Stress Level Styles

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Oct 10, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Whether you’re a job seeker, underemployed, or employed full-time–your stress level may need a little TLC.

Excerpted from Self magazine’s “Get Happier Guide”, here are their tips to assist in lowering your stress levels. First, answer the question posed below, choosing from either A, B, C, or D. Then, read the corresponding explanation which goes with that particular letter to determine your “typical” response to a tense situation. (Complete test not shown)

Your boss sends you a cryptic e-mail saying she wants to meet at the end of the day. You…

A. Call her assistant to see if you can meet earlier, you can’t wait.

B. Immediately assume you’re getting fired.

C. Start frantically working on the report that’s due tomorrow.

D. Ask if you can talk another day–you don’t want to deal with bad news now.

A’s-When dealing with a tense situation, you want to self-soothe as quickly as possible. This would be considered a compulsive act, not one to always gain positive results. In this situation, write down all the positive things that this meeting could bring, instead of focusing on the negative.

B’s-Perpetual stress is your middle name, being drawn to taxing work or situations. Your ability to worry puts you in a constant state of anxiety–you might even feel you thrive on it. Taking breaks, slowing down, and enjoying relaxing moments are necessary to end the habit.

C’s-If you take certain measures, you believe you are able to reduce negative situations from happening. The truth is, nobody has that kind of control all the time. Ask whether taking a certain step will realistically produce the result you want. Figure out what you actually can do, if anything, to ensure the outcome. At the same time, accept what you cannot control in life.

D’s-When overwhelmed, you want to run. Not confronting the problems that arise in life will compound them in the long run. Try to focus on something else–the report due–taking your mind off what is causing anxiety. Learn to deal with your fears and you will lessen the cycle of anxiety.

No matter your style, practicing deep slow breathing, and other relaxation methods, will further assist in controlling what is happening internally.

Anxiety Provoking Situations

A job interview is scheduled in the morning and nerves are getting the best of you. There are two ways of thinking: productive worry (motivates researching the company) or unproductive (a fear you’ll say the wrong thing). Use productive worry to your advantage by focusing on preparation–be sure to include why you are the best candidate for the position. When a person is prepared, they gain great confidence to do the task at hand well.

You’re giving a presentation at work and are a nervous wreck. Re-label the butterflies in your stomach as excitement rather than fear. Telling yourself the excitement will enable you to succeed in your presentation allows a transfer of negative emotional energy to positive.

Anxiety Fixes

After practicing some of the tips above, there should be a marked improvement over time. But, if you find your anxiety continuing to get the best of you, it’s time to enlist professional help. If you were physically ill, you’d seek professional help from your doctor, but anxiety requires a different professional. Don’t be turned off by any stigma regarding mental health issues, get the assistance required to live a happier life. Start sessions of talk therapy with a counselor.

For people unemployed, cost may hinder seeking counseling, but don’t worry. Here are a few options: many counselors operate on a sliding scale, colleges and universities find have low-cost counseling, many community centers and hospitals have mental health clinics that also operate on a sliding scale (based on income). Your place of worship might offer free counseling too.

Employed people have an additional option: as of July 2010, the Mental Health Parity Act went into effect. If you work at a company with more than 50 employees that covers mental health, all counseling should be covered at the same level as regular doctor visits. Request a list of in-network therapists near your home or office, whichever is more convenient.

When you fully understand what makes your anxiety level go up–and deal with it–that empowers you. No longer do you have to feel your emotions (and physical symptoms) controlling you, rather, you will control them.

If you found this blog interesting or helpful, re-tweets and sharing is appreciated!