I took a simple stress test today and was told by this test, â€śYou are basically addicted to stressful states, and your health is at risk.â€ť That was it. No words of wisdom, no encouragement for what I might do to remedy this addiction. So basically they let me know I have an addiction, Iâ€™m abusing myself, and my health is going in the pits. *Thanks for that.* I was left more stressed than I already was to begin with.
If youâ€™re wondering if youâ€™re too stressed, best guess is you probably already know the answer to any sort of stress test before you take it. I pretty much did in aÂ not so abrupt andÂ unsupportive way. Distracted thoughts, interrupted sleep, procrastination, overwhelmed moments, falling off the exercise wheel (which my dog has obviously noticed), and endlessly craving and consuming sugar, sugar, sugar all add up to cue something amiss.
I understand we are now in a world that is fast-paced, technology driven, and outside the natural flow that existed even several generations ago. I like the modern age, but my stress-induced state doesnâ€™t. Even beyond that, stress is also caused by the food we eat, health issues, relationships, and even all the exciting new twists and turns in life. Since I canâ€™t leisurely romp in nature every day blissfully avoiding all of these ups and downs, what is there to do?
I did a quick search to find some solutions and came across what looks to be a great resource for all of us stressed-out-people: HelpGuide.org. A peak at their Quick Stress ReliefÂ ideas had me feeling better. If I am chronically overstressed, at least Iâ€™m already working to balance it out by practicing quite a few of their suggestions.
One of my stress-relief remedies includes a monthly (or bi-monthly or tri-monthly) book club. In honor of calling this a book club I still throw in a pitch about what Iâ€™ve read (since Iâ€™ll always have read something!), but itâ€™s boiled down to six women, all with crazy hectic schedules, who rarely read a common book. Still, somehow we find time for each other. We eat good food, share in each other’s ups,Â and vent about our downs. This is a stress-buster for all of us and it doesnâ€™t hurt that two of these ladies are skilled social workers!
Beyond talking with my support network of close friends and family, I realize I have been acting on other solutions. Iâ€™ve started listening to books in the car to make my commute something I actually look forward to. Yesterday I put procrastination aside and prepped a form and letter I had needed to mail out so I wouldnâ€™t worry about it today. I honored my one chore on weekdays rule and did the dishes so they wouldnâ€™t be piled up the way they always seem to do, but didn’t worry over anything else that had to be done. And finally, I made quiet time before bed to finally read a book Iâ€™d been excited for and I went to bed a half hour early knowing it would make work today that much easier. I’d say if I’m not in recovery, I’m on the right path.
There are still things to improve on. Now that itâ€™s all in the forefront of my mind and Iâ€™ve been confronted with the idea of stress as an addiction, Iâ€™ll put better effort into managing and resolving it. Maybe Iâ€™ll take that bath I keep dreaming about and Iâ€™m sure my dog would love a return to our nightly strolls. In truth, I would too.
How is stress effecting you? Do you balance it like a pro or is it overwhelming your life right now? What are your tips and tricks for keeping things in balance and staving off that stress addiction?
For more tools on stress management and healing, also check out some of our books, includingÂ Inner Power by Colleen Deatsman , which will help you understand how you have power to transform your stressful life. It’s at the top of my books to read list!