the effects of stress and refocus your brain to deal with things in new, less harmful ways.

    Mediation isn’t Only for Hippies

    You have to relax but many people choose to do this in front of the television which isn’t ideal. You need to use a different technique that involves some pure peace and quiet so your mind is able to fully relax without any stimulation from the outside world.

    Meditation is the perfect relaxation technique to learn – it’s free and you can do it at any time of the night or day. Get comfortable, there’s no need to get into the lotus position, just sit or lie down and try to control your thoughts. You should aim to keep your attention in the present and focus on your breathing. When thoughts about your family, job or your to do list enter your mind chase them away and come back to the present moment. Start mediating for about five minutes per day and keep practicing – in time you will be able to do this for longer periods.

    Say Goodbye to Pointless Stress

    If you find an activity that you do stressful and it isn’t essential why should you keep doing it? If you hate your job start looking for a new one, you aren’t tied into your job so why sit and suffer? You could go to college, take on a new career, stop running a local club or visiting the same old bar that isn’t quite what it used to be. Change can be a very good thing.

    Do Some Exercise

    Exercise is fantastic for busting stress, improving your energy levels and increases your happiness too. When you exercise you release happy hormones called endorphins. You can exercise in any way you are comfortable with, talking walks, going for jogs, signing up to the gym or following work out videos and tutorials online.

    Make Your Home Your Sanctuary

    You must have at least one room in your home where you feel instantly relaxed. The space you choose should be a room that is free from mess or clutter and doesn’t have any little bits of DIY that need doing. Redecorate the space you choose, add your favourite belongings such as art work, a day bed or reclining sofas and finish off the little jobs so the room is perfect. Use this space to read or enjoy your hobbies or to simply sit and look out of the window.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini

     


  5. The First Step to Coping with Stress

    July 27, 2013

    coping with stress

    by Andy LaPointe

    The first step to coping with stress is to better manage your sleep cycle. According to a survey conducted for Targeted Medical Pharma, 83% of Americans do not get enough sleep. This means only 17% of the entire U.S. population feels rested and ready to conquer the day when they awake. The results of this survey was revealed at the Sleep 2013 conference in June.

    So how does getting a poor night’s sleep affect an individual’s ability to cope with the stress of daily life? When dealing with a stressful situation, either real or perceived, your body immediately goes into the primal “fight or flight” mode. Stress does cause physical changes in your body including shallow breath, heightened sense of awareness and the release of adrenaline. All of these changes are preparing your body to immediately run from danger or face the threat head on. Unlike days gone past, when stress was usually caused by being confronted by a predator or other physically harmful situation, today the majority of stress is caused more by non-physical confrontations liking missing a deadline at work or arguing with the kids.

    However, since physically fighting or running away with co-workers or your kids wouldn’t be appropriate in today’s modern world, your body still reacts the same way. Thus, if your body’s stress is triggered several times per day and you don’t resolve it, you may end up with chronic stress. Chronic stress is where your body is continually in a “stress-out” state. This makes dealing with simple everyday situations (traffic jams, being late for an appointment, car repair issues, etc.) difficult to deal with and more complex issues, (relationship conflicts, work-related issues, etc.) nearly impossible.

    As time passes and stress continues to build, the individual may soon find it difficult to relax. Since relaxation is vital to enjoying a restful night’s sleep, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult. “Losing sleep” over a real or perceived situation not only makes it difficult to fall back to sleep but an individual may also find themselves waking up several times during the night.

    Strategies to Getting a More Restful Night’s Sleep 

    Several simple strategies are available to get a more restful night’s sleep naturally. The first strategy is to create pre-sleep meditation or night-time rituals. For example, avoid watching television and using electronics (computers, iPad, iPhone, etc.) at least an hour before bed. Electronic devices stimulates brain activity and prevents your mind from slowing down and relaxing, which is vital to falling and remaining asleep. The second strategy would be read a non-business related book to slow the mind prior to going to bed. In addition, avoid alcohol within a few hours of going to sleep.

    According the published research in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research drinking alcohol prior to going to sleep increases your chance of waking up during the night. In addition, it has been long known alcohol also reduces REM sleep, thus lowering the overall quality of sleep.

    Finally, drink a glass of tart cherry juice before bed. Tart cherries are Mother Nature’s top source of naturally occurring melatonin. One ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate mixed with seven ounces of water delivers over 130ng (nanograms) of melatonin. According to Dr. Russell Reiter from the

    University of Texas, to date no other fruit or vegetable has been discovered that provide more melatonin than tart cherries.  Dr. Russell Reiter is often referred to as the “Dean of Melatonin” by his peers.

