Apr142009

7 Steps To Substantially Reduce Stress!

Unemployment Soars! Another Canadian Soldier Dies In Afganistan! 7-Year Old Girl Sexually Assaulted!

Crud, I so love listening to the news on my radio — NOT!

It’s not like I wasn’t already feeling mucho stressed — which I KNOW because my Fibro pain has returned … and with a vengance!

So, on my walk this morning I got to thinking about what was stressing me. I was just ‘delighted’ to identify SIX separate stressors. Then it occured to me after I got back from my walk, that it would be useful for me to share my approach to reducing the stress that’s escalating my pain.

So, over the next few days I’m going to write about how I’m dealing with those 6 stressors: in the hope that my tactics will help you.

What’s the FIRST step to Reducing Stress?

Step 1: Know When (and how much) You Are Stressed

How could it be possible that YOU might not know you are stressed?

Well, ya see, each of us manifests our stress in different ways and sometimes we exhibit stress differently at different times.

For example, when I first experienced significant stress — which, ironically, was during the last huge, mofo economic recession in 1982 — I reacted to the stressors in my life by becoming Clinically Depressed.

Up until then, I’d never been really sick. Sure, I’d had the flu, some colds, but I’d never experienced a major work outage. Suddenly, work sucked big time! I could barely drag my butt into work. In fact, the new position I had just started — which I had created — I was starting to HATE.

It wasn’t till I met with a psychologist that I began to understand that my depression was due to stress. So, I began to do extensive research into stress and stress management techniques.

Little did I know at the time, that I would spend years learning how to better deal with stress. And, that my work would evolve into a coaching practice that involves, among other things, helping creative professionals deal more effectively with stress.

So, HOW do you KNOW when you are stressed?

Get the hell out of your head and into your body!

Yes, I know your body hurts! Mine sure as hell does. I know the last thing you want to do is FEEL THE PAIN MORE!

Trust me. Feeling INTO the pain will: a) give you some important clues about WHAT is stressing you and b) will actually reduce the pain — eventually.

When I finally SURRENDERED to the massive pain I was feeling in my hips and shoulders I then began to connect to the actual stressors that were contributing to the pain. Ya see, I had thought that there were only 2 things stressing me. As I felt the pain, and listened to it, it told me about ALL the things that were pressuring me.

So, the first step to reducing your stress is to know WHAT is stressing you and HOW MANY things are stressing you. And, you do that by moving into your body, into the pain, taking a breath or six, and listening to what the pain has to say.

NEXT — Step 2: Prioritize Your Stressors

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