Stress

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
As Turnip said - mindfulness is a very useful technique (though, I achieved that by studying Zen).

Also, be prepared to plan. Knowing you have a lot to do but not having it planned is very stressful. Make lists of tasks, prioritise them, timetable them and delete stuff that doesn't actually 'have to be done'; simplify your life as much as possible and concentrate on the essentials. Proper time management is a great stress reducer.

As Oldtimer said, don't take on other peoples problems if it's not necessary.
 

Fadcode

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Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
I must admit ,my life on the whole is normally stress free, but there are times when stress does get the better of me, and normally this is at times when I am about to do something that I am not sure I am capable of doing, and I ponder and ponder, but I normally have a go in the end, and I am glad to say I normally complete the task without problems, maybe this is normal stress, after all I had the option of not doing the task.

Now I understand that not all people have the option of not doing things that cause stress, work for instance can cause stress, but not everyone can just stop working to relieve the stress, as being out of work can itself can cause stress.

What I have realised is that we cannot eliminate all stress in our lives, but we can eliminate some, we can ensure we don't have that much going on in our lives that we just can't cope, we see this in the youngsters at exam times, too many exams too much stress.

There is a balance to be found, and some things we have to let go, and as most have said we need to prioritise our commitments, we need to plan our approach to our normal daily tasks so they can be done efficiently, so this leaves the time we need to carry out the extraneous tasks we have set ourselves.
 

SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
When I had a stressful job, running a school with a full-time teaching commitment while simultaneously studying for an Open University degree, I learned to distinguish between pressure and stress. I received a lot of advice on how to manage stress bur little of it worked in practice.

Now I am long retired, live a stress-free life and have time to think, I suspect that pressure is what you put on yourself and stress is what other people put on you.

Undertake less and let the other people manage their own problems!
Stress is usually caused by a mismatch between that pressure and your perceived ability. If you feel like there's too high expectations or not enough guidance and that you don't have control over something, then you feel overwhelmed and can develop stress. A lot of formal education situations fit these criteria naturally. But it also describes many's work environment.
 

GuestD

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Feb 10, 2019
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Stress/hell is other people. Often caused by the ignorance, selfishness, arrogance and total lack of thought by others.

Stress is usually caused by a mismatch between that pressure and your perceived ability.
It can also be the inverse. In my day to day life I meet the unfortunate/lucky? "burnouts" whose academic ability far exceeds that of the norm, but their ability to handle the stress that their ability puts them in is not controllable. People who say "get on with it", "give yourself a good shake", or the old favourite, "pull yourself up by your own boot straps" are abhorrent, and as I do, should be ignored for their total lack of empathy, awareness, and understanding.
 

GuestD

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Yup, I had to say it, we all suffer from it, and it can cause all sorts of problems, physical and mental.

And it can kill you.

I had a rough time at Uni...but I have been advised to go back and complete the course.

it will be easier on me, as I will have less work to do (No Placement, with a 5 hour commute...) and I now know the place.

But I need to deal with Stress.

What do you suggest?
have you tried counselling. Specialist help can be of much more benefit than asking for help and receiving some of the answers posted here. You have my greatest sympathy.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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Stress/hell is other people. Often caused by the ignorance, selfishness, arrogance and total lack of thought by others.



It can also be the inverse. In my day to day life I meet the unfortunate/lucky? "burnouts" whose academic ability far exceeds that of the norm, but their ability to handle the stress that their ability puts them in is not controllable. People who say "get on with it", "give yourself a good shake", or the old favourite, "pull yourself up by your own boot straps" are abhorrent, and as I do, should be ignored for their total lack of empathy, awareness, and understanding.
I meant how you yourself perceive your ability to do live up to expectations/ your own expectations.
 
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GuestD

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I meant how you yourself perceive your ability to do live up to expectations/ your own expectations.
I know, and my reply to you was in no way negative. Unfortunately stress can, and often is something that gradually creeps up and only manifests itself compared to the sufferers perceptions when things have gone too far. Quite often the individuals goals/perceptions are put in place by others ( "friends" and family) without any thoughts of individual general contentment. Academic achievement and status is not the end all in life.
 

Broch

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I think we need to distinguish between pressure/stress (which can result in better achievement/ success if it's at the right level) and clinical stress which is a dangerous condition.

I know that since I retired I get 'stressed' by much more mundane things than I used to. We are an animal species that evolved to exist and thrive under certain levels of stress and, I suspect, if it's not there for real we create it.
 

