It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.
Yesterday I found a way to take my mind off my lingering back ache. I went to my dentist for a new bridge and to fill two teeth. I spent more than two hours in the dental chair distracted by efforts to save a deteriorating tooth which was beyond redemption. My back only reared its ugly behavior when I got in and out of the chair. I had planned some other activities for the day but my morning’s experience made me reluctant to risk more challenges. So now I can look forward to an oral surgeon as he relieves me of a deep rooted molar next week.
I think I am really ready to put all this behind me and rejoin you all as you dance through our autumn. Fortunately surviving adversity in itself is something of a reward. In an effort to make all this as easy as possible I re-read the following “How to Cope” piece that offers some alternatives to pain induced stress.
Stressful Day? Here’s How to Feel Better
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S. Stress Management Expert
We’ve all had stressful days. But some days can be particularly stressful, and require some extra efforts toward stress relief. When you feel overly stressed, the challenges of your day can pile up and feel bigger than they are, making “those days” feel overwhelming. The following tips can help you to de-escalate the stress you experience when you’re having “one of those days,” and turn a bad day into a day of promise.
Take a Meditation Break
A well-timed meditation session can feel like a mini-vacation when you’re having an overwhelming day. Regular meditation brings cumulative benefits, but even a five-minute meditation can help put you in a better frame of mind so that whatever stressors come, you’ve got them handled.
Use Reframing Techniques
Sometimes stress is all in how you look at it! If you see something as a threat vs. a challenge, for example, it will bring more stress. If you’re catastrophizing, ‘shoulding all over yourself’, or unwittingly using other cognitive distortions to add to the stress of your day, stop.
It’s Okay To Say No
Sometimes we have One Of Those Days because we have so many commitments stacked up on each other that one false move leads to a string of minor crises. One way to avoid doing this is to only take on commitments that are really important to you and directly help you fulfill your most valued goals, like ‘keep my job’ or ‘be a good parent’. It’s important to learn how to say no to other more periphery commitments, even if people will be disappointed.
Locate a Supportive Shoulder
Sometimes it helps just to have a sympathetic ear or an active listener to tell your troubles to, to ‘get it out of your system’, or to feel validated and supported. If you are someone who does better with the supportive ear of a good friend (and can avoid rumination when telling your tale), then go for it! Research on coping styles shows that social support can be a wonderful stress release, and can lower cortisol levels as well. So let your friends help you, and you can return the favor when your friend has One Of Those Days in the future.
Have A Sense of Humor
Laughing in the face of stress is a good way to rob it of its power. And, fortunately, there are other benefits of laughter as well. Practice maintaining your sense of humor on an overwhelming day and the world laughs with you!
A quick and effective way to feel much less stressed anytime, anywhere? Breathing exercises! Try taking a few deep breaths right now, and see how much more relaxed you can be. Then you can reverse your body’s stress response, improve your mood, and press ‘restart’ on your bad day. Or at least suck some of the stress right out of it!
Give your stress wings and let it fly away.
There once was a religious young woman who went to confession. Upon entering the confessional she said, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.”
The priest said, “Confess your sins and be forgiven.”
The young woman said, “Last night my boyfriend made mad passionate love to me seven times.”
The priest thought long and hard and then said, “Squeeze seven lemons into a glass and then drink the juice.”
The young woman asked, “Will this cleanse me of my sins?”
The Priest said “No, but it will wipe that smile off of your face!”
“Do you prefer that you be right, or that you be happy?
She said: I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, “Meatloaf” or “Pot Roast” or “Steak and Vegetables or “Chicken and Dumplings” or “Beef Pot Pie.” However, I used to get frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.
If you look in my freezer now you’ll see a whole new set of labels. You’ll find dinners with neat little tags that say: “Whatever,” “Anything,” “I Don’t Know,” “I Don’t Care,” “Something Good,” or “Food.” My frustration is now reduced because no matter what my husband replies when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it is there waiting.
“It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days.”
After bumping his head on our stereo cabinet, my 11-year-old-son, Felix, required stitches. While the doctor was administering a local anesthetic to his head, I started to feel faint, so the nurse offered me a chair.
My son winced with every stitch, and the nurse told him it was okay to cry. On the way home, my husband asked Felix if he had heard the nurse tell him it was okay to cry. “Yeah, I heard her,” Felix replied, “but I thought she was talking to Mom.”
Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
Doug meets Bill at the bar after work and is once again looking down in the dumps. “What’s wrong now Doug,” asked Bill.
Doug replies, “They called in a management team and gave everyone in the office an aptitude test to see what they were best suited for.”
“Yeah, so what’s the problem with that?” asks Bill.
Doug sighs, “Well it seems that I am best suited for unemployment.”
We live longer than our forefathers; but we suffer more from a thousand artificial anxieties and cares. They fatigued only the muscles, we exhaust the finer strength of the nerves.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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