Managing Stress (1)

You might have guessed. I keep talking about stressful days, times at work and my love for work for a while. On the other hand I am talking about how much I love it. Contradiction? NO!

I love what I am doing and how much I am doing of it but I often get carried away and forget all about work life balance.

But, I noticed that some days stress can get to me. Some days more than others and I thought, what is missing in my life that has been there before?

– exercise
– hobbies

Overall, it comes down to my hobbies being what I love most: work at my main job and cb consulting, working on my blogs and websites.

Excercis: yes, I have neglected it too long and have to get back to a routine. And, I will! Not only did I start Tai Chi, but I also started going back to the gym. First once a week and I want to increase it to twice a week. As they say, the ant cannot eat the elephant in a day, it needs to have a bite at a time. Be patient Volker!

My friend at Balamadana says: Volker, I have known you for years and I believe you have all the right intentions but something gets in your way. You need to change and you will…. – and, he is right. It is about time.

Enough of a self analysis. I am neither stressed nor strained but I believe I sometimes let things get to me and do not switch off as easily as I used to. In uni for instance I had my hour exercise a day plus was less bothered about things. Guess that is what people say about student life, don’t they.

So, in this post about “managing stress” I want to see what stress is. Is there such a thing? What about positive or negative stress. Most of mine is positive but if you ask a doctor it still has the same effect on your body.

Oxford Brookes University published a nice website explaining:

Adaptive stress helps us rise to life’s challenges. Adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and glucose flow into our blood: we get a buzz of energy and feel alert, focused, and creative. Negative stress occurs when our ability to cope with life’s demands crumbles. If we don’t break down the stress chemicals (e.g. through physical activity) they stay in the blood, preventing us from relaxing. Eventually this results in a permanent state of stress. That initial buzz turns to worry, irritability or panic. Challenges become threats; we doubt our ability to do even simple things and problems appear insurmountable.

Wow, that sounds like a downward spiral. There are so many things that cause stress. I remember me not being able to cope with high speed drives after the experience of a car accident. And sometimes I cannot stand loud noise or when our neighbours used to be noisy at 4 am in the morning, that really caused stress.

There are 3 factors how stress affects us:

Physically: our heart beats faster, our blood pressure increases, muscle tension, butterflies in your stomach and faster breathing…..

Mentally:you might start having “weirder thoughts” or cannot “think straight”. Worrying is probably the main effect, and negative thoughts.

Emotionally: Fear, frustration, impatience, anxiety, insecurity and depression.

So how do we cope best with stress? I write about that the next time.