Many people are choosing to be dependent on others for their health. It takes a brave switch of thinking to accept fully individual responsibility for our actions, which are significant factors in our current and future health.
Examining our own “lifestyle profile” could be one of the most important examinations we ever do. Identifying the habits that may be harmful, and deciding how to change them is not an easy process. But there is plenty of help.
When we look at the long-term illnesses and disability, we recognize that they are often related to:
- Poor physical fitness
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Poor dietary habits
Not all stress is bad. Without the stress of some kind, we would all be under-achievers and the business would hardly get done.
Health problems are created when the stress we are under continues for long periods of time and we have the type of personality which makes it difficult for us to cope with it.
There are several ways stress can be identified:
- Inability to sleep is one indicator
- Waking too early
- Fatigue even when we haven’t been working hard
- Depressions and boredom
- Lack of interest
- Tight muscles particularly in the shoulders neck and face
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Drinking too much
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Heart palpitations
- Pacing back and forth, and excessive sweating, can all be signs of stress.
To look at your own stress situation answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Do you always compete a lot and feel that you should always win?
- Are you always engaged in more projects than you can see the end of?
- Do you feel your achievements are often unappreciated? Is your value unrecognized?
- Do you set extremely high goals for your self?
- Do you take pep pills when you’re tired? sedatives when you can’t sleep?
- Do you find it hard to delegate authority? Do you try to carry the load yourself?
- Do you have an intense desire to get ahead?
- Do you lose your temper often?
- Are most of your recreational activities tied into your business activities?
- Do you often lose sight of what’s important at work and at home?
- Are you anxious to reach your goals but unsure of exactly how to reach them?
If you’ve answered “yes” to more than half of these questions, you need to sit back and make an effort to relax, channel your ambition, set different goals, and worry less.
The best non-medical way to deal with stress is to learn how to relax — Yoga, music, and herbs, etc.
Here are a few simple tips to cope with stress:
- Avoid stress-producing situations when you can. This is not always possible, but you can avoid noisy places, crowded conditions, and heavy traffic with a little planning.
- Don’t stay angry. Spontaneous anger is not always easy to avoid, but the harm comes in staying angry and not resolving it.
- Set realistic goals for yourself. You don’t have to be “all things to all people”. Give others a break, too. Stress can be caused because other people do not live up to your expectations.
- Take up a hobby. Any activity which you can enjoy can be very relaxing and help you forget your troubles for a while.
- Exercise is very helpful in relieving stress. We shall explore specific possibilities in future columns.
- Learn to recognize situations and problems which you cannot remedy and then free yourself of them.
- Devote some of your time to helping others.
- Live one day at a time. Don’t worry too much about things which may happen in the future.
- If you are a perfectionist and get upset when people or things interfere with your routine, try deliberately to do things a bit differently.