GuestD

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New I think we need to distinguish between pressure/stress (which can result in better achievement/ success if it's at the right level) and clinical stress which is a dangerous condition.
One can, and does lead to the other. I know.
 
Jul 24, 2017
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somerset
Go hiking or climbing! or some thing akin to it, its focusing but un-stressful, and don't feel locked into a situation you are totally free, doing things around nature reminds you of that fact, think of the bigger worlds about you not what is expected of you, breath deep!
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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I like several of the suggestions already made. Some of them with a grain of salt though.

For example the idea of learning to play a musical instrument. By that I mean I agree that the simple act of actually “playing” an instrument will probably distract you from your stress. However “learning” to play it might only b adding another stressor (another class to do as it were)

My daughter suffers from anxiety and like Tengu, has asked for ways to cope with stress. She already plays saxophone and guitar so I advised her to do that. When not at home (both instruments are a bit cumbersome for everyday carry) I suggested she might carry a rosary.

Some have suggested physical exercise. To an extent that worked for me when I was younger but even then there were limitations: i.e. I couldn’t leave classes early or go to the gym or find a sparring partner.

Doing another hobby, particularly bushcraft or nature related can indeed help. I often try to combine that nature idea with something like Woodygirl’s soothing tea idea. For me it’s a hot coffee or a cold Coke in the woods, on the beach, or at least on the patio or back porch.

Talking to trusted friends about your stress can help immensely and I hope that’s one of the things you’re doing by simply asking for help here? Bu the way, this too can be combined with the two mentioned above (have that chat while sipping something soothing at a soothing place)
 
Jul 24, 2017
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somerset
Another option, thou this is not for all is use your stress to achieve, the key is focus and a real depth of knowing yourself, I use this one a lot it has not failed me but takes a long time to cultivate.
 

SimonL

Full Member
Oct 13, 2010
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Farnborough, Hants
Hi Tengu,
I can't offer much advice, I am sure there are some very sensible ideas in the responses you've had here, but I can (from BITTER experience) say that ANYTHING (be it drink or drugs) that clouds your judgement, whilst (perhaps) providing a temporary relief, does not help in the long term.
Be well and be happy, find something that works for you, but please don't fall into what appears to be an "easy out" - it will only hurt you, and those you hold dear.
I wish you well
Simon
 

Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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I will let you know how I am doing.

The Academic life is the best life ever, but it can be a bit tough at times. Money is a problem too, seem to be for a lot of people.

Still, before I began studying, I was suffering terribly from apathy, and that can do a lot of damage too.
 

bigbeewee

Member
Dec 18, 2010
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worldwide
Mindful meditation
Yoga
Fun exercise (not gym treadmill/lift a few weights) find something you enjoy doing that you need to be fit to do, train to be fit to do what you love proficiently eg surfing or a martial art
Realise work isn’t serio7s, it’s not the be-all and end all of life

See your GP, taking medical drugs can really help you

Success in life is being happy, enjoying life and minimal regrets
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,129
436
Canada
I have a pretty stressful life working as a academic ... I find two things particular things work really well for me.

1) study something that you know nothing about and are not invested in, and do that alongside the thing you are hoping to be ostensibly skilled in .. it does something with the cruder, competitive energy. As examples, I can remember at different points reading PV Glob's book on Bog People and Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance and just diving down the rabbit holes proposed there. There have been a bunch of other transfixions. You can be intellectually irresponsible and relaxed and in a world with much lesser stakes for you whilst still having the synapses popping.

2) Exercise the crap out of yourself. I mean like hard cardio, really push yourself on a bike ride, or a rowing or elliptical machine, or swim, or hike like you might miss a barbecue, so that your blood really is pounding in your ears. You will sleep like a log, and somehow then lots of things really just fall correctly into their allocated proportions.

BTW, Janne's more or less right ... life is stressful. No getting away from it, really, and realizing that simple fact that we are all stressed takes a lot of the stress out of things. Makes it easier to deal with the difficulties others are having with their civility too, breeds empathy and insight. University life is as difficult for the lecturers as it is for the students and everyone else in the running of what are wonderful if shockingly poorly managed places.
 

Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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So Tengu, how are you getting on?

I hope you're feeling more able to overcome the stresses in your life and you have achieved some of the things that you are working towards.

