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Stress has been rated among the leading causes of death in the modern world. In fact, no age group has been spared. This is because even children have been on a number of occasions diagnosed with stress. It is, therefore, a very crucial topic that needs urgent address so as to enable people to reduce its effect.
Stress can be caused be by a number of factors that everybody needs to be aware of if we will work towards stress reduction. Fear and anxiety are the leading cause of stress. Insecurity, fatigue, low self-esteem, dissatisfaction, frustration is other causes of stress. Stress management starts with one taking control of his or her lifestyle. Achieving a balanced life will enable one to keep stress at bay. This includes thoughts, schedules, emotions and environment among others (Stahl, 2009).
The starting point of stress management is knowledge of its source. Most people are fighting with stress without having clear knowledge of its source. This will lead to increased levels of stress. However, identifying stress inducing factors is not easy. One needs to examine attitudes, habits and character among other factors so as to have knowledge of stress source (Groves, 2004).
People opt for some unhealthy ways of stress management that cause harm than good in the long run. These include smoking, overeating, drinking, withdrawal from the society, using sleeping pills and oversleeping among others. People who apply these methods end up harming their physical, emotional, social and spiritual life. This gives me a purpose to come up with a two weeks plan to geared towards stress reduction.
First, I have identified that I live an unhealthy lifestyle characterised by fear. I have also noticed that I put a lot of energy in ensuring that I fit in my social circles. Thus, I live with anxiety and fear of my friends disowning me. I also have to plan my time well so as to avoid last minute rush that causes fatigue. This marks my starting point to the road towards stress reduction.
It is, however, important to note that stress cannot be completely inevitable. Thus, I have to device ways that are clinically approved to ensure that I put the levels of stress as low as possible. In the two weeks, I employ the following strategies according to their compatibility so as to achieve admirable results (Biegel, 2009).
The first, which is simple but very effective, is breathing. Scientist has rated this as the foundation of healing stress. Timely and shallow breathe relieves one stress especially when taken frequently. We all can remember doing this back in elementary school during examinations. This is a proof that the strategy works effectively. It allows blood to flow to the brain hence enabling us to relax and make sound decisions despite the situation. This is a strategy I will apply every day for the two weeks. I will ensure that I have done this before answering a telephone call, before any meal and before moving out of my car.
The second strategy I will employ is known as guided imagery. This is where one uses mind power to connect to the body. It may not be an easy thing to because if not carefully done may lead to illusions that increase the level of stress. However, since I have identified the cause of stress, it will be easier to direct my mind to the body (Barber, 1986). This means that I will do what I am capable not because I want to make anyone happy but because that want am supposed to do. Then I will relax and give my mind a rest which will help heal my body. This is achieved because guided imagery increases sleep, reduces blood pressure and relieves pain among others. I will make it a routine to practise guided imagery every day before going to bed.
The third strategy is to have a quiet moment with oneself. Human beings have occupied their lives with a lot of commitments that they no longer have meditation time. This is when you reflect and judge yourself. It enables one to identify mistakes that have caused them pain so that they can avoid a repeat (Shapiro, 2008). Meditation works the best when the day so as to leave each day as a new one without mistakes of the previous. Therefore, I will set thirty minutes aside for meditation time every day.
Exercise is a very important stress reduction tool that is gaining popularity in the modern world. People especially in the urban areas have appreciated that excise is an important part of our lives. It allows circulation of blood that is essential for our body to function effectively (Groves, 2004). Therefore, I have chosen three days in a week that I will be going to the gym. That is Monday, Thursday and Saturday. I will be spending one hour thirty minutes in the gym on each of the three days. However, if I get time during the other days, I will jog around the garden.
Last but not least in my plan is prayer. There is power in prayer that comforts us even when situations are unbearable. Prayers boost our body as well as spiritual health. Prayers come in a number of ways; in words, in silence, in a song and many other ways. I, therefore, choose to pray every day after waking up and before retiring to bed. I, however, do not restrict myself because prayers can be done at anytime and anywhere (Shapiro, 2008).
The process is challenging, and some experiences are not pleasant. Having to forgo by businesses and rush to the gym three days in a week felt like it was too much for me without mention the gym instructor who could not let me rest (Barber, 1986). Some time I forgot to take a deep breath as I had planned which made me feel my effort to manage stress has failed. On a number of occasions, I failed to pray because I wake up late or maybe I am too tired. Disciplining oneself is an area that I must accept challenges me. Guided imagery was another night mare to me. I sometimes ended up having illusions.
I should, however, admit that despite the challenges experienced, the results are overwhelming. There is a lot of improvement in my general health. No more persistent headaches, I also have adequate sleep, and wake up in the morning feeling happy and full of energy. My appetite has really improved, and that has boosted the levels of energy. The exercises have also enabled me to shed off some extra weight that has boosted my self-esteem.
In conclusion, the two week plan has transformed my life completely leaving me with healthy and enjoyable moments. However, it comes with a lot of ambition and determination. This has made me learn that achievements come if coupled with willingness (Biegel, 2009). I would urge other people to adopt this work plan in order to attain good health. Moreover, this will ensure that they approach life more positively than before the work plan. This is also bound to make them aggressive towards life. Eventually, they will be ecstatic with the results that they will achieve.