Tuesday, 1 April 2014

DSTSS - the good, the bad and the ugly - Stress

19.  Lower your tolerance to stress

Ah stress, my old nemesis, my old captor and sometimes my friend. 
Now here's a chapter that i can really sink my stressed out teeth into....oh, if only stress made us feel as good as a tasty dessert.

Stress - the entity that has consumed a good part of my life to the point of malfunction - when stress causes  you to have anxiety, and severe panic attacks that cause you to not want to leave the house or function to your full potential, then it's pretty extreme.  Once i learn't about stress, i could understand how it impacted on me and what i could do about it.  Hallelujah for that! 

When i started my project about not sweating the small stuff, it was because the small stuff that never bothered me for years, started to bother me and that started to get on my goat.  After having a period of life where i had built up resilience to most things, my resolve started to wear down and my ability to deal with things that i wouldn't have given a shit about started to give me the shits.  I started to feel a bit anxious, a bit unhappy, and quite frankly, a bit stressed.  And why would i want that when i know what the alternative is - to feel an inner peace and be able to take everything in my stride and to be a better person to hang out with.

So i went and bought this book, i read this book, and it's reminding me of all those things i have planted in my memory that helped me when it was all too much - when i was way to stressed.  Reconnecting with this is helping me keep perspective and return to a calm peaceful bumpy existence.

What is happening in my home life and funny i call it my home life, cause the stress is about the actual home is exhausting and upsetting and stressful, not to mention impacting on the day to day living of my life and those around me.  And after an initial jolt of what the fuck is happening with my life, i have had the sense to give the situation some perspective and space and do something about it.

Our tolerance to stress is only matched to our level of stress, and once we go beyond our level of tolerance, then watch out!

The more things that stress us, the more we need to find ways to deal with them. A serious life event can (for some) give the opportunity to make change.  It can make us look at ourselves and decide if we should make change.  It can help us have perspective and begin a journey to a better life.  I guess that's what happened to me.  I needed to start paying less attention to the things i couldn't change, and more attention to change the things that i could. 

Determining what you can and can't change can sometimes be the most difficult thing and i guess that's where the learning's from this book come in to play - learning not to sweat the small stuff, by working out what the small stuff is.

Being stressed causes a number of mental and physical health issues and when you don't deal with your stress, guess what, it starts to affect you and then starts to affect those around you and why would you honestly want to cause harm to another person through your own inability to deal with the challenges we face. From my personal experiences, finding the inner peace that i deserved was just the best feeling.

I think what keeps me focussed about the impact of stress, is the side effects of stress - and they pretty much all suck - unless it's a good stress that we use to get us through a great event.

So, enough banging on about stress, cause it's quite stressful.....my overworked adrenal gland is a topic quite close to my heart, kidneys, liver and every other body part that it floods with the bursts of adrenalin to help me cope.  Those same organs that i need to sustain a healthy life are the ones i need to protect.

It's what we choose to do about it that makes all the difference. For me, it was the following and i am using dot points, cause it's a very serious subject...
  • Knowing when to call 'time" and by that i mean knowing when to decide if something is worth getting all worked up about and giving it more attention then it needs - work stuff, home stuff, any stuff
  • Taking time to relax - i used my trusty relaxation tape to help with this - the one that i will take to the afterlife - relaxation for me was really the key
  • So, i actually used to do this - i reminded myself each hour to stop and drop my shoulders.  By doing this i was consciously tapping into what my body was doing.  It's amazing how far up the side of my head that my shoulders were sitting - by 9am my shoulders were sometimes up around my ears.  As i became less stressed, they still made their way up the side of my head, and i think it's because i was conditioned to be stressed but eventually after becoming aware of my body, they just stayed where they needed to be.
There is lots you can do, but first you have to realise that it's actually a problem.

Note to self:  If how you are reacting to your stressors is really making you feel physically and mentally unwell (even if you don't think it's because you are stressed) then it's probably a bigger problem then you think. Things that stress me might not stress you and that's okay but if we can't manage our stress and it's really affecting you and those around you then maybe it's time to think about making change - before it's too late!

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