For what it's worth and mindful that advice is simply another word for suggestion (with no guarantee of success), I offer my advice to you in how I deal with stress. Take it or leave it my friend, I only hope you're doing good in your life and feeling chipper!

Compartmentalise your life and give 100% to each part. Uni, work, home, the gym... all these 'compartments' ask different things of you, different stresses. When you're at uni, give 100% to study. Do not let other 'compartments' of your life distract you from studying. By giving 100% to each compartment you are honestly able to commit to each 'compartment' and achieve in it. When I'm at home, I'm a father and a husband with all the stresses that come with those things. I give 100% to being a father and a husband. I will not be distracted by the other 'compartments' of my life. I give 100% to my wife and kids. To do anything less would be a disservice to them. I help around the house, do the chores, jump on the trampoline with my daughter, take my son to football practice and shout encouragement from the side lines, cook dinner for the family. I give it all. When I go to work, I give 100% to it. If I had an argument with my wife I don't let it enter my mind at work. I focus on the job and get the job done well. I achieve tasks more quickly and to a better standard because I focus on that 'compartment' and nothing else. When I go to the gym, it's ear phones on and I'm smashing it. High intensity, lots of reps, sometimes heavy loads that tax me. I leave the gym exhausted every time. I commit to it and don't get distracted......

By 'compartmentalising' my life I have found that I can focus better on each part. I am able to break down tasks and work through them. I genuinely achieve something every day, where that's doing a good job at work, or getting bigger numbers in the gym or helping my son learn a new skill at football, I do have success, however small, every day. And nothing is too hard a task because I when I commit 100% to something, I can think clearly and solutionise. If it doesn't work, at least I know I did give 100% to it.

Anyways, excuse my morning ramble. Tengu, I hope you're succeeding.

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
 
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Sep 16, 2013
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Rochester, Kent
Good on you for raising this issue on the forum, stress is a really difficult thing to manage and not everyone wants to talk about it.

I've had ongoing issues with work related stress for a few years now. I work in what can best be described as a high pressure role in the public sector, it's a role that's become increasingly challenging in recent years as Government has cut most departments budgets by well over 25% and staff levels are very low. At times, I can manage the stress. But, as Deekin rightly pointed out, it's something that can creep up on you before the symptoms really start to manifest. For me the issue is usually tension headaches that never go away with the use of paracetamol/pain killers. Then there is the onset of a depression that seems to impact on my thinking and rationale which makes it difficult to concentrate on the simplest tasks.

I went to the doctors about this a while back to see what they thought. After trying a few different types of pain killers (all unsuccessful), the doc prescribed me some anti-depressants. These took a month or so to work, but they worked and the headaches faded away. The trouble was that they brought about lots of nasty side effects which I wasn't too happy about (one of them was that they gave me a serious appetite and I put on lots of weight!). I stopped taking the tablets as I felt that they were just plastering over the cracks and not dealing with the root cause.

A few months later, the symptoms returned. I went back to the doctor (a different one this time) and said that I wasn't keen on taking medication owing to all the side effects. He advised me to take some time out from work (I can self-certificate for a week), he also recommended I get outdoors, exercise, breath in some fresh air and try not to sit in bed doing nothing and feeling miserable. So that's what I did. I started running, I went in to the shed and did some whittling, I packed up my rucksack and headed into the woods for a series of bimbles, I enjoyed a brew, observed and listened to nature. It damn well works! The stress and the symptoms started to disappear. Nature really is the best tonic for life's woes.

It also gave me time to think about the root causes, I returned to work a week later and had a one to one with my manager. I said that I need to have a conversation with our occupational health dept and that I think I need some counselling. I also kicked into motion a series of actions that would see me transfer to another role. The counselling was ok, it helped shine a light on some of the things that trigger stress. I've since developed some preventative measures to help me deal with those issues.

Now, Janne wasn't especially articulate in making his point, but he is right. Life is indeed stressful. And that's why it helps to talk about it and, in doing so, develop coping mechanisms.

I still have issues with stress, but as soon as I feel it coming on, I take a step back. Sometimes this 'step back' is me taking a day for myself, at work we call these 'de-compression days' which are essentially sick days to help deal with the onset of the usual symptoms of stress. When I have one of these days, I won't sit at home and watch daytime tv, I'll usually get out and enjoy some fresh air. I've probably had two 'de-compression days' in the last year and they help tremendously. When I take these days, I'm also very honest with work and tell them what's going on - they've been very supportive.

So, in a very long winded way, that's how I deal with stress!
 
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