    In addition to Dr. Reiter’s work on tart cherries, in 2010 Dr. Wilfred Pigeon a researcher at the University of Rochester conducted sleep research with tart cherry juice, too. The results of the research showed the participants who drank the cherry juice, slept an average of 17 minutes more. According to Dr. Pigeon, ‘Given the side-effects of some medications, it is encouraging to have a natural alternative.’

    So the next time stress and anxiety are preventing you from getting a better night’s sleep, create a nightly ritual, avoid drinking alcohol and enjoy a glass of tart cherry juice each night before turning in.

    Author Bio: Andy LaPointe, is an avid writer, speaker and Blog Talk Radio show host on the subject of natural health and wellness and home remedies for everyday ailments. In addition, he is a managing director of Traverse Bay Farms. Traverse Bay Farms specializes in offering super fruit products including tart cherry juice, blueberry juice concentrate and other super foods. His company has won 20 national food awards.

    Image Credit: Jöshua Barnett

     


  6. How to Manage Stress Based on Your Personality Type

    July 25, 2013

    stressed out

    by Jeff Hirz

    Today’s Western society, somehow, someway, for some reason, is more stressed than it has ever been. Combine long working days with a sense of entitlement, increased incidence of immediate gratification, and the marketing delusion called American (Consumerist’s) Dream, and you’ve got yourself the richest countries in the world that are also the unhappiest and the most stressed.

     

    So begs the question – what can we do to improve ourselves?

    Starting at the Individual Level

    I am a lowly, burgeoning writer, and thus my talents have what one might call a “fat chance” of impacting the zeitgeist of the age. Therefore my attentions have turned to the individual rather than society as a whole. “Start small,” mama always said . . .

     

    So how can we, as individuals, improve ourselves? Much of it comes down to simply managing stress. Lower stress levels mean increased dopamine levels (i.e. happiness levels) mean everybody wins, so let’s turn to the wonderful folks at Harvard University to give us some answers. We can qualify and categorize ourselves, which helps many people help themselves, by using the DISC Theory Personality Traits, developed by scientists at Harvard.

     

    DISC Theory divides human behavior into four categories (or personality types): driver, compliance, influence and steadiness. But how do we incorporate these on an individual level to assist us in effectively managing stress?

    How Driver Personality Types Can Manage Stress

    With much of a driver’s value system centering on control, drive personality types will likely have the hardest time managing stress of all the DISC personalities. A drive personality type, however, is an innovator and problem-solver, having little fear associated with risk-taking – this is a distinct advantage in the area of stress management. They know they have to do something, that they have to take some action, to de-stress. At a surface level, this can be extremely beneficial.

     

    Driver personality types desire results, and so a step-by-step program with achievable goals along the way is a great starting point. If you can introduce stress management as a challenge to be overcome, a driver will be that much more motivated to effectively manage their stress – likely with a direct correlation with their odds of success.

    How Compliance Personality Types Can Manage Stress

    Compliance personality types are your list-makers, your fact-finders, and your quality control managers. If you find yourself in this category, you’re likely much more likely to bury stress and let it build up, not wanting to cause a fuss or blur any existing boundaries.

     

    For compliance personality types to effectively manage stress, it’s important that you lay out clear advantages in logical order with plenty of detail – make a detailed list of what it is you want to achieve and map it out for yourself. A strength of compliance personality types is that they are clear and logical thinkers who normally don’t let emotion get in the way of a task, so practicality and preparation is key when discovering why reducing stress levels is important. Clear out the clutter so you can focus in and direct your attention to a singular, clear-cut task.

    How Influence Personality Types Can Manage Stress

    Your influence personality type tends to be the more sensitive one of the group, so consideration of esteem, emotional balance and social acceptance will go a long way. Difficulties that influence personalities will encounter may stem from the fact that they appreciate a little more sensationalism and excitement, so they may be unintentionally welcoming stress into their lives. If you’re not sure you fit this mold, ask yourself this question: “Do I watch Real Housewives of [insert city here]?” If the answer is yes, you may be an influence personality type.

     

    But there’s still hope! Associate your stress with that same level of excitement and need for a bit of drama and treat it as a problem to be solved – influence personality types are notoriously creative and thrifty problem solvers whose general personality trends toward the positive. View your stress level from a top-down approach with little detail and plenty of freedom for interpretation – the typical influence personality will put more stock in the ride than any type of end-goal or destination.

    How Steadiness Personality Types Can Manage Stress

    Steadiness personalities are, well, steady. They’re the patient ones, the understanding ones, and everybody’s friend. Stress builds up in steadiness personality types due to an inability to juggle multiple tasks, to adapt quickly to change, or to properly establish priorities.

