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Toxic or Organic 'Stress-ticides?'
I wanted today to pose you a quick question.
Do you use toxic 'stress-ticides' or do you go for the more organic stress killers?
What am I talking about? Well, similar to the kind of weed killer you might use on the garden or the choice of a farmer when deciding how to combat pests on a growing crop, the choice you make when it comes to your stress management tools can have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
But they all do the same job don't they?
Well, the debate rages on about the value of chemical over more natural pesticides and I ain't getting into that but I do want to draw a comparison to our weapons of choice when it comes to killing our negative stress.
When feeling 'stressed out' do you, for example, choose the more toxic, chemical stress reducers (stress-ticides):
Alcohol, Cigarettes, Drugs
Working longer, working on through breaks
Getting angry and shouting/ screaming at others
Fretting/ worrying/ panicking
Busy-ness over effective-ness
Running away, not confronting the problem (head in the sand approach)
Blaming others or Blaming yourself - and then beating yourself up over it
If the answer is a reluctant yes, then it is worth acknowledging that there will be an 'ecological' cost. You will harm your personal health, impact on the health of others, damage morale and working environments, damage relationships and become less and less effective.
So, why not try switching to the more organic 'stress-ticides?' Tactics which will improve your health, maintain and nurture relationships, raise morale, and performance and leave your world a little less stressed into the bargain:
Try these more natural alternatives...
Introduce some relaxation practice (click here for a guided relaxation) - start with a short five minute session and build up.
Instead of adopting a work through it approach. Do the opposite - take regular time outs from 90 seconds to a proper lunch-break - you will be more productive.
Identify your stressors and the prioritise - write them down and confront them with action (don't bury your head in the sand)
Get an early night and focus on quality sleep
Talk to someone (a trusted colleague, manager, friend or professional such as you GP) - acknowledge the issues and get help.
Socialise - but don't make alcohol the focus. Make your friendships and relationships the focus.
Rekindle date nights, pointless walks, daydreaming and other activities - rediscover a hobby.
Stop taking work home with you - enjoy work free evenings, weekends and holidays.
Turn off that damn email alert, blackberry and go technology free for some time each day.
Have a laugh - watch a comedy, meet up with friends, take things lighter and look for the funny side in life.
There are loads more organic 'stressticides' and you will have your own. The temptation is to resort to the apparent 'quick win' of the chemical toxic stressticides, but resist. In the long run they will do more damage.
Check out the resources on my 'Radish Resource' page for more useful natural stress management tools.
Finding it hard to de-stress, take time-out or switch off? Check out my free 6-step e-book - 'Emergency Stress CPR'
Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other. Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.