Managing Stress (Part B)

by Patrick Liew on July 17, 2011

It was a meeting that I was looking forward to.

You would feel the same way if you happened to be reconnected to an old friend – one with whom you have shared some wonderful experiences in life.

I arranged to pick my friend at his home so that we could spend more time together. I had a bit of a shock after he came into my car.

Many questions ran through my mind.

What happened to the cheerful person I used to know?

Where’s the bubbly personality that used to come on tops in everything you did?

What happened to your appearance, energy level, and health? And all the dreams and hopes you used to have?

Obviously, I kept these questions to myself.

It didn’t take me too long to find out the answers.

My old friend had gone through many challenges in life. Instead of working through them, he had taken the wrong and slippery road downhill.

As my old friend shared, my heart cried out for him.

I could imagine the unhealthy food, sugar, alcohol and salt poured into his body. I could visualize the parties and the “wild life” (although he didn’t quite go into details) taking its toll.

I could feel the different forms of escape – from lazing around obsessively in front of the television to  plots of vengeance.

I could sense the unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, guilt, fear, sorrow, and the whole gamut of negative emotions coasting through his being.

Instead of taking a positive fight or flee option – my old friend took what I called the ‘froze’, ‘flip flop’, and ‘failed’ approach.

My old friend did everything he shouldn’t do in managing stress – and he knew it.

The wake-up call finally came – he almost collapsed one day. He had a major surgical operation and was fortunately  given a new lease of life.

That meeting and many similar encounters left a deep mark on my heart.

Managing stress is a conscious choice.

I have an option to choose how I perceive my challenges and interpret their meaning and significance to my life.

I choose to see challenges as learning and feedback experiences to make me a better person.

I do not have to participate in negative thoughts, responses and activities. I can saturate my mind with positive inputs.

I have the potential and ability to respond to these challenges positively. I can also flood my life with healthy activities.

There are many options available to me and they can be free. Many of them require minimal time, money and effort.

Please allow me to list some of them. Please be wise in choosing the activities that best meet your needs.

1. Meditations 14. Going to a spa
2. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques 15. Having Massages
3. Long baths 16. Reading
4. Exercises 17. Writing
5. Walks 18. Journaling
6. Friendships 19. Enjoying music
7. Interactions on Social Media 20. Watching  comedy shows
8. Playing with children 21. Travels and tours
9. Playing musical instruments 22. Spending time with pets
10. Having hobbies 23. Time with nature
11. Attending talks and seminars 24. Doing arts and crafts
12. Charity initiatives 25. Professional and civic involvements
13. Religious activities 26. Watching movies

Please plan to have healthy activities that will enhance your well-being. Take action now.


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