Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stress Management vs. Stress Diversion

We believe in the 'four legs supporting the stool' when it comes to effective stress management.
Cognitive change,relaxation,exercise, and diet/nutrition are the legs and you are the stool. When all four are being exercised and practiced, then you will have the best and most effective resources at your disposal when confronted with a stressful situation or crises.

Most surveys show that people use a host of "stress management" approaches when stressed including reading, TV, hot bath, sleep,talk to friends,etc. These are good and add to your resilience, but they are diversions or escapes from the stressor, not cures. For instance, if you have financial difficulties facing you which worry you constantly, reading will take your mind away from the problem, but the problem will still exist after the book, movie, TV show, etc.

However, if you have engaged in a cognitive change program to address the issue, then your mind and thoughts will help begin to correct the problem and how you think about it. Let's say you are deep in debt and it is getting worse each day. This will require logical, business oriented approaches in order to attack the financial drain and to correct your losses. Either you, a friend, or consultant should be brought in to establish a specific game plan to follow. Wishing and hoping it will go away will only cause deeper losses. You have to change your thinking about how to manage your finances and establish rules and guidelines to follow to maintain it. This is the cognitive change that will not only help you see your finances differently, but give you added confidence when you confront another stressful situation that needs attention. Change your thoughts and change your world for the better.

If you were also on a steady exercise program, eating properly, and knew relaxation training, then each stressor or situation your are challenged with will be easier to approach and resolve.
It is resiliency training and it, like all learning skills, will become automatic when you practice them.

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