Monday, November 5, 2012

Stress Management - An Oxymoron?

Like millions of other people I suffer from and struggle with excessive stress. I do all the right things – I eat well, I get some exercise, I meditate and practice relaxation exercises. I spend time with my family and friends, I play with my dogs. I have hobbies I enjoy and I even have a couple of things I’m passionate about.

And yet stress kicks my ass almost daily.

I’ve been trying something new the last couple of weeks; I’ve been taking Sundays off from everything. I know a lot of my stress is just me over thinking and worrying so I’ve been doing my best to not think for one day a week.

I don’t think it’s helping any....or at least not yet.

I know this is one of those issues that gets talked about a lot these days. Stress has become an epidemic and while some stress can be good for us to help us get through our days and accomplish things, too much stress wreaks havoc on our bodies and often our entire lives.

I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life and depression from time to time so every time I see my doctor she always asks how I’m feeling. I had my physical last month and as soon as I’d run through my lists of questions and complaints she asked me about my anxiety and about what I’m doing about it. She knows me well so when I rhyme of all the good stuff I’m doing she chuckles a little and says something like “well if the ‘natural’ stuff isn’t working for you maybe it’s time to try a new medication.”

I know some people need medication – in fact I have been one of those people on several occasions in the past; but right now and for the last decade (at least) I’ve been medication free. According to my doctor the decision between to medicate or not to medicate has become a “lifestyle” choice.

A lifestyle choice?? Come on! Since when has medication become a lifestyle choice?!

My lifestyle of choice is naturally doing what I can to minimize the stress in my life, to choose healthy ways to manage it and work with it and to try different things/different combinations of things until I find what works well enough for me.

Admittedly it’s not going well at the moment, but I’ll figure it out – I always do. And in the meantime I’m open to hearing what works for other people.

So tell me – how do you manage stress?


  1. Hey Lynne,
    The way I "attempt" to manage my stress is to keep my head out of it! As soon as I stop thinking/worrying/over analyzing, replaying,etc, life is sooo much less stressful. It becomes "easy". I also realized that I have allot of negative "I am's"... e.g. I am not healthy, I am not beautiful, I am so unlucky, I am a victim etc...that I say to myself regularly and then also to others out loud. I have begun to make a conscience effort to say only positive "I am's..." and to try really hard to catch myself when I revert to the negative ones. I was dumbfounded when I stopped and realized how much negative messaging I was doing! It's small but it's very powerful spiritually, biochemically and mentally. Hope this helps. Cheers.

  2. Well said're so right. We need to be careful about what we put after 'I am'. Do you read Dr. Wayne Dyer? He has a whole book dedicated to I am - Wishes Fulfilled. I read it a few months ago and thought it was awesome. It's on my re-read pile currently, you should check it out if you haven't already.