Island News

How to manage stress

Written By : Sun Fiji Newsroom. 1. Marital Conflicts In reality, conflict and discord are bound to arise sometime after the wedding cake has been cut. It does not take
05 Jul 2008 12:00

Written By : Sun Fiji Newsroom. 1. Marital Conflicts
In reality, conflict and discord are bound to arise sometime after the wedding cake has been cut. It does not take a major calamity such as the loss of a job or a blow like infidelity to put strain on a relationship. Everyday stressors can create considerable friction and fireworks, especially if you and your spouse are unable to discuss the most trivial of issues without hostility. You need to develop the skills needed to cope with stressors relating to money, sex, children and shared responsibility in the home.
Marital conflict, unless properly handled, can also jeopardize your physical health. Venting your anger on the spot or holding it in both increase stress. If you wait for anger to subside and then discuss the problem rationally (reflective coping) this is easier on your health. Because it restores a sense of control over the situation and helps to solve the problem.

How to do it:
l Count at least to 10 and preferably go away before you come back to discuss the heart of the argument.
l Look at HOW you argue – marriage counselors say that much of the time it is not the children or an outsider who appear to cause an argument but the way people communicate. Don’t blame and don’t placate -both can backfire later. You may need to think back to whether you communicated badly with your parents or teachers and friends at school.
l Blamers should avoid saying the other party is wrong and put the stress on saying that they feel ‘a little hurt…’ Placators should not hide a problem by pretending everything is fine – they should say what is bothering them. Super reasoners should avoid giving the logical answer or solution that fail to realize that other have feelings.
l Separate the issue from the person and keep the argument to the present and do not drag up the past. If you keep a scoreboard and bring it out every time, then you will always both end up as losers.

2. Money Worries
How we feel about money? Stressed! Surveys show the majority of us feel anxious, depressed or angry about money. The most troubled of us suffer more headaches, fatigue, insomnia. The root fear of how we will manage without enough money. Concern about unemployment, inflation, possible divorce and surviving on a low savings in old age, all add to money stress. Control and knowledge are two keys to reducing money stress.
l Draw p a budget for food, clothes, transport, household payments. Do not confuse this routine with a strict budget. It will help you avoid the latter by pinpointing where you waste money unnecessarily.
l Things will go wrong so you should always keep something by for that rainy day. It takes the financial pressure off you. Insurance will take even more pressure off you. It may be painful to pay it out each year but that is the only time it is expensive – when you need it, it is cheap. This emergency fund is quite separate from your long-term savings fund which is for your child’s wedding or your retirement plan. This kind of security really does reduce stress.
l If you are a bad saver then use one of the many deduction systems whereby a certain amount of your income goes automatically into a saving account. It is the regularity of it which is important, however much you can afford.

3. Moving House
There isn’t a survey about stress that does not put moving house high on the list of events that can cause trauma. The older you are, the more stressful it may be. Planning and enjoying the move should be your priorities. The reason it upsets us is because it changes out routines and the security of our surroundings. You should expect to be a little depressed or feel a sense of loss but remember to think about the things you are gaining. This is even more important if the move is connected with a change of job or even unemployment.
This is yet another reason for making a move gradually, by planning as far ahead of time as possible. Get to know your new neighbour in advance. This is part of drawing up a list of what you need where you live at the moment, and making sure you know where the equivalent is in your new place, whether it is schools, doctors, shops, or the bus time table or taxi stand. That list habit you should now be developing. It takes a little time but saves a lot.
If you have not moved before, ask a friend or someone to go through with you how they did it. Don’t get stressed about whether to pack the kitchen first or last.

4. Retirement
Your golden years. In theory retirement does sound golden. Freedom, glorious freedom to do as you please, with no boss, no children to bring up. The aim should be to make your retirement years, sometimes as much as a third of your life, your most enjoyable.
Without forethought retirement can also produce an extra 40 hours a week of not knowing what to do with your time. you may feel a loss of self-esteem because you have no one to work with or supervise, or guilt at being unproductive, or insecurity about your health or money. Wives and husbands suddenly find they do not like each other around too much. There’s a saying, “twice as much husband, half as much money.”
The most likely candidates for a successful transition, from work to permanent leisure, are those who keep good health, have enough money to manage and are prepared to see a new phase opening up in their personal development.
Experts differ about how long men, for example, survive after retirement. If you retire from a stressful job and adjust well your health may improve. To avoid average stress, and linked physical ailments beyond the normal ones associated with aging, log-range planning is essential. A step-by-step plan avoids the fixation of all the unknowns of the future that can immobalise you mentally and physically. Those who say they stay in bed because there is nothing to get up for need to make sure there is a reason for each stage of their day.
One of the most important moves you can probably make before retirement is to get nearer to your children/grandchildren or relatives.
Keeping your self-esteem is most important in after retirement. Whether you worked as a chairman of a company or as the driver of the chairman, people will see you in a different light after retirement. The important thing is how you see yourself and your innate worth.
The solution often lies in making sure your new activities fill the vacuum but in a different fashion. Keeping busy with new activities is the basic message about retirement. Just remember that you have to work at enjoying yourself – that is part of the fun.

(Next week- Obesity & Stress)

By Sunila karan
Counsellor/Personal Development Trainer
Ph: 6727861/9996807 For stress management/counseling & communication training
Contact 6727861/9996807.

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