Becoming Our Best


The word "stress" has become so commonplace and yet so vivid that it can produce a visceral reaction just to read it. And certain times of our lives, of each year and in history are more full of stress. Maybe you're in one of those periods.

I believe that a certain amount of unusual pressure or stress on us is good. Think about championship athletes and their training programs: each day, they push their minds and bodies and ask for better performance. That's a good kind of stress. Also having to deal with increasing levels of responsibility or sticky interpersonal situations can result in a healthy growth in our capabilities.

And then there's unhealthy stress. The kind that occurs when we have choices, like unhealthy relationships, and the kind where we take what comes, as in illness or injuries. Either way, it can seem overwhelming. In these situations, sometimes the best we can do is to try to find meaning for ourselves in overcoming and living through the difficulties.

Each day we face the varying levels of stress at work and home, which can be dealt with a number of ways. Some proven, successful approaches are: * Finding a few minutes alone for prayer, meditation or quiet time before the busy day begins. This provides a calm, firm foundation for the day's activities.

* Looking at stressful situations as challenges to be overcome. It reminds me of going through the rapids in the Grand Canyon. I could either keep my head up and enjoy the rough ride or crouch down and feel sorry for myself. It's how I chose to respond that made the difference in how I felt.

* Forgiving myself and others for mistakes. Instead of dwelling on what a jerk that person was who ran the red light, shrug your shoulders, laugh it off and move on. Saves alot of churning stomach feelings and worry wrinkles.

* Taking a time out when I begin to feel overwhelmed. There's nothing that says I can't take a few moments for some deep breathing and attitude adjustment when there's a break in the action.

* Engaging in regular exercise. This can range from simply walking (and talking with the people we love, which is even better) to more strenuous gym routines or sports. All of them result in better feelings and reduced stress. Don't take things too seriously. Deal with your stress in healthy ways and enjoy the ride of your life!

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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