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Families and Stress - Coping Skills for Living with Stress and Anxiety

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Families and Stress - coping skills for living with stress and anxiety

Is stress always bad?

No! In fact, a little bit of stress is good. Most of us couldn't push ourselves to do well at things -- sports, music, dance, work, and school -- without feeling the pressure of competition. Without the stress of deadlines, most of us also wouldn't be able to finish projects or get to work on time.

If stress is so normal, why do I feel so bad?

With all the things that happen on a daily basis in our lives, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Things that you can't control are often the most frustrating. You can also feel bad when you put pressure on yourself -- like to getting good grades or to get promoted at work. A common reaction to stress is to criticize yourself. You may even get so upset that things don't seem fun anymore and life looks pretty grim. When this happens it's easy to think there's nothing you can do to change things. But you can!

Things that don't help you deal with stress

There are safe and unsafe ways to deal with stress. It is dangerous to try to escape your problems by using drugs and alcohol. Both can be very tempting. Drugs and alcohol may seem like easy answers, but they're not. Dealing with stress with alcohol and drugs just adds new problems, like addiction, and family and health problems.

Although you can't always control what's stressing you out, you can control how you react to things. The way you feel about things results from the way you think about things. If you change how you think, you can change the way you feel.

Stress is not an easy topic for everyone. We all have stress; it is with us throughout our lives. Stress can cause a person to become angry or sad. There are many types of stress that can affect a family. Suffering from stress is common for all members of a family. Family members must first let go of their daily stressorsÐ'... this is the first step to dealing with it. Sometimes when we hear the word stress, we think of the negative impact it can have. But not all stress is bad. And even "bad" stress can motivate us to get things done or create change. The real question is: How do we make stress work for us? We can channel our stress to make us grow as individuals and as families.

Signs you're family is stressed outÐ'...

Ð'* Feeling depressed, edgy, guilty, tired

Ð'* Having headaches, stomachaches, trouble sleeping

Ð'* Laughing or crying for no reason

Ð'* Blaming other people for bad things that happen to you

Ð'* Only seeing the down side of a situation

Ð'* Feeling like things that you used to enjoy aren't fun anymore or are a burden

Ð'* Resenting other people or your responsibilities

Ð'* Very little time to spend with your familyÐ'- schedules are to busy with work and outside activities

Ð'* Never enough time to relax or be alone

Ð'* Explosive arguments with your spouse, children or parents

Ð'* Most, if not all family meals eaten in a hurry and never together

The "recipe" for de-stressing is, of course, not complete. The full recipe involves combining awareness of your physical health, eating habits, rest, exercise, workplace, home environments, and your relationships. In developing your own personal "stress recipe" you'll find your family and you to be happier and healthier!

Reduction of Burnout

In today's fast paced environment, individuals are more prone to burnout because the stress they have is unrelieved. Constant exposure to stress with no relaxation, leads to a condition that is more serious than stress. This condition is burnout.

Burnout is a feeling of total emotional exhaustion, a feeling of not caring for anybody and anything, and a feeling that your achievements do not really matter. If this sounds familiar, it is time to think seriously about your future and your goals. When a small vacation or break still leaves you feeling depressed, it is time to get new batteries for renewed life energy. Plan time to relax!

Managing The Stress ~ Making The Decisions ~ Discovering The Importance

Ð'* Stop and look at yourself. Take time to recognize signs of stress like anger, over extension in outside activities, work and sleep habits. As you become aware of these signs, you will begin to identify how to make stress work for you. You are being proactive not reactive to these situations.

Ð'* Accept what cannot be changed. We can accept what we cannot change by changing what we can. Make choices that are realistic, not out of reach. Be flexible. Know what you can change and what you can't, go with the flow, and be open to changes.

Ð'* Don't say yes to everything. Recognize what your strengths are and focus on taking the time to do a project built on them. Taking on too many projects results in loss of control and creates stress. Learn to say "no". It's hard to say no sometimes, but recognize you can't do everything, pace yourself.

Ð'* Organize. Disorganization creates stress. Taking the "dis" out of disorganization can produce a sense of control in knowing what will happen, that in turn reduces stress.

Ð'* Create environments that reduce stress. Colors of the walls, floor coverings, and furniture can reduce stress. Hues such as cooling greens and blues are positive colors that can reduce stress and create a sense of well-being. Identify a place in your home where family members know they can go to think and not be disturbed.

Ð'* Use stress as a teacher. As a crisis occurs, stop and think of how to use it to make things better. Make lemonade out of the lemons in life. See an opportunity in crisis: As a parent, encourage your children even in the hardest of times to see positives in any situation.

Ð'* Leave time for the unexpected. Look for the natural coping ability to deal with the unexpected. Coping requires time. Time is needed to perceive a crisis and to rally our internal and external resources.

Ð'* Choose



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