Everyone can change, and those who dont accept this will stay in a state of stress until ill-health strikes. However, this is the hardest part of all the treatment, as real commitment is necessary to alter stress inducing habits of a lifetime.
Here are a few suggestions:
• Take one day at a time and do one thing at a time as far as possible;
• Make lists of what needs doing, schedule them so that you can cope without feeling stressed, and tick them off as you go. This will prevent panic, produce a feeling of control and prevent you from going round in circles without achieving your goals;
• Stop making impossible deadlines delegate and build in some flexibility to schedules;
• Dont ignore fatigue or illness, as your ID1 body is telling you to slow down;
• Always take at least a full day away from work at the weekend;
• Take regular holidays so that some are occasionally three day breaks. The long holiday should be no less than two weeks in duration;
• Eat regularly in relaxed conditions and avoid stimulants and snacks in place of meals;
• Meditate or practise a relaxation technique every day;
• Exercise four times weekly;
• Recognise the point where duty becomes self-sacrifice, and call a halt;
• Look at each day in advance with the sole view of finding part of it which generates pleasure in your mind. This develops a positive outlook and optimism equates with being happy and relaxed;
• Spend time each day at a relaxing pastime, be it reading a book not associated with work, watching TV, being social with friends, or doing a creative hobby. Say no to anything which impinges on this area, and always ensure adequate sleep at night;
• Develop hardiness, by first accepting that you alone are responsible for everything in your life and no one else is to blame for situations you dont like. Only then will you be in charge of your life and able to change that which disturbs your equilibrium. Work towards being an optimist, solving your own problems and not being a doormat within the home or workplace;
• Resolve anger and emotional problems through discussion or expression. Dont suppress them, as it is important to discuss painful emotions. Work at not over-reacting to small irritations, and where these exist, solve the problem instead of reacting to it;
• Where your expectations conflict with the realities of life, stop and examine ways of living with the reality, instead of reacting against it. For instance if an irritating noise is going to wake you at 6am every morning instead of feeling uptight, use ear plugs or get into the habit of taking your daily exercise in the early morning. Alternatively, discuss the problem with the perpetrator.
• It is acceptable to express your feelings accurately in order to resolve a problem. In this way you control events and do not allow them to damage your health.
Finally, if you like yourself and feel self confident, your self-esteem will be in good shape, and this also increases your hardiness factor. Remember that stress powerfully depresses immune function and that developing hardiness forms a valuable buffer against this, and therefore against many serious diseases.