Become a Stress Wrangler and Get Balanced

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A little stress is good. It can be the spice of life. But when change keeps coming too hard and fast for too long, (such as in today’s world of work with all its economic challenges and uncertainties), the stress may become more than you can handle. It’s like stepping into a revolving door that’s moving so quickly you can’t get out. And even if you could, your head would spin for a while.

That’s stress. Everything appears to accelerate. The decisions and problems come faster and faster until you’re barely capable of integrating all of the changes around you. You spin from one situation to another without making effective decisions. It can be infectious, too. It only takes one stressed person to get a whole roomful of people overwrought. Eventually you hit the wall emotionally. You snap. You bark at those closest to you – on the job or at home. You experience burnout. Both falling asleep and waking the next morning become difficult. Dogged by a stressed mind, your physical health will eventually begin to fail.

There’s no simple answer to keeping stress in its appropriate place. There are a number of strategies that work on the job. Here are four suggestions:

  • Remember to stop and have a laugh from time to time … and stay physically active. Research continues to prove that even a walk can bring down the stress levels.
  • Take five. In the middle of a hectic day, take your break outside the office. Go for a walk around the block. Learn to meditate or do some breathing exercises.
  • Most of all try to change your perspective. Stress isn’t caused by external factors. Rather, it is caused by your response to the external factors. With a fresh, relaxed perspective, the haphazard occurrences of everyday life are less likely to cause you stress.
  • A happy, productive life begins and ends with balance. You are a multi-dimensional creature with complex needs. You need, for example, to work and feel like a productive member of society. But, a balanced individual needs to set aside time for the other aspects of life, too.

There are many areas of life that require your attention:

  1. You need time alone to think and recharge.
  2. You need time with your family.
  3. You need time to cultivate, and associate with, friends.
  4. You need time to develop a sense of community.
  5. You need time for relaxation – sports and hobbies.
  6. You need time to develop your moral and ethical self.

There are at least six areas of life that require some focused attention. If you don’t learn to say “no” to work sometimes, which of the other areas is going to suffer?

When you have this type of imbalance in your life, something is bound to fail. Maybe your health will suffer or your family life will become strained. In some cases, people work to the exclusion of friendships or community involvement … and they eventually find themselves alone and depressed. Treat yourself well. Keep things in perspective. Strive for a balance among all aspects of your being. In this way, you will find that you are a more valued and capable contributor at work. There was a time when we admired people who focused solely on work to the exclusion – and detriment – of all other aspects of life. Today, however, we admire the person who knows where to draw the line and say “no” to obsessive behavior.