Meditation and Relaxation Isn’t Enough?

We’ve unwittingly scheduled our time so that it’s difficult to get off the roller coaster long enough to take stock of our lives and see that we are doing too much - we have too much on our plate.

We are making sure we take that thirty minutes per day for ourselves, praying or doing meditation, eating as well as we think we can, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing sports and numerous other things we’ve read about that might reduce stress. We’ve used time management skills in order to accomplish more. Tomorrow we wake up and repeat the entire process again. It’s no longer unusual - it’s accepted and expected.

We live in a society that values activity. A friend calls on the phone and asks what we’re doing. We answer, ‘Keeping busy.’ We’re so busy being active that we haven’t taken the time to consider alternatives to the methods we’re presently using to manage stress.

There might be a better way to manage if we could slow down long enough to recognize it, analyze it and plan for it. Our emphasis has shifted from prevention to relief.

I’m going to introduce some new concepts to you regarding prevention. I want to shift your thinking from stress relief to stress management. We are going to have stressors in life. Life happens. It’s unrealistic to expect otherwise but there are steps we can take to make it manageable and realistic.

In addition to the relief measures we use in our day to day life, we are going to shift our way of thinking to bring lasting change. I’ll admit it’s easier to concentrate on short term, immediate gratification with measures such as relaxation and meditation but unless we evaluate the root causes of our stress, we will continue to suffer. We can continue to go with the flow or we can choose to be proactive.

We are now familiar with the havoc that having chronic stress in our lives does to our bodies. It’s time to turn off that switch and feel our heart rates come back to normal.

I’m going to ask you to complete a different kind of stress assessment. Give it some thought and take the week to work on it. Be aware of how you react to situations, be perceptive. How you think you react may be entirely different than how you actually do.

Stress Assessment

* Do you find yourself easily irritated?

* Do you fail to see the humor in situations others find funny?

* Do you feel you have the time to complete your to do list?

* Are you in a supervisory position at work or a parent of under age children?

* Do you find it irritating when others have an opposing view?

* Would you prefer to finish tasks yourself instead of asking for help?

* Are you currently unemployed or underemployed?

* Do you have a spiritual life?

* Do you frequently find yourself using the terms: ‘Awful’ or Catastrophe?

* How often do you think to yourself, ‘I can’t do this.’ Or, “I can’t stand this.’

* Are you going through a divorce, break up of a long term

* relationship or grieving the loss of a loved one?

* Have you recently relocated or are you planning to?

* Do you find yourself waiting until the last minute for

* deadlines?

* Do you take care of yourself, ie: diet, exercise, grooming?

* Do you have supportive relationships with family and friends?

* Do you have difficulty saying ‘No’ to people?

* Do you have teenage children?

* Are your surroundings organized, clean and comfortable?

* Do you follow a budget or have a plan to pay expenses?

* Are you satisfied with your relationship with your significant other?

* Do you frequently feel your boss asks too much of you?

* Do you have insomnia?

* Do you eat too much or too little?

* Do you frequently find yourself pacing or wringing your hands?

* Do you or someone close to you have legal matters pending?

* Do you or someone close to you have health issues?

Print this page out and use the assessment to determine the stressors present in your life. The greater number, the more you need increased strategies for management.

Watch for additional articles that suggest the methods we encourage for lasting management.

About the author

Cathy Gariety is a Registered Nurse and CEO of Gariety Group Consulting - a firm specializing in stress management providing services to individuals, corporate and healthcare facilities. She is also Editor of their Stress Buster newsletter. Email for a complimentary Mini Stress Management E-Course delivered to your email address once per week for four weeks

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Originally posted 2005-12-15 11:58:49. We hope you have enjoyed this Post From the Past!

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