Are You Dealing With Your Stress In The Right Way Or The Wrong Way?
We all suffer from stress from time to time but the degree to which it affects our lives has a great deal to do with how we cope with it. Unfortunately, in all too many cases people often unwittingly compound the problem rather than solve it.
Stress can appear for a wide variety of different reasons and, in the vast majority of cases, it is possible to deal with both the emotional and physical causes of stress and thereby to cure the problem. The exact nature of any cure will depend very much upon the type of stress in question, but even long-term chronic stress can normally be cured in time with the correct treatment.
In all too many cases however people attempt to deal with their own stress in ways which tend to be counter-productive and are often at a loss to understand why things are getting worse rather than better.
For example, stress can often lead people to become short tempered and lash out at the very people that they should be turning to for help, such as their close friends and family. Similarly, many people when they find themselves under stress feel that drinking alcohol or coffee will make them feel better. In reality of course both alcohol and caffeine increase your symptoms of stress and also tend to make you even more short-tempered than they were to start with.
One common consequence of stress is not only physical discomfort but also an inability to clear the mind and relax. This in turn frequently leads to insomnia and growing tiredness merely adds further stress. One solution to this problem is to turn to sleeping tablets but, while these may help in the short-term, unless you deal with the underlying cause of your insomnia (in this case stress) you will find yourself taking sleeping pills over an extended period of time and bring a host of further problems into the equation.
Another common problem is to focus your attention on solving the problem but, instead of seeking a solution you actually end up obsessing about the cause of the problem. The problem here is often that you are either too close to the problem so that you cannot see it for what it is (a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees) or are so emotional or angry about it that you have lost your sense of objectivity. In this case you either need to step back and try to view the situation as an outsider or bring somebody else in to help bring some perspective to the problem.
Yet another common solution to the problem of stress is to shift your focus of attention away from the problem. For example, if the cause of your stress is difficulties at home you might throw yourself into a project at work. This is often seemingly quite a good solution in the short-term but relief is usually only temporary as shifting attention away from the problem is not the same as solving it and sooner or later it will come back and bite you again.
Having said this, some problems do cure themselves and ignoring a problem does sometimes work as all that is really needed is a little bit of time for the problem to go away by itself. However, where the problem is likely to remain then ignoring it is not a sensible course of action and can end up turning what should be a short-term case of stress into chronic stress.
It should be noted at this point that there is a world of difference between ignoring a problem in the hope that it will go away and shifting your attention away from a problem in order to give yourself some breathing space and the opportunity to get your emotions under control and gain a sense of perspective so that you can turn your attention back to solving the problem.
At the end of the day dealing with stress is not simply a matter of dealing with its symptoms by giving yourself temporary relief with a glass of whisky or a night's sleep with a sleeping pill, but is a matter of dealing with the underlying problem which is causing your stress.
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