Demands in life come from many sources: WORK, FAMILY, SELF. But it is when these demands begin to take over LIVING that they become STRESSFUL in life.
So, how is stress defined? I love looking up words to see their definition. I am always learning, always searching for more. I like the questions “why”, “how” more than I do “what” or “when”. Guess that shows my passion for Live Life Well! But, that is another blog!
Websters defines it as: constraining force or influence:
c : a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
d : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium <job-related stress>
and Hans Selye defines it as: “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.
So, stress is an outside force, as well as, a response to that demand.
When understanding stress: it is important to, 1. separate the two definitions, 2. acknowledge self as a part of stress, 3. activate ways to nourish self in stress
1.Looking at stress as an outside force, it is important to see if it is real or imagine. A real stress may be a work deadline, an imagined stress may be the perfection of the work. Another example in the home, you may feel real stress to prepare meals to nourish self and family, while an added imagined stress maybe to have “magazine” perfect meals.
Looking at stress as a response to that demand, a non-specific response of the body, you must see the nourishing and harmful results of that response. Nourishing responses may be seen as focus, or concentration. For example, when stressed with a deadline, you may find the focus on your live purpose and passion to serve. While a harmful response may be seen in changes in the physical, mental and spiritual self, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety or loneliness.
2. Each individuals lives in a stressful environment, coming from home, work, self and others. Your role is to determine if the stress is real or imagined; nourishing or harmful.
a. Acknowledge that you live in a stressful environment. An environment where life is pushing and pulling on you.
b.Make a list of stress in your day today. How is the stress coming to you? Is it from self, others, work, social norms, cultural expectations, etc.
c. Is it real or imagined?
d. How do you respond to the stress? Is it nourishing or is it harmful.
3. As noted earlier stress can be harmful to self in body, mind and spirit. Building a strong defense will assist in decreasing these harmful responses and nourish self. How can you change self, environment, relationships to eliminate this stress?
a. Self care: Taking time to eat nourishing foods, exercise everyday, playing, resting, and open communication.
a. Environmental changes: Take time to encourage focus. At work it may be to put in headphones with music to decrease the noise, or putting up a do not disturb sign on your door to decrease interruptions.
b. Communication of stress: Sharing with others how you see stress as outside force and a response, and how it can be real or imagined. Discover how others respond to stress. Find ways to build a strong nourishing defenses that others can share, such as team building exercises to learn each others passions.
Stress is a part of your life. LIVING WITH STRESS, begins with you. Wellness coaching offers a focus on LIVING WITH STRESS by nourishing self!