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Stress
by Robert Stevenson

I can't, I just can't, I just can't handle it anymore. They, It, Them ... are driving me nuts. They want it quicker, better, faster. They want it now. Constantly changing technology. New rules, procedures, policies, people, bosses. People cutting into line. People cutting you off in traffic. Calling somebody up and getting a busy signal over and over again, and then you finally reach them and you get their voice mail.

Big stresses, little stresses, stupid stresses, fake stresses, fabricated stresses, real stresses. Stress comes in all shapes and sizes and for an abundance of reasons all of which have one thing in common: stress is bad for your health.

Stress is now the number one claim in Workman’s Compensation. In terms of aging, the most significant conclusion is that the hormonal imbalance associated with stress is known to speed up the aging process. In fact gerontologists have found that the following psychosocial factors accelerate the aging process.
  • Depression
  • Living alone
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Financial burdens
  • Criticism
  • Habitual or excessive worry
  • Getting angry easily
  • Inability to express anger
I’ve heard it said, “Why worry about something you have no control over.” The words make sense, but to actually practice it is tough to accomplish; great theory, difficult execution. To me, most stress is caused personally. Poor planning, over committing yourself, not preparing properly, and lack of study are all major causes of stress. The stress is real but it is self-made. You may want to keep a journal on this one. One recommendation I have in handling stress is to list your stresses as they occur. Explain them in detail and write out the outcome. What you will see time and time again is that you have handled problems in the past and survived, even flourished … so you can do it again. From time to time I recommend that you just sit down and read the passages you have written. This practice will help you in dealing with current and future problems. The expression, “Been there, done it, lived it!” also makes much sense in stressful matters. If you can reflect back on your past experiences, from your journal or your mind, more often than not you will have a handled the so-called Crisis Situation before.

I think it would be safe to say that stress is 80% mental and 20% actual. Oh sure, you are going to have a boss that piles things on you that you feel aren’t humanly possible to accomplish in the amount of time allotted. One suggestion that might help you with that over-demanding boss is to write down a Projects To Do List and when they come in and give you another one, just show them the list and state the following. “Mr. Boss, I’d be delighted to get that done for you, but

where exactly does this project fall in line as far as it’s priority is concerned. Here is the list of what you currently have me doing, with deadline dates. Where do you want me to place this one?” Don’t be condescending or flippant with your statement, just matter-of-fact or concerned. If your boss is a MT - Major Turkey and expects you to accomplish the totally impossible with no consideration to your health or family life, then you may want to consider a new job. See how well they can accomplish it without you.

Your only true security in life is your ability to perform.

The first rule here is for you to be giving your best. If you are doing that and it isn’t good enough, then move on. Life is just too short to be working for a Major Turkey.

Nike, the sports apparel manufacturer has a slogan, Just Do It. I believe for stress management there should be also be a slogan: Just Deal With It. Don’t expand on it or think it will go away, Just Deal With It.

If not, expect a shorter life span with more frequent episodes of poor health.

"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
-- Shakespeare


© Robert Stevenson. All rights reserved.

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