Stress managementWritten by Prem Nirmal
The fast pace of life is taking toll on every city dweller, right from students to home makers and workers to managers, every body is hit by bug of stress. Modern technological development and communication aids are adding to stress because of their high speed. Traveling, exams, admissions etc. at times are too stressful for students as well as parents living hectic lifestyle. Stressed individuals are paying heavy toll in terms of health and well being as they are more prone to stress induced diseases such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Most people get trapped into vicious circle of stress induced diseases and find it difficult to tackle it at later stage. Hence it is very important for us to learn to manage stress.
So what is stress? Stress is an individual's perception and assessment of environment. It depends on how one perceives situation. The positive perception is called eustress while negative perception will lead to distress. The amount of stress at which each individual functions most effectively is unique to each individual and it is known as optimum stress level (OSL). Any response, mental or physical, which adversely affects performance, is called negative stress response.
That which creates stress is called stressor. There are different types of lifestyle stressors: Performance Stressors: These are situations where one is stressed to perform, viz. Driving a car, public speaking, performance appraisal, big events in one's life viz. Exams, marriage etc. Threat Stressors: These are situations perceived as dangerous, viz.: Riots, War, High risk sport, accidents etc. Boredom Stressors: These are situations which are perceived and assessed as lacking in physical or mental stimulation, Viz. Household chores, Routine factory work etc. Frustration Stressors: These are situations which are perceived and assessed as being undesirable but beyond one's power to control, Viz. Govt. Taxation. Bereavement Stressors: Loss of relationship, Death of loved one, losing a Job, possession or Reputation, dignity etc. Physical Stressors: Actual physical damage viz. breaking limbs, suffering from disease or infection, working in conditions where extreme temperature and pollution exists which can not be avoided.
Effect of Positive Stress: As we have seen, positive stress adds anticipation and excitement to life, and we all thrive under a certain amount of stress. Deadlines, competitions, confrontations, and even our frustrations and sorrows add depth and enrichment to our lives. Our goal is not to eliminate stress but to learn how to manage it and how to use it to help us. Insufficient stress acts as a depressant and may leave us feeling bored or dejected; on other hand, excessive stress may leave us feeling "tied up in knots." What we need to do is find optimal level of stress which will individually motivate but not overwhelm each of us. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you need to reduce stress in your life and improve your ability to manage it.
So, how do we manage stress? As there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, all require work towards change. As stress is an individual's perception and assessment of environment, one needs to look into possibility of changing one’s perception and reaction to it. In fact, ideal change will be to convert our reaction to response. So what is difference between reaction and response? Reaction is habitual, uncontrolled, and impulsive while response is well thought, contemplated act with awareness. A responsible person responds and never reacts. Responsibility is one’s ability to respond.
How do we proceed?
1. Awareness of Stressors: Become aware of your stressors. Watch your physical and emotional reactions to stressors. Do you become nervous or physically upset? Notice situations and events that create high levels of stress. Understand how your body responds to stress.
Mercury REtrograde: A Time Management and Planning ToolWritten by Ellen Zucker
by Ellen Zucker
The concept of Mercury Retrograde is very well known even among non-Astrologers.
It is an excellent example of use of Astrology as a planning tool. By working with ebb and flow of planetary energies your life can flow more smoothly and efficiently.
WHAT IS MERCURY RETROGRADE?
When Mercury turns retrograde, it is time to look backward. This period is an excellent time for any activity that entails review, reexamination, and revision.
Astronomically, it refers to a period when Mercury appears to be traveling backwards in sky – when viewed from Earth.
This is an optical illusion. It is produced by differences in distance and speed of its orbit relative to that of Earth. Like a moving car on a highway in lane next to yours that appears to be traveling backward, Mercury is not really moving backwards. It just looks that way.
Mercury begins its retrograde motion by appearing to slow down its forward motion. It will appear to come to a dead stop, or station, then move backward. It picks up speed for a time. Then, again, it slows, then station and move forward.
This period lasts approximately three weeks.
Mercury rules, among other things, our mental functions, communications, and transportation. When Mercury turns retrograde, it functions less well in our day-to-day lives. That is because its energy goes inward.
Ideally, you would take a mental break. But most of us do not have this luxury.
And so, as Mercury forces you to restructure your thinking and reveals flaws in your planning, you are likely to feel frustration.
This is often experienced as personal misunderstandings and communications snafus. Missed appointments, telecommunications and computer glitches, missing mail, transportation delays, blocks in negotiations are other common examples.
These things do happen when Mercury is direct. But they happen much more frequently when Mercury is retrograde.
That is reason for that common piece of Astrological advice to be conscientious about such things as backing up your computer, double-checking schedules and appointments, and allowing more time in your travel.