More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Five Essential Habits for Stress Control
by Melissa C. Stappler, M.D.

1. Develop your relaxation skills. Stress control requires your being able to put aside the demands and stressors in your daily life, at least temporarily. Many people have actually lost the ability to relax and create emotional distance from troubling thoughts and may need to re-train their body and mind to relax effectively.

2. Pay attention to physical health.. Remember that stress results from a combination of physical and mental factors. If your body isn't able to handle these challenges, you aren't going to be capable of effective stress management.

3. Become a time management expert. Finding extra minutes in your day need not be an insurmountable task, and those daily minutes add up.

4. Exercise regularly.. Exercise not only stimulates release of endorphins, the body's natural stress-fighters, but it also helps lower cortisol and other stress hormone levels. You'll also be healthier and better prepared to deal with both physical and mental demands.

5. Prioritize commitments and responsibilities.. Learn to differentiate between mandatory obligations and commitments you made due to guilt, to satisfy others, or to fulfill unrealistic expectations of yourself. Learning to say 'no' can help you reduce the stress of excessive demands on your time and energy.
 
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Laj

Member
David,

I was wondering what you did to control stress in your life. I usually meditate in the mornings. But during the day, while at work, sometimes something will happen to catch me off guard.

Laj
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I guess for me my primary strategies are a combination of #1 and #5 above.

Basically, I've learned (1) to compartmentalize things in my life so that I can gt away from them as I need to, and (2) to ask the question, "Can I do anything about it today?", and if the answer is "No" than I push it aside and ask the question again tomorrow.

Then, I focus on my family, especially the children and their pets, and my hobbies (computers, music and, when I get time, nature photography), and watching movies to relax.
 

Laj

Member
As I was searching this site, an ad popped up for Serenity. Are you endorsing this mood enhancer? And if so, it must be safe with no side effects?
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
No... those ads are from Google's AdSense - they are paid ads (to Google) and Google targets them to pages with specific content, so theoretically the ads that appear should change across this forum depending on which topic you are viewing.

However, I have no control over what is displayed, unless I see something really objectionable, in which case I believe there is a way to disallow it. Since I don't control the ads, I don't necessarily endorse any single one of them. I don't know anything about the Serenity ad.

I should have made that point more clearly for Amazon, by the way - I did do some selection of the category so that most of what is being displayed I do approve of to a greater or lesser extent, but again it is Amazon who decides which books to promote in there.

In all cases, be cautious about extravagant claims. If you have a question about any specific book or advertisement, please let me know.
 

Laj

Member
Thank you for the clarification! I never thought I would be so "desperate" that I would try anything. Gosh, the loss of my husband is truly making me see what I am made of. I really do have to toughen up.
I just listened to "Good Grief" an audiobook by Lolly Winston. I think I need to cultivate a sense of humor about being a grieving widow.
Thanks, David. This forum is a life-saver! (Especially not having anyone around me who understands the plight of widowhood).
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
It is never easy adjusting to the loss of someone you love, especially when that person has become literally part of your life.

It's all one day at a time.... sometimes just one moment at a time...
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
You're right...

but then each "one more day" in time can become something to treasure instead of something to dread.

I'm not a Buddhist nor an expert in Buddihist philosophy, but I think the the concept of mindfulness is partly about that: living in the present, really being in the present, instead of spending all one's time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future - ultimately, the present is all we have, all that exists - the past and future are only in our minds. Something like that anyway...

In grief, the concept initially is just to focus on the day because the future is too vast and frightening and the past is, initally at least, filled with pain. But in time, you begin to be able to remember and even enjoy happy memories about the person you have lost.
 

Laj

Member
I think just by being here and seeking help, we're making progress. Communication and validation are two components that are life savers. I have received both here. I am certainly learning a lot!
 

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