‘Health is wholeness and balance, an inner resilience that allows you to meet the demands of living without being overwhelmed.’ Weil
Allows you to come into contact with germs and not get infections. Optimal health should bring a sense of strength and joy, even amidst the day-to-day stresses of life. It is more than just the absence of disease.
Optimal health involves good health care, self-awareness, living according to our values and beliefs, being your own best friend, realizing the value of family, friends and co-workers, and enjoying an enthusiasm for work, growth and life.
Sounds simple enough, but when we look at the ‘sadistics’ around stress, we see that 1/3 of Canadians feel that they are constantly under stress trying to accomplish more than they can handle, that 2% of Canadian workers reported that they were on the verge of a breakdown, and that 50% of Canadian workers ages 25-44 worry that they do not spend enough time with friends and family.
So what is Stress?
Stress is your response to the world around you – like a situation or an event. While stress can be related to good or bad events, such as the stress felt the night before a wedding or the stress of bankruptcy, our body’s response can be the same. Like a race car at a starting line, the body gears-up to meet the challenge of the stressful situation.
Identify and solve problems.
Is it your job causing you stress? Your spouse? Are insignificant problems masking more significant ones? Once you have identified the problem you can start to think about solutions. Should you look for a less stressful job? Do you need marriage counselling? Do you need to learn how to simplify your life? These approaches can help impact your stress by dealing directly with the stressors.
Try taking your mind off your problems.
Physical activity can be a very effective stress-reducer – it teaches the body to use energy efficiently and can rid the body of pent-up energy. Volunteering in the community, such as delivering food to the elderly or working with kids can provide purpose, focus and satisfaction. Learn some relaxation techniques – deep breathing, napping and visualization are useful ways to give the mind and body a break from the stressful situations and effects of stress.
Try talking to others and learn to rely on them – share your concerns with friends or family. They can help you put your stress in perspective and offer you solutions. Look to your community for resources – the library, support groups and health centers can be valuable places to gather support and information.
Beverly’s Hot Tip For Building Resiliency and Celebrating Stress Awareness Month:
Health is dynamic, apt to break down as conditions change. Optimal health though, allows us to quickly come back to order by having a strong stress management system. Remember that stress is a necessary part of life and unavoidable—how you cope with the stress, however, is within your control. Develop strategies and grow you stress management tool belt. The more tools – the less stress will impact you.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!