Handling Stress and Anxiety: The Pressures of Daily Living

Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus

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Ethan’s job as a salesman was extremely demanding. “I’m going non-stop from the time I get there until I walk out that door. The crazy thing is, I feel like my home life is just as stressful. I don’t know which is the ‘frying pan’ and which is the ‘fire’! “

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Today, people are more than ever busy, pressured, constantly dealing with loose ends, knotted muscles, deadlines, nagging mistakes, fatigue, interrupted sleep, and financial headaches.

There once was a slower time when home was a haven, when people curled up with a good book, relaxed, unwound and derived the benefits of “home, sweet home.” There was not much discussion of stress in those days.

Some people have more pressures and demands at home than at work -~- caring for children and coping with their busy schedules, errands, cleaning, yardwork, repairs, laundry, and worrying about making ends meet.

Others find it very difficult to leave work~related problems at the workplace. They are so immersed in their jobs that they experience great trouble letting go. Even when they do have a chance to relax at home, they are unable to do so. They cannot walk through the door, switch off their concerns about work and become a fully functioning parent or spouse. We advise our clients to avoid rushing home to listen to phone messages, jumping right into helping their kids with their homework, listening to their partners’ gripes, or tending to domestic chores.

• Most people need a “decompression period” when coming home after a day at work.

To avoid the bends, you want your reentry into the home, after the day’s compression at work, to be as gradual and easy as you can make it. Here are a few ideas for helpful and enjoyable relaxation inducers:

• hop into a hot tub or take a warm relaxing bath or shower,

• lie down and have a short nap,

• listen to some of your favorite music.

These simple measures can assist in leaving your worries behind.

If you buffer yourself against facing constant demands, you will replenish your energy and then be more able to attend to your chores. The time to talk about your hectic or frustrating day (or hear someone else’s tale of woe) is after you’ve refreshed yourself like this:

• sip a refreshing beverage,

• sit for a while on your balcony, deck, patio, den or other quiet space,

• take time for yourself,

• think about funny things that you have experienced,

• try to put a humorous or positive spin on the day,

• keep the tone positive by sharing the good news of the day first.

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Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus is a licensed psychologist, Co-founder and Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute. In addition to his general psychotherapy practice, Dr. Clifford Lazarus specializes in health and neuropsychology.

Dr. Clifford Lazarus received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University where he was a Henry Rutgers Research Scholar.  Seen here are excerpts from one of his books, The 60-Second Shrink – 101 Strategies For Staying Sane In a Crