Let’s face it, how many times during the week does the average person, with an average lifestyle and an average income, complain that he’s too stressed out, too overworked, under-appreciated, lonely, or frustrated? On average , too often. Well, I’m here to tell you that those pesky everyday problems of yours don’t have to take over your life. It’s time to take control of your manhood and your life.
Give Me Numbers
Here’s a quick statistic on the most common mental disorders in North America.
Don’t let yourself become another statistic.
- Anxiety disorders: 17%
- Major depression: 10%
- Alcohol dependence or abuse: 7%
- Drug dependence or abuse: 4%
- Dysthymia (chronic mild depression): 3%
Do You Need Help
If you are unsure about whether to seek help for a psychological or emotional problem, ask yourself: “Could I use some help right now?” and not, “Am I mentally ill?” The questions below may help you decide:
- Is the problem interfering with your work, relationships or other aspects of your personal life?
- Have you been feeling unhappy, less confident and less in control than usual for several weeks or longer?
- Have close, trusted friends or family members commented on changes in your behavior and personality?
- Have your own efforts to deal with a problem failed to change your behavior or improve the situation?
- Is dealing with everyday problems more of a struggle than before?
Reduce Or Control Stress
As you read the following suggestions, remember that success will not come from a halfhearted effort, nor will it occur overnight. It will take determination, persistence and time. Some suggestions may help immediately, but if your stress is chronic, then it may require more attention and lifestyle changes. Determine your tolerance level for stress and try to live within these limits. Learn to accept or change stressful and tense situations whenever possible.
Be realistic. If you feel overwhelmed by some activities (yours and/or your family’s), learn to say NO. Eliminate an activity that is not absolutely necessary. You may be taking on more responsibilities than you can or should handle. If you meet resistance, give reasons why you’re making the changes. Be willing to listen to others’ suggestions and be ready to compromise.
Shed the “superman” mentality. No one is perfect, so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Ask yourself, “What really needs to be done? How much can I do? Is the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make?” Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
Take one thing at a time. For people under tension or stress, an ordinary workload can sometimes seem unbearable. The best way to cope with the feeling of being overwhelmed is to take things one task at a time. Pick one urgent task and work on it. Once you accomplish that task, move on to the next one. The positive feeling of “checking off” tasks is very satisfying; it will motivate you to keep going.
More Stress Busters
Meditate. Just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or absolutely nothing.
Visualize. Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful situation more successfully. Whether it’s a business presentation or moving to a new place, many people feel that visual rehearsals boost self-confidence and enable them to take a more positive approach to a difficult task.
Exercise. Regular exercise is a popular way to relieve stress. 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind.
Hobbies. Take a break from your worries by doing something you enjoy, whether it’s gardening or building a wall unit. Schedule time to indulge your interests.
Healthy lifestyle. Good nutrition makes a difference. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol (alcohol actually disturbs regular sleep patterns); get adequate rest; exercise; and balance work and play.
Share your feelings. A conversation with a friend lets you know that you are not the only one having a bad day, caring for a sick child or working in a busy office. Stay in touch with friends and family. Let them provide love, support and guidance. Don’t try to cope alone.
Be flexible. If you find you’re meeting constant opposition in either your personal or professional life, rethink your position or strategy. Arguing only intensifies stressful feelings. If you know you are right, stand your ground, but do so calmly and rationally.
Make allowances for others’ opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing to give in, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce stress, but you may also find better solutions to your problems.
Go easy with criticism. You may expect too much of yourself and others. Try not to feel frustrated, let down, disappointed, or even “trapped” when another person does not measure up. The “other person” may be a wife or child whom you are trying to change to suit yourself. Remember, everyone is unique and has their own virtues, shortcomings and right to develop as an individual.
Reducing and managing stress can help make your time at work and at home more productive and rewarding. Practice these stress-reducing techniques and I guarantee that they will help you maintain balance in your life.
These techniques are designed to help you manage stress, instead of letting it manage you . If you are having a lot of difficulty with stress, try talking to a therapist. Otherwise, take control of the reins of your future and free yourself from your everyday rut.
Source: Vatche Bartekian, AskMen