In the final part of this series on the effects stress has on us and how we can better management it, Eric Bakker talks about dealing with stress at any age, your stress type, and a 6 step stress relief plan.
Dealing With Stress At Any Age
In Your 20s
The Top Tensions: Trying to establish your career and climbing the corporate ladder; forming a meaningful relationship with a significant other
Stress Solutions: Stress management expert Meiron Lees said that during your 20s you need to build the confidence to handle life’s ups and downs. “Every day, write down something that went well, no matter how small. It will remind you of your achievements.” Work on a regular exercise plan; it will set you up for life and focus on eating the right foods. These are good habits to cultivate earlier on.
In Your 30s
The Top Tensions: Managing a career with the challenges of being a parent and/or partner
Stress Solutions: Say no; don’t load up your plate too much. “Realize that although society says you can do everything, your body says you can’t. Decide what’s important in your life and make sure your time is being devoted to that,” said Lees. For anything else, learn to delegate or just don’t go there.
In Your 40s
The Top Tensions: Trying to create wealth and establishing a quality of life by balancing work and play.
Stress Solutions: Have a plan. Whether you want an investment property or a strong, healthy body, work out steps to get there. Try outsourcing typical sources of anxiety by setting a financial plan to sort out your money woes, or a personal trainer to help you design a custom fitness regimen.
What’s Your Stress Type?
Everything has to be exactly right all the time. You may know somebody like this, or even be like this yourself. Do you ever feel that no matter how much you accomplish, it’s just isn’t good enough? That regardless of how much you achieve, you could do more? Do you find yourself focusing on the minor mistakes you made, rather than your major achievements?
If so, you might just be caught in the perfectionist trap. “Some women feel that they have to be perfect in everything they do at work. They want 100% of their work and all of their ideas to be absolutely brilliant,” reported Carol Deutsch, a communications consultant in New York. Particularly in a new job, Deutsch added, women often hold themselves up to an impossibly high standard of performance.
There’s nothing like a looming deadline to get your heart racing. It’s a stressor most of us will experience, but some people put themselves under this pressure daily by procrastinating and putting off the inevitable. Psychologist Dr. Sarah Edelman explains that if someone is constantly doing this, they might actually be avoiding their job and need to rethink their career, or are insecure about their abilities. By procrastinating, they can blame the results of the task on their lack of effort, not their capabilities.
The Status Chaser
If putting our bodies through chronic stress is a bad thing, then why do we do it? “There is the idea that to be successful means you have to work long hours and always be incredibly busy,” said Lees. Many workers equate being stressed with being effective, a misconception reinforced by bosses who commend them for their incredible efforts.
You might think you’re complaining about work, but you may be using stress to air personal emotions that are a lot trickier to address. Some people deliberately look for stressful situations that will allow them to release pent-up emotions caused by other aspects of their life, and those closest to them often bear the brunt. “People can seek out aggression to help them feel in control,” said Dr. Streimer. And being “too stressed” to deal with anything else is the perfect way to avoid what’s really bothering you: the underlying stuff you would rather not deal with.
Your 6-Step Stress Relief Plan
- The first step is admitting that stress does play a role in your life and is becoming a problem. Ask yourself why you’re stressing out and whether it’s helping the situation. Doing this can give you some much-needed perspective.
- Next, minimize any unnecessary stress in your life right now. If you’re a worrier, don’t panic over your work, your weight and the well-being of your family and friends. Instead, choose the most important thing to contemplate right this minute. If you procrastinate, try this technique: when tackling a task, work for 25 minutes, then break for five. Repeat this four times then take a longer break. Thinking you only need to concentrate for a short time will help you stay much more motivated.
- Work on reversing the negative effects stress has on the body today. The easiest, cheapest way to do that is to exercise one way or another; one study found that just 18 minutes of walking three times a week lowers cortisol levels by 15 percent. “Not only does physical activity reduce hormone levels caused by stress, minimizing their negative impacts, but it also disrupts your mind, which can distract you from stress, too,” said Dr. Ali.
- Look at what you eat every day. The body reacts to the foods you consume the same way it does when you worry about making your mortgage repayments; it’s a stressor that can raise your cortisol.
- The art of relaxation – are you getting enough? It is important to balance work and play. Make sure you take time out every day to relax and ensure you get plenty of sleep. Dr. Wilson recommends that you have a quiet period of at least 15 to 20 minutes of afternoon relaxation to help build adrenal health.
- The Adrenal Fatigue Program of nutritional supplementation is the most targeted and specific program designed to get you up and running fast. I have personally used Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Program in my clinic with over 1,700 patients in the past several years and can vouch for its clinical efficacy.
About the Author
Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website: candidacrusher.com You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many You Tube videos: www.yeastinfection.org Dr. Bakker’s Blog: www.ericbakker.com