Stress-Busting Hints Could Make Your Day

Stress-Busting Hints Could Make Your Day

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

I would like to share with you a few "stress busters" I selected the other day for a stress management workshop:
"Doc, how can I have some stress free days?"
"Take a night job."
"Doc, my sleep is so messed up. Give me some medicine, so I can sleep like a baby, even for one night."
"Those who say 'I want to sleep like a baby' have never had one sleeping next to them."
"Doc, tell me how I can successfully deal with my child?"
"The secret of successfully dealing with a child is not to be his/her parent. That's why I am good at my job."
"Doc, how do you tell a pessimist from an optimist?"
"Optimists expect their dreams to come true, pessimists their nightmares."

A parishioner to his priest, "Everybody says I am impatient. How should I pray to change myself?" "Dear God! Give me patience, NOW."

Here are a few "stress wisecracks" I have used over the years to lighten the heavy moments:
"Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly."
"Don't worry about falling behind. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up."
"If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius by now."
"Please don't tell me to relax. At this point, tension is the only thing holding me together."
"When you think you are going to pieces, use only the best quality super glue. Apply it generously."

In the serious vein, is there too much stress in your life? Is it hurting you badly? Do you really want to reduce this stress? If yes, what are you prepared to do in order to reduce it? The single most important thing you can do to reduce stress in your life is to make a commitment to do it by saying to yourself, "I will do whatever it takes to reduce stress in my life." Mark your words, "whatever it takes." You may have to give up a lot including your "push buttons" and your tendency to over-react to certain things.

When you make a commitment to eliminate stress in your life, you can no longer say, "I have always done that" or "That's how I am." If you really intend to do "whatever it takes" to stop what has been hurting you, it still takes nothing less than changing yourself deep down inside. When you can't get what you want, want what you have. When you can't change things as they are, you change as you are, in relation to things over which you have no control.

The Stress Quiz" I give to people who are stressed out is quite brief. It has the following 5 questions:
1. When or in what situations do you feel stressed out?
2. Which people in your life stress you out?
3. How do you feel before, during, and after stress?
4. Where in your body do you feel stress?
5. What situations do you "breeze through" that others find stressful?

If you write down your answers to the first 4 questions, you too will have a pretty good idea about the sources of your stress and nature of your stressful reaction. The last question is intended to highlight your coping strengths. Again, the job of stress reduction falls on your shoulders. Having identified the people and the situations that cause your stress, you have to do something about them.

People who cause you stress are not going to change. They will continue to be themselves. They are not going to feel obligated in any way to change themselves just because you want them to. For example, you want them to apologize for what they said or did to you and you have been waiting the last 15 years for them to do it. They still have not apologized and you have been upset all this time about their callousness and insensitivity. So, what do you do? Spend another 15 years seething over it? I know we don't like the word "acceptance," but sometimes, it is the smartest thing to do. Accept them for what they are. Accepting them doesn't mean you have to become their best buddy, but stop reacting to their callousness and insensitivity. You don't have to go on being mad about it. This will do what you really want, to stop your pain.

Stress management skills are helpful to an extent but they won't eliminate stress from your life. In order to do that, you have to become "stress proof." To stress proof yourself, you have to develop a philosophy of life that safeguards you against the emotional roller coaster. For example, "accept what you can't change" is a part of positive life philosophy. Without such a life philosophy, we will be drifting in an ocean of stress without a rudder.

Return to Self Help 

Copyright 2003, Mind Publications 
Posted July 2003


Click for Dr. Sharma's credentials
Dr. Vijai Sharma
Your Life Coach
By Telephone

Feedback- Let us know how we are doing

Terms and Conditions

Web site designed and maintained by Chanda Taylor