How to Cope with the Tensions of Daily Life

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A certain amount of tension is healthy and necessary for concentration on the job to be done. But the time may come when tension increases to the point of over-anxiety, fear, and stress. This can endanger mental ability, emotional control, and in time physical vigor. Here are some ideas for dealing with tensions everyday so that they do not build up to unmanageable proportions.

Live one day at a time.

Trying to live tomorrow is dangerous–and difficult.  It is i often said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  The same holds true for the good!  Don’t borrow trouble from the future.  And do the one job before you now.  Decide what is most important, and concentrate on that one thing.

Escape is healthy.

It’s perfectly normal to escape for a time to regroup your forces and relax a bit.  This will give new strength to come back and deal with the problems facing you.  Don’t expect these problems to evaporate into thin air, but take a different perspective on them and attack them from various angles.

Get help from others.

Confining worries within yourself builds up tension.  Find a person you can trust and talk things out.  This in itself is good therapy.  Sharing the load makes it easier to carry and will relieve the stress of the moment.  You may get new ideas on what to do.

Be willing to bend.

Even steel must have a little flexibility.  Anything with no give to it will break under pressure. You may be in the right, and you’re sure of it, yet a bit of compromise will help remove tension and lead to a workable solution.  If you are willing, probably the other will be too.

Put the other fellow first.

Carefully consider your goals in trying to be first.  Thinking of someone else, even helping him get a break once in a while, will tend to relax you.  And this will open the way for the breaks to come your way.  Many so-called “breaks” are only the natural outworking of a mutual respect between people and their desire to put others before themselves.

Develop a sense of humor.

Most people take themselves too seriously, much more seriously than those around them do.  Nothing will break tension more than a well-placed laugh or a good-natured smile.  Anyone who can laugh at himself occasionally, and see the funny side of things will be hard to be pressured by stress.

Plan ahead for recreation.

Just as the workday needs to be planned, so does the periodic recreation.  No person can concentrate forever on his work without a change of direction once in a while.  Nature’s cycles are built on work and play, tension and then relaxation.  It’s the constant tension without a change that brings trouble.

Expend effort for others.

It often helps to go out of your way to do something for another person.  You may find he has many more problems than you have.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped a person.

Expend emotional energy.

When pent-up feelings build to the bursting point, get out and take a walk, play a game of tennis, or rake the lawn.  Physical exercise helps cool a hot head and allows a little extra time to make careful decisions in ticklish situations.

Don’t run others down.

It’s very easy to try to fit everyone else into your own pattern and expect them to measure up to your own preconceived ideas for them.  Focus on their strong qualities and cooperate in every way possible in this framework.

Recognize that you have limits.

Do you expect too much from yourself?  After all, you can’t do everything, as much as you might think you must!  Every person has limits, both in the quantity he does and quality.  It’s well to do a good job, but extreme perfectionism is a hindrance.  Be happy with your skills and abilities and constantly strive to improve them, but don’t expect to do the impossible.

Watch what you eat and when.

There is a close connection between the stomach and the mind.  It’s surprising to see how good nourishing food improves one’s outlook.  Regular habits at the table can help knock tensions out.

Social life is important.

Rubbing shoulders with people is part of life, both business and otherwise.  Take the

nitiative in making friends, in meeting new people, in getting involved in active projects.  Don’t always wait to be asked.

Develop trust and faith.

For serenity of life, trust and faith in both God and man are essential qualities.  Rest in the assurance that God loves you and wants the best for you and that basically those around will respond in positive ways if you show your trust in them.

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