Set Aside Time for Intentional Stress
Most stress-management advice is for those feeling stress to avoid it like the plague. Keep those negative thoughts at bay and think positive. But what if you decided to look stress straight in the eye and let yourself worry and fret for a while – just to get it out of your system?
By confronting stress, you’re looking at it with fresh eyes rather than turning away and letting it come back, stronger than ever, to try to pull you down. When you get to the crux of what’s bothering you, it may be easier to find a solution.
The solution may be among the normal stress relievers such as taking a hot bath, walk, swim, meditation or other method. Confronting stress doesn’t mean you’re ignoring it, but it does mean that you’re setting aside time to deal with it and come away with a plan.
Talking about stressful situations is one of the best ways to figure out ways to deal with it. For example, if your children are stressed because you moved to a new location and they need to transfer to a new school, set aside time to be with them – individually or together – to find ways to make them feel better by finding solutions.
Maybe in your conversation about beginning a new school, you could suggest a before-school party or event at your home or nearby and invite some of the kids in the neighborhood or from a class list you could get from school.
Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, but together you can find ways to deal with the stress by talking about fears and frustrations. What you learn by confronting stress with your kids might help you with your own concerns and stress.
Making the move to confront stress intentionally helps you come away with more confidence that you can work through any problems you may be having at work, in relationships, with family or other situations.
You’re seeing stress for what it is – like turning on a light. It’s like hitting a loaded piñata with a baseball bat. Once it falls apart and you can see what’s in it, you can decide what you want to keep and what you can throw or give away.
Another good thing that can come from setting aside time to face your stress is that you’ll get better in touch with your symptoms and will then be able to find the best solution.
For example, if your neck and shoulders ache you may you realize that too much stress at work is making you tense and uncomfortable. Maybe the solution will be to take more breaks, engage in some neck and shoulder exercises or simply take a walk to relieve the tension.
It’s difficult to take time out of a project when you’re being productive, but it can make an incredible difference in your body stress. Long-term stress on the body is known to perpetuate serious health problems, so it’s imperative to confront stress that could affect digestive, muscle, heart and immune system.
As you know, stress can also cause mental as well as physical problems. Lack of mental acuity can make you less productive and more prone to accidents. By confronting the stress that causes mental slowdowns, you can find ways to adapt or fight the stress and regain your mental alertness.
Those who experience frequent bouts of acute stress, such as police officers don’t usually have long-term medical or mental repercussions from the episodes. An ongoing type of stress such as too many irons in the fire and constant worry can lead to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
When you feel the world crashing in around you from worry and tensions caused by too many commitments, taking the time to face the stress issues head-on can help you find ways to cope.
If you continue to sweep chronic stress under the rug, a final breakdown may occur – meaning that you could be subject to a great deal of physical harm, plus becoming prone to violence and suicidal thoughts.
Seek help from a therapist to talk about your stress if you feel you can’t handle it on your own. It’s a good way to get all of your feelings and thoughts that are causing stress out in the open so you can find solutions.
After PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) such as an accident or physical and mental abuse, many people need help to deal with lingering after effects. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if your efforts for dealing with intentional stress don’t work.