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Don't Be a Stress Hoarder

Updated on September 21, 2012

How To Cope With On-The-Job Stress

My father suffered a heart attack when he was in his forties. His ailment was the result of years of poor eating habits and work-related stress. Now that I am in my forties, I worry about the effects of stress on my health.

If you are like me, life is crazy; and, on top of the general craziness, there is the stress that comes from this thing called work. By and in itself, work is a special creature because we never know what is lurking around the corner. The next hours could bring us face-to-face with an irate customer, an angry boss, an annoying coworker, or a complicated assignment on top of all of the other things on our "to do" list.

On the job, we can not control what comes our way. In fact, we can not really control what life throws at us, but we can control the way that we respond. In stressful situations, we often grit our teeth and take on the challenge without saying a word. When we use this approach, we bottle-up stress inside of us. In our attempt to ignore the stress we are feeling, we begin to become stress-hoarders, and we create a time bomb inside of us that will probably detonate when we least expect it. If you feel a time bomb ticking inside of you, now is the time to diffuse it by following a few simple behavior modifications.

1. Just Breathe.

In stressful situations we tend to hold our breath. The next time you feel stress take notice of your breathing patterns, and you will probably notice that you are holding your breath. Holding your breath in stressful situations is a habit that can be broken just by becoming mindful of the breath. If you can learn to breathe during stressful situations, you will find that you will feel calmer and will be able to deal with this situation with ease.

2. Talk to Someone

Sometimes we just need to vent. Talking about our problems can help us find an easy solution. Stress hoarders have a tendency to hold their true feelings inside of them. When we fail to express our emotions, the problem grows inside our heads until it becomes too big for us to handle. Vent to a friend or call someone. If you feel the need to talk to someone, it is your body telling you that your stress level is building.

3. Take a Walk

Walking is a healthy way to deal with stress. The combination of the fresh air and physical activity will help to clear your head. It is amazing how your perspective will change after a few minutes in nature.

4. Leave Work at Work

The expression, "Don't bring your work home with you" is one to heed. Your home should be your shelter from the storms of life. When you are at home, spend time with friends and family or find a hobby. Whatever you do, try to focus on positive activities that will contribute to your overall well being. You will feel happier and healthier when you learn to let go of the day's stress by leaving work at the office.

Stress hording is a behavior. Paying attention to the way that we react to stress can and will help us to prevent this unhealthy habit. Learn to notice harmful behavior before it is too late.


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