Turn stress into strength | Inquirer News
COACH PACQUIAO

Turn stress into strength

/ 10:58 AM November 19, 2012

WE ALL feel and experience stress. Feelings of stress are triggered by our natural survival mechanism. Though few of us will encounter sabertoothed tigers in our daily routine, many of us are stressed as our caveman ancestors when we are doing battles with the paper tigers of the modern workplace. Much of our stress has to do with a mismatch between expectations and reality. As life pressures mount and your burdens increase the resulting pressures can have a catastrophic impact on your health. Cardiovascular damage is the most common result of stress like high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes can be directly related to the amount of stress in your daily life.

There are steps you can take to diminish stress even in the most difficult situations. How you react is your choice far more than you realize. Here are ways of identifying and controlling stress that you can change your reaction pattern and lengthen your life.:

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• Have a soul mate

We know that up to age 70, marriage reduces the risk of premature death and disability by about 50%. We don’t have studies about living together but presumably it works the same way. Having a friend , lover or companion to share your life and your feelings is one of the most important health insurance policies you can have.

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• Own a pet

Very early in the morning as soon as I wake and go outside of my house to breath fresh air, I always see my dog “Blackie” wagging his tail, jumping on me, licking my hands, as a sign of his early morning greetings to me. Owning a pet which enables us to interact emotionally. Caring for your pet will also distract you and prevent stress from building up.

• Make friends

Do you have someone other than your mate who is genuinely interested in you, who will empathize with you, and listen to you and your troubles anytime? Such strong friendships are especially important for men because men are not naturally born as good at making friends as woman are. For Example: When a group of women have lunch together they all usually share in conversations. At a table of men, however, what you normally see is one man talking at the others and every man in the audience is just waiting of his turn to seize the floor. Real friends are made one at a time usually through shared activity. If you’re a man you may have to make a special effort to cultivate friendships but it’s worth the time and energy. If you have a second ring of protection. They add more time and enjoyment to the length of your life.

• Make religious connections

People who have religious connection that are fulfilling also have a health advantage. It’s how you feel about your religious connections that counts, not how anybody feels about them. Even if you go to religious services because you think you should or if you’re doing it for the sake of appearances because the priest or pastor is your relative. If your spiritual beliefs are a source of support to you, if your participation in prayer or meditation or religious services is nourishing then you’ve reduced your odds of dying before you reach 70. Having closer relationship with the Almighty God is for me the best weapon to fight  against  stress. Because at the moment you are under stress you can call upon Him , you can talk to him anytime, anywhere. As He will give you the strength , hope, that everything and whatever the circumstances is, He is eager to listen and grant your request.

• Avoid perfectionism

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Yes, most successful people think they have to do everything perfectly. Perfectionists are hard on themselves and are horrible  to work for. Because nothing they do is good enough, they project their dissatisfaction and put the blame on you. Nothing you do will ever be good enough either. Prioritize your perfectionism by picking up two or three things in your job or your life, and focus your perfectionism on them. There are some of my friends who have a lot of projects, spending and wasting a lot of money (millions) but because of his failure to focus they end up unsuccessful.

• Be assertive

A person who is unassertive is a people pleaser, someone who doesn’t like to say “no” for fear others won’t like him/her. If you feel you have to say yes to too many things, you’ll get overloaded. Unassertive people are usually angry inside. When overloaded they blow their tops. Others feel this anger and become uncomfortable, then they push the unassertive way. Be assertive to make your work life go well if there are problems at work decide what needs to be changed and how.

• Lengthen your life with humor

We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and at humorous situations. If you’ve lost this ability, you’re in trouble. Try watching comedies on TV or going to see funny movies. Laughter is very powerful medicine. When I’m feeling blue or stressed from my work I go inside my bedroom, turn on my TV and watch my favorite cartoon show, “Tom and Jerry.” It makes me laugh and laugh and re-energizes my body and releases my stress.

• Relax

Practice the six second release exercise. Anytime, anywhere you feel tense, inhale deeply for two seconds then exhale through mouth for four seconds. Say to yourself “I’m relaxing.” Let your shoulders and jaw drop. A wave of relaxation with flow downward.

• Stop assuming the worst.

If someone cuts you off on the highway don’t automatically assume that the program is out to get you. Maybe he/she is rushing to the hospital to see a loved one who is desperately ill.

• Get an aromatic high.

Bring flowers to work. Spray perfume into the air. Light a scented candle or oil. Floral fragrances reduce anxiety cool menthol like scents boost energy, or lavender is relaxing. When you enter my gym you can immediately smell the scented candle lighted aroma.

• Choose to be happy.

Each day make a conscious effort to emphasize the positive and disregard the negative. Everyday when I leave the house and drive my car I always think positive things. Before I start the engine I looked up to heaven and say a prayer to the Almighty one that He will always instruct me what to do and give me the right direction. That nothing can go wrong if you will just trust in Him. That you must be happy because God loves you and He is always in control.

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