Stress happens no matter how we try to avoid stressful situations. Even children experience stress in school, or at home when they encounter change like parents divorcing, a move, or a death in the family. Stress can sabotage self-improvement efforts because when stressed we tend to wimp out and avoid doing difficult things such as making improvements in our life. There are steps to take to help manage stress so that it becomes easier to make self-improvements.
Stress management includes gathering stress management tools especially health related tools that will help us to understand the causes and signs of stress, help us to evaluate stress and how it can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally and finally tools can help us to find relief from the stress that may hinder our ability to make self-improvements.What are some of the healthy tools we can use to help combat stress?
- You can learn breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques that can then be used in stressful situations
- Use guided imagery to help to feel more relaxed as you approach a difficult self-improvement task
- Use meditation or yoga to center your inner being and take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out so you can concentrate on the self-improvement action that needs to be taken
- Practice relaxing muscles, and your mind by use of aromatherapy, music therapy etc.
One must understand what causes stress in order to isolate the issues surrounding stressful situations. Stress can be the result of a physical illness. Health problems especially chronic (long-term) health issues can cause a considerable amount of stress. Dealing with doctor visits, insurance, and medications can add to the stress of being ill. When you are trying to improve your health sometimes getting to your healthy goal can create stress. Your community may have programs to deal with health related stressful situations so ask your doctor for any help in this regard.
Sometimes stress is part of your reason for making self-improvements such as living in a high-crime area being a motivation for improving your finances. The high crime rate in your neighborhood can cause stress while you are still living there and working to improve your income. Living alone and pollution in a neighborhood can also be stressful and present situations that must be dealt with as you try to make self-improvements.
Your lifestyle can also cause stress and be a motivation for making self-improvements such as being a smoker, drinker, addicted to street drugs, or being sexually promiscuous. Stress can also result from being newly married, becoming pregnant, or entering a new phase of life such as retirement or becoming a teen. The health, financial and physical stress caused by these different lifestyles can also make it difficult to make self-improvements even if it is these very issues that motivate us to decide to make self-improvements.
It may be necessary to seek professional advice in order to properly evaluate the stress in our life. Some stress can be good if it motivates us to make self-improvements but if the stress causes us to not be able to function normally in a day-to-day basis or it causes physical pain or illness then the stress is not beneficial but destructive and must be dealt with. Some health Websites have interactive tools that individuals can use to help determine if stress is beneficial or destructive. A doctor, psychiatrist or other mental health professional can also help to determine how stress is affecting us.
Avoid destructive stress whenever possible and otherwise develop methods of dealing with stress with the help of a professional. Utilize beneficial stress to help make wise decisions regarding self-improvements.
Identify, understand and deal with stress is how you can make self-improvements even when stress presents itself in your life.