Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast
Get caught up with all episodes in the “Make Stress Work for You” series
If you find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning, anxious about the day awaiting you, you are not alone. We are living in a time of great uncertainty, which causes stress levels to escalate.
Anxiety and fear take center stage, and we struggle to find ways to make life normal again. Often the symptoms are so devastating, it becomes harder and harder to identify the underlying problems.
When our ability to think is compromised, our ability to find resolutions is compromised.
When we try to cope without identifying the underlying core issues, we end up going round and round in circles. Stress levels not only continue to escalate but remain high day after day.
This spring, I reintroduced a book I had written earlier, Make Stress Work for You: 12 Steps to Understanding Stress and Turning it into a Positive Force. https://focuswithmarlene.com/products/ It is available on my website with a new cover and a brand-new Personal Application and Study Guide to help each person identify their personal triggers to stress along with strategies to reduce or eliminate unwanted stress associated with them.
What stresses you out?
Is it your relationships?
An inability to communicate without getting frustrated and angry?
Is it the constant battles with family members or conflict at work?
Or is it the struggle to believe in yourself and your abilities that keeps you from feeling confident about accomplishing your goals?
Make Stress Work for You: 12 Steps to Understanding Stress and Turning it into a Positive Force, not only helps you understand what stress means, but helps you discover what triggers your “distress.” When identified, you are able to overcome or offset them.
Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life.
It is the energy source that allows us to get up and function every day. We can’t live without it. But when it takes away our ability to think through problems, find alternatives to roadblocks, or relax, it becomes a serious health issue.
Prolonged stress exhausts the adrenal glands, depletes the nervous system, and lowers the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. It contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure. When the body is highly stressed for long periods of time, it gets out of balance and that imbalance is expressed with disease.
Things to remember about stress:
- Stress is cumulative. The more circumstances that trigger it, the higher the levels of stress will become.
- The inability to relax, let go and lower your stress at the end of the day will keep your stress levels high day after day.
- Disabilities, tough circumstances, or demanding jobs do not automatically create high levels of stress. We
- Families without reliable routines, schedules and predetermined tasks or responsibilities will struggle with constant tension and the inability to keep up with conflicting demands.
- Conflicts with co-workers or bosses will continue to create on-going frustration and anger until we address them with good communication that allows productive conversations.
- Time management empowers us. Without a timetable for completion of tasks, we will constantly be in chaos, frustrated and blaming others.
- While situations may be difficult and stressful, how we respond determines our levels of dis-stress. Our perceptions, interpretations and established beliefs and habits create the emotional responses we have. Patterns of thinking and behaving can be changed to bring about a more productive outcome. When stressful emotions are balanced with appropriate action, stress levels are lowered.
When we understand what triggers our worries, anxiety, and fears, we can find ways to reduce or offset them and turn our “distress” into productive energy.
12 things you can do to lower high levels of stress
- Let go of unrealistic expectations and demands that create unenforceable rules.
- Identify all the triggers of your stress. Create a plan of action that can reduce or eliminate them.
- Make a list of tasks that need to be completed in order to maintain order in your home. Break them down into manageable chunks to work with. Keep a calendar of when certain ones need to be accomplished.
- Identify ongoing, underlying problems that continue to frustrate you. We can get so wrapped up in trying to reduce symptoms that we don’t identify the underlying cause of those symptoms. That is what needs to be addressed.
- Learn assertiveness skills. They will develop your self-worth and confidence.
- Put personal boundaries in place. This is what you will accept – this is what you won’t accept.
- Be constantly aware of negative thinking that keeps you from seeing positive outcomes. Challenge and replace.
- Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Read them every day. Add to them.
- Find those bits of humor and laugh whenever possible. Comedians turn serious events into humor allowing us to laugh at our troubles.
- Refuse to become a victim. If you are constantly blaming everything and everybody for everything that is not working, you remain a victim.
- If you find yourself constantly depressed, ask yourself what action you can take to feel good about yourself.
- Congratulate your progress, no matter how minimal, in everything you do.
High levels of stress will keep you spiraling out of control, conflicted, anxious, depressed and hopeless. I encourage you to purchase my book and workbook, along with its MP3 recordings to help you through this process. It is a book everyone needs, and it is available at the low price of $19.99. Make this a personal gift to yourself. Buy one for your friends who are struggling. It can be an important way to discover the satisfaction and joy you want.
Do you want to turn your stress into a positive force?
My Make Stress Work for You bundle will help you:
- Identify the personal stressors that create high levels of distress in your life
- Learn how to identify problems and find ways to solve them
- Replace unhelpful thinking with constructive and practical ways to lower levels of fear, worry, and anxiety
The book bundle includes:
- audio recording of each chapter’
- companion Study Guide & Personal Application Workbook
- Four bonus guides