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Don't let the Stress Beast take charge of your life By: Laura

I’ll have to face it: Stress is a big part of my life! One of these days I’ll even have to give stress a first name and a last name because it has become so present in my life that sometimes I tend to think of it as a human being. Stress has always been there for me: when I took important exams during high school, when I got my first job, when I cooked my first meal for my family. We have the perfect relationship and we couldn’t ever live apart. The only thing that our relationship is lacking is some goofy vacation pictures with me and Stress showing our big Colgate smiles. But I guess stress doesn’t belong in vacation landscapes... It might seem that there’s nothing we can do about our stress level. Well, we’re wrong because we have a lot more control than we might think. In fact, the simple awareness that we’re in control of our life is the foundation of stress management. Managing stress is all about taking charge - taking charge of our thoughts, our emotions, our schedule, our environment, our spare time and the way we deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, family, relationships, relaxation and fun. In many cases, the situations do not cause all of the stress that we experience. Sometimes, our own reactions to circumstances and what we say to ourselves about them increase the level of stress. Sometimes we are right in what we say to ourselves, but in the majority of cases we overreact and become harsh and unjust with ourselves

in a way that we would never be with our friends or co-workers. This, along with other negative thinking, can cause intense stress and unhappiness and can severely damage our self-confidence. The extent of negative feelings can go from anger, frustration, irritability, to even anxiety and depression, passing through many other feelings, none of them pleasant, which can have a lot of negative effects upon our personality and our health. One of the effects of negative feelings is that the body lowers its defenses, as negativity subtracts from our energy. Moreover, when we are in a negative state of mind we do not attract those elements that would make our lives seem easier, but we rather attract the circumstances that support us in thinking that things are wrong, and we get stuck. Whenever feeling down and overwhelmed, you should do whatever it takes to make you feel good about yourself and get back on the track. For example, when my stress-meter is about to blow, I ask for a 5 minute time out from what I’m doing in order to clear my head and when the time comes to take it back from where I left it, I feel much more relaxed. While for some people daydreaming is the best way to deep relaxation, for others jogging, crying, kickboxing, knitting, painting or dancing may represent great stress management techniques. It all depends on who you are and what you like to do.

Either way, you should use your hobbies and leisure activities to your own benefit in order to release yourself from stress; otherwise your own inner stress-meter will reach alarming levels. For example, you should take a small break right now and go for a walk outside the building. I guarantee you will feel much better when you return to the office. Š2012 Accenture. All rights reserved.

Don't let the Stress Beast take charge of your life  

I’ll have to face it: Stress is a big part of my life! One of these days I’ll even have to give stress a first name and a last name because...

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