Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stress Management: The Power of the "P"

For the past 20 years or so, I have been encouraging folks to use the following Stress Response Emergency Checklist.  So, in case of a stress emergency, remain calm and refer to the list below:

Perception - I hate to say it, but stress is self-generated. The intensity of your stress response is determined by your perception of the stressor. Stress tends to blur our perception... thus the saying "making mountains out of molehills." So, if you are feeling stress... change your perception!

Perspective - Call a "time-out"... step back and take a look at the event's relationship to your whole life.  Interrogate yourself... 1) What is the worst that can happen... be honest?, 2) In the scheme of life, is this really important?, 3) A year from now, who will care?

Positive - Time for a little self-talk... you've got to believe in you! Surround yourself with fun, positive people!  Take time to laugh... afterall, it is the best medicine!

Physical - The quickest way to counteract the stress response... Move, Stretch, and Breathe... deeply and slowly! Stressed out because you cannot resolve a problem... take a walk and let your mind wander... don't be surprised if the answer pops into your head before you are finished!

Prepared - To prevent or minimize future stress emergencies, begin by taking care of yourself... eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep.  Anticipate stressful situations... rehearse and visualize how you will respond.

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