Stressful life events happen to all of us everyday. By understanding what causes your individual stress you can learn to manage it and avoid illness.
How we respond to different stimuli and how we see and cope with certain situations is also very individual.
Follow along and think about how you react to these situations and how you can better prepare yourself for them in the future.
Life Events And Stress
So do you know if you are vulnerable to stress related illnesses at the moment? To find out simply look down this list and tot up your score. (This list and scoring is based on research carried out in 1967 by Holmes and Rahe)
Death of partner 100
Divorce or separation 75
Major illness or injury 70
Loss of a job 70
Imprisonment or conviction 70
Death of someone else 60
Marital reconciliation 60
Illness or injury in close family 50
Marriage or moving in with partner 50
Moving home or major renovation 50
Escalation of arguments with partner 45
Changing jobs or new jobs 45
accident or Trauma 45
Changes at work/ more demands 35
Outstanding personal achievement 35
caring for an elderly or sick relative 35
problems with family etc 35
Financial worries 35
Examinations or speaking in public 30
Changes in social activities 30
Changes in recreational activities 30
Children moving away from home 30
PMT or menopause 30
Starting a new relationship 30
Family gatherings 20
Over 280 – High vulnerability to a stress related illness.
130 – 280 – Moderate vulnerability
Below 130 – Low vulnerability
Even if your score is high it is not inevitable that you will suffer illness, it very much depends on how you cope with these difficult situations in your life.
There is one certainty in this life and that is at some time or another all of us will experience bereavement. It’s unavoidable and is often accompanied with feelings such as;
These are all normal reactions and are natural part of the grieving process. So having these feelings should not be make you feel weak or ashamed, they are what make you human.
It goes without saying that times of bereavement are extremely difficult, so reducing the affects will help you get through these periods in your life.
Learn stress relief techniques to help you cope and help bring a little control back into your emotions. Learning how to write an obituary to get all of your feelings out and share your good memories, or learning how to talk about your feelings of loss, can all help you move on with your life.
Big changes, little changes, changes which are sudden and those which are gradual, happen to us all every day. Some we cope with without a second thought, other more major changes can completely throw us off course.
Change affects us because it alters our normal routines, it could:
Change our sleeping pattern – new parents for instance
Change our eating habits – change in job hours .e.g. night watchman
Change our exercise routines – a more sedentary job
Although these changes can affect us in the short term they can all be managed and so reduce any stress related illness. Planning ahead for such changes can greatly reduce any short term stress also.
The secret is to learn how to adjust to changes in your life when they occur. By altering how you view change in your life will reduce any stress affects you may have experienced when these unavoidable situations occur.
Tips On How To Prepare For Change
1. See change as an opportunity rather than a negative thing. In most cases there is always an upside, focus on these.
2. Learn how to delegate more when change happens which puts pressure on you.
3. Make sure you look after yourself during periods of change. Eat well and exercise.
4. If you know changes will happen in the future, find out as much as you can now about what they are and how they will affect you. This way you will be able to prepare yourself in advance for them.
5. Don’t bottle up your fears and worries about changes, express how you feel to others and let them know how you propose to cope with them. This way you will feel as if you are not alone during these possible periods.
Holidays should be fun and exciting shouldn’t they? Whether you are going away to some far flung destination or your family are visiting for the annual Christmas feast, stress can rear its ugly head.
Why Can Holidays Make You Tense?
Expectation that they will be happy occasions. This alone can be emotionally taxing.
Being alone during times of celebration can make you feel low and out of step with the world.
Routines change, eating habits change, all these small changes will affect you physically and could make you feel unwell, which will cause stress as your ability to cope may be affected.
So What Can You Do To Help Reduce These Affects?
1. Take your time in planning for the holidays; don’t leave it all to the last minute.
2. Make time for yourself; get away from it all for a short while. A breather from the noise etc may be all you need to relax and enjoy the celebrations.
3. If you are alone find someone or somewhere you can visit. You’ll be surprised just how many people are alone at times like Christmas and who would relish having someone around.
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