Reading the morning paper or listening to the news is enough to make anyone stressed out. The economy. The uncertain marketplace. Living on commission. I could go on for paragraphs, but the reality is that life, yes, every day life is filled with what serves to worry and stress us out.
So what exactly is stress? We generally use the word “stress” when we feel that everything seems to have become too much – we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you – without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses undermine both our mental and physical health they are bad*.
What can that “bad stress” do to us? When faced with a challenge or a threat, your body activates resources to protect you – to either get away as fast as you can, or fight. Our fight-or-flight response is our body’s sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. Our body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which trigger a higher heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness, sweating, and alertness – all these factors help us protect ourselves in a dangerous or challenging situation. Non-essential body functions slow down, such as our digestive and immune systems when we are in fight-or flight response mode*. Stress causes our blood pressure to rise, causes some of us to overeat, cardiac problems, digestive problems, you name it! Doctors now believe stress can be an underlying factor for just about everything.
Assertiveness – don’t say yes to everything. If you can’t do something well, or if something is not your responsibility, try to seek ways of not agreeing to do them.
Alcohol and drugs – alcohol and drugs will not help you manage your stress better. Either stop consuming them completely, or cut down.
Nutrition – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet.
Time – make sure you set aside some time each day just for yourself. Use that time to organize your life, relax, and pursue your own interests.
Breathing – there are some effective breathing techniques which will slow down your system and help you relax.
Seek professional help – if the stress is affecting the way you function; go and see your doctor. Heightened stress for prolonged periods can be bad for your physical and mental health.
Relaxation techniques – mediation, massage, or yoga have been known to greatly help people with stress.
Hey fellow REALTORS, I feel your pain: TURN OFF YOUR PHONE and relax. Whoever calls you, will call back or leave a message. These are little things we can do for ourselves that will help us to live longer and happier. Do it for yourself and your family, you will feel a lot better!
Until Next Monday…