     

    A good way for the steadiness personality type to manage stress is to take baby steps: lay out a plan where activities are able to be started and finished. Steadiness personality types take great pleasure in the small successes, and so having baby steps along the path to No-Stress Land is a great motivator to pull yourself out of that stressful mindset.

     

    Keep in mind: most people are a combination of several of these different personality types, so when using the DISC personality types to evaluate how to alleviate your own stress, take into account that you likely don’t fall neatly into any singular category. Take techniques for multiple personality types and combine them to form your own unique method of managing your stress.

     

    But just knowing your personality type is a good first step. Just remember to keep walking.

     

    Author Bio: Jeff Hirz is a writer, freelancer and content marketer and contributed this article on behalf of DISCInsights.com.

    Image Credit: Giulia Bartra

     

     


  7. How To Manage Stress During Your Job Search

    June 15, 2013

    Need to manage stress

    by Adrienne Erin

     

    If you’ve been looking for a job, you probably know that new opportunities don’t show up as quickly or as easily as you would like. There can be long stretches between jobs, when money and your happiness starts to run thin. When this happens, you can become frustrated and disappointed.

    No matter how long you’ve been looking for a new job, stress can enter in as part of the process at any time. Everything from customizing cover letters to waiting for a call from the hiring manager can cause major tension and anxiety. It’s important to cope with this stress, both for the sake of your sanity and for the success of your job search. Seeming desperate, depressed, or cynical can hurt your chances at scoring an interview or an invitation back.

    How do you manage stress when the phone doesn’t ring or there are no emails asking for an interview? Well, the good news is that although job hunting can be challenging, there are choices you can make to decrease stress.

     

    Get a Support Group

     

    Every stressful situation is handled more effectively when you have people around you who are supportive. Reaching out to your family and friends about how you’re feeling during your job hunt is a good way to relive stress and lessen the burden. These individuals can give you a boost of confidence right when you need it most and help keep you feeling motivated.

    If you don’t have a support group and you’re feeling uneasy with your job search, try joining an anxiety support group or a group for job searchers to help ease the tension. Being around others who are in similar situations will remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. Plus, it can be great networking – most of you will not be in direct competition, and you may have contacts that could help your fellow members and vice versa.

     

    Don’t Overdo It

     

    Don’t apply for any and every job you find just because you’re feeling a little desperate. Take it easy and only apply for jobs you’re highly qualified for. Even if the bills are piling up or you’re fed up with your boss’s demands, applying for too many jobs will most likely result in a lot of rejection. It will also drain your energy and open the doors for stress to come into your life.

     

    Make Time for Relaxation

     

    Your job search should not consume your life and only take up a few hours of your day. Take time to relax and rest so you will be energized when you get back on the job-search grind. Have fun while you’re job searching by keeping an active social life with family and friends. You can also try to take on new, relaxing hobbies, such as organic gardening – this one is excellent to manage stress. It’s important to focus on positive thinking instead of looking at the downsides.

    When you are mentally relaxed, your job search will be more effective — and mentally relaxed candidates are more attractive candidates.

     

    Keep a Positive Attitude

     

    It can be hard to keep a positive attitude if you’ve lost your job or hate the one you do have, but you must have one in order to keep stress away. Your job search will be more useful if you remain focused and motivated throughout the process. If you don’t think you are worthy of being hired, this will be evident in your interview skills and affect your desire to look for work. Instead, put your best foot forward and focus on the positives. When you have confidence, it will show in your demeanor and transfer over to your job searching skills.

     

    Author Bio: Adrienne Erin is a health-conscious blogger who worked in the career development field for four years before becoming a freelancer. Now she relieves her stress by indulging in her favorite hobbies, like mail exchange and organic gardening. Follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin to see what she’s up to these days.

    Image Credit: Alec Couros


  8. Tips for Professionals: Stress Management with Positive Thinking

    May 15, 2013

    fight stress with positive thinking

    by Lindsey Dahlberg

     

    If you are a professional, you know how difficult positive thinking can be.  You are constantly surrounded by negativity, aggression, selfishness, hostility, suspiciousness, and cynicism.  Plus, there aren’t enough hours in the day and stress can often get the best of you.

    The demands of the job are intense and stress can wear you down. Just when you manage to survive one week, the next week is quickly upon you with an ever growing pile of work.

    There are days when there is nothing left in the tank, but you still have to deal with difficult clients and ominous timelines. You limp home tired and worn out. Stress and negativity seem to be sewn into the very fabric of what it means to be a professional. It doesn’t matter what field you are in either, or how big the company is – the burden on your shoulders can be too much at times.

    How can you survive the day to day beatings you are subjected to?

     

    Identifying the Source of Stress

    What exactly is causing you so much stress? The work itself is not easy and is probably the main cause for your stress. Being a professional is demanding and the work can be difficult. To compound this problem, there is a lot of this demanding work to be done – mountains of work that seem unassailable.

