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Life nowadays is a serious challenge. Look at the speed of change. It is mind-blowing. And unstoppable. Just take the increasing complexity of the world we live in; we are literally swamped by input and information. It can at times be bewildering and confusing. No wonder so many people are experiencing difficulties dealing with the constantly rising demands of modern life. If this gets compounded with significant changes to our life situation, which are also getting more frequent, we sometimes may find ourselves at a loss to deal with all the impacts from life. Statistics have clearly demonstrated that events such as the death of a spouse/parents, a divorce or separation, separation from family, a jail term, the death of a close relative, injury or illness, marriage, losing a job, marriage reconciliation, retirement etc. are not always easy to deal with. It is important to develop a perspective about stress that leaves you empowered to act on the different stress factors. In reality, it is fairly safe to say that life itself is a risk. Inherent in risk is a relative amount of stress it generates. Your outlook on things is what will determine to a large extent to how well you are able to cope, without losing your “footing”. So, avoid dramatising. But first, you need to take inventory of the indicators of stress. COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS OF STRESS • • • • • • • •

Memory issues Inability to concentrate Poor judgment Inability to make decisions Anxiety Anticipating negative things Worrying constantly ...


Agitation Restlessness Short temper Sense of isolation Sense of loneliness Moodiness Inability to relax ...

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Insomnia Headaches and Back pains Nausea and Dizziness Muscle tension and stiffness Acne Weight gain or loss (depending on the personality) Chest pains ...


Eating more or less than usual Sleeping too much or too little Overreacting Neglecting responsibilities Isolating from the company of others Excessive use of alcohol and cigarettes Displaying nervous habits such as nail biting, pacing etc. ...

This not a full or comprehensive description of signs and symptoms of stress. Reactions to stress vary from individual to individual. When you are aware of the degree of stress you are facing, it is best to consult a qualified physician who can help you make sense of your reactions. Once you are clear on what requires your attention, you can start working on practical solutions, with or without the assistance of a professional. Take action immediately. You want to get yourself back to a place where you are back in “the driver’s seat”. The important aspect is to feel good about yourself despite what is happening around you. When you feel good about yourself, you will feel confident that you can deal with whatever comes your way. It is important to realize that there is NOTHING WRONG with you because you feel stressed out. There seems to be quite a bit of stigma associated with people who are having a difficult time with their stress levels. This stems from the generalized inability to deal effectively with change. We are simply not taught how to do this. And instinctively, human beings will go into denial or avoidance, or into thinking that there is something wrong with them. There is no reason for this. The very best option open to you is to face the situation square on and to transcend it. This is the effective way. Once, you have done it once, you have already displaced the limits of what you think you are capable off. It serves you well to do this, it builds tremendous confidence. Now, ti is always possible that you have no clue on how to deal with a given situation, or that you are a bit afraid. Get support. Don’t go it alone, it is about the worst you can do.

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However, make sure to pick people to support you who themselves have demonstrated a level headed approach to dealing with stress. So you do not want to do this with people who get into the “drama� and commiserate with you. Concentrate on developing an attitude that helps you to transform whatever life throws at you into a positive learning experience. Attitudes are behavioral patterns which are programmed into your brain by repetition. These are in turn based on perceptions and these are governed by our belief patterns. So it all starts with what you think and feel. If something can be programmed, it can be unprogrammed. There are specific ways of doing this. You basically alter your interpretation of a given situation and it appears totally different to you. More on that in future articles. More articles about the stress :

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Stress is present every step of the way. Here's a list of common signs and symptoms of stress