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3 new ways to think about stress and find peace of mind

Stress is inevitable, but ways to deal with stress are plentiful.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If only I could rid myself of all the stress in my life, everything would be so much better?” How many times have you heard that stress is harmful and something to be avoided at all cost?  Quote Anthologist Terri Guillemets offers this: “Stress is the trash of modern life—we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”

Yet, there you are, bombarded with interruptions of your attention and time, — physical challenges, family duties, your job, community and kids — all contending for your commitment, time, energy and thoughts. So what can you do?

My blog posts will offer new ways to think about and deal with stress, such as:

1. Stop, take a deep breath, and realize that stress is not a synonym for distress, anxiety or tension; it most certainly is not something to be avoided at all cost. Actually, the absence of all stress is death. If your goal is to reach the summit of peace, joy and fullness of life, you should heed the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “There are no victories at bargain prices.” To put it another way, stress is inevitable. However, it is not the stressors of life that define you but how you choose to deal with those stressors.

2. Don’t believe anyone who tells you to see the world through rose-colored glasses or that “life is like a box of chocolates.” If you think this is going to be another “you have to take the bull by the horns,” “everyone puts on their pants one leg at time,” or “life is hard, suck it up” bit of advice, not so. I will offer you real, practical ways to deal with the very real stress in your life.

3. I will offer real answers for dealing effectively with stress. Concepts that will go beyond conventional solutions such as relaxation, exercise, diet, sleep, positive thinking and prioritization—which act more like a band aid than a preventative.

Have I piqued your interest? Great. Please return to my blog posts over the next few months. You will learn what stress is and is not, be able to debunk stress myths, and get a firm grasp on how to effectively deal with stress.

 

About the Author:

Gregory Jones is the Patient Care Supervisor of Emergency Services and Heart Safe Coordinator at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, MN. He is a certified Forensic-Nurse Examiner who specializes in sexual assaults, has an A.A. seminary degree from Southwestern University of California, a B.S. degree in Nursing Science from Purdue University, and his Masters in Theological Studies from Northwestern University of St. Paul, MN. Greg is a Certified psychological First Aid Responder. He also has a 5 year history as a Naval Aircrewman, and served one tour in Iraq. He has published several articles on stress and work place conflict. Greg was featured on The Learning Channel’s “Trauma Life in the ER,” and was recently named one of Minnesota’s Outstanding Nurses by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine. He is an integral member of the Allina Health Systems Crisis Intervention team (i.e. Code Green) and considered a clinical expert in the field crisis intervention.

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  • By Lauren

    I was my mother’s prmiary caregiver to Alzheimer’s. And if I had heard someone suggest that I embrace Alzheimer’s while I was in the thick of care giving trenches, I would have quickly dismissed the advice as superficial and one-dimensional. But as a recovering caregiver, I realize the power of that statement. Unintentionally and unrehearsed, I did embrace Alzheimer’s during the early stages of this journey, and that very act fundamentally defined my experience, converting an otherwise stressful journey into a mindful and meaningful series of life lessons.In the beginning I’ll admit that I was afraid of the disease because I didn’t want to lose my mother to the tangles of this fatal disease. I simply wasn’t emotionally prepared to let that happen because it meant letting her go.So I did my best to keep connected to her, by doing what I could. I prepared homemade, single-portioned meals to fill her refrigerator. If she was going to lose her mind, I thought, let it happen on a full stomach. At the very least, it made me feel like I was still in charge. But during those quiet moments when truth becomes easier to swallow, I would admit to myself that my mother was falling apart before my very eyes and it would put me into a panic-stricken tailspin. Like anything in life, the more I looked truth in the eye, the less panic I felt.Gradually I stopped trying to teach her how to use the TV remote, heat up leftovers in a microwave, and hold a telephone. I stopped trying to squeeze her back into the reality that we had once shared because that approach ended up being a source of aggravation to us both. By leaving the ‘denial’ stage and embracing Alzheimer’s, I liberated myself from the fear that Alzheimer’s would steal my mother’s love. And if I still felt unsure or afraid of my mother’s disease, I would remind myself that ‘when life hands you Alzheimer’s, embrace it.Celia PomerantzAlzheimer’s: A Mother Daughter Journey

  • By Gregory Jones

    Thank you for sharing your story, what a wonderful testimony to the fact that the truth can and does set us free. I think you will love the remaining items I share in the upcoming blogs on stress as they address the very important issue you raised. Praise God you are able to better look at truth and say,
    “here I am, what do you have for me.” It is the first step in proactively dealing with your stress. My prayers will be with you as you continue to sojourn through these issues.