    The deadlines creep up on you and feel like an ever tightening noose. You spend more time in your office than anywhere else. There are a lot of days when you get to the office in the dark and leave in the dark. Time is a scarce and precious commodity, and nowhere is it truer that time is money.

    Add to the mix office politics and dealing with other professionals and clients. The competition can be intense and draining, confrontations can be ugly. Plus, you have to deal with clients and customers who can be hostile.

    Female professionals can have even a tougher row to hoe with the added pressure of responsibilities at home. Childcare and domestic concerns add a whole new dimension to the stress level of a professional.

     

    Understanding the Results of Stress

    Growing stress levels can only stay bottled up for so long before an eruption occurs. In the meantime, stress will wear you down like a corrosive acid. Your emotional and physical being will be impacted. Muscle aches, high blood pressure, upset stomach, ulcers, and a weakened immune system are just some of the physical symptoms of stress. Depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness are the hallmarks of emotional stress.

    This stress will impact all other areas of life. Because you are filled with stress and other strong emotions, a slight bump in the road can easily cause some of those emotions to spill out. Your family may end up taking the brunt of your stress. It should be no surprise that successful professionals have high divorce rates. Others fall into the trap of substance abuse to try to deal with their stress load.

     

    Stress Management and Positive Thinking Techniques

    Different people deal with stress in different ways, and there are various ways to achieve and maintain a positive mindset.

    The following techniques have helped a lot of professionals manage their stress load and find time to take care of themselves. If the problems you face seem insurmountable and hopeless, talk to a professional counselor or medical professional for options and treatments.

     

    Analyze Your Thoughts and Emotions

    Top-notch professionals are often stereotyped as being tough and hardened individuals. They are seen to be logical, analytical and detached. While being detached from certain things is good, being detached from your thoughts and emotions is not healthy.

    In order to deal with your emotions and thoughts, you will need to slow down. Ask yourself what you are feeling and why. Are you struggling with fear? Are these fears realistic and sensible?

     

    Prioritize and Schedule Tasks

    The pressure of time can be especially stressful. When facing a big task that will involve a lot of time and energy, we can often procrastinate by busying ourselves with projects of lesser importance. Being busy for the sake of being busy is not an effective use of time.

    Priorities need to be established and tasks need to be done according to level of importance. Set deadlines, prioritize tasks by importance, and consider the amount of work involved with each obligation.

    Lists are a great way to keep you on the straight and narrow; they help keep you from meandering through your work. Make a list of all your long term projects; record deadlines, due dates, and generalities of these long term projects.

    Make a second list for everyday tasks. This will look more like a ‘to-do’ list and will help you get through the smaller tasks. This will give you a good idea of what you are up against.  You won’t have sudden deadline surprises or forgotten items to deal with. You can leave at the end of the day knowing that everything is under control and organized.

    Some professionals have a daily list that is even broken down by hour. This may not be a great strategy as this can easily add to your stress load. You will feel like your day has gone off the rails if one of the items extends into the next hour.

    Keep a calendar for all of your scheduled events. Make sure you carefully work around this list.

     

    Make Time to Relax

    As mentioned above, stress can take a toll on the physical aspects of a person. You may have your time management down pat, but you are still feeling the effects of stress.  A few minutes throughout your day is all you will need to combat stress that has physical ramifications.

    Your body is not designed to sit in a chair for hours at a time. Get out of your chair periodically and stretch. Work from the top of your body and stretch your way down.

    Another tactic is proper breathing. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.  Hold your breath for a moment and then release your breath out slowly. Continue to do so until you feel some of the stress and anxiety decreasing.

     

    Deal with Your Stress

    Find what works for you. Office exercises and breathing techniques might be the ticket. Or you may find a brisk walk at lunch to be effective. It is also suggested that you find an outlet to clear your mind and deal with stress. Sports are great for that; there aren’t many people who limp off the racquetball court with a head full of stress!

    The key is to strike up a balance in your life between work, home, family, and your interests. Don’t let yourself slip below waves of stress and negativity.  Take control and tackle the stress head on.  Keep thinking positively and you’ll do great!

    How have you learned to deal with stress in your busy workday?

     

    Author Bio: Lindsey Dahlberg works for a lawyer in Clearwater.  Her obligations at the law office – dealing with nasty divorces, handling the delicate issues of estate planning, providing legal assistance to a variety of harassed clients – leaves her feeling drained and exhausted at the end of the day.  Like any other lawyer or business professional, Lindsey has experienced firsthand the devastating effects of stress. She has also seen how proper stress management techniques, combined with a positive attitude, can really make a big difference in her professional life as a lawyer and her personal life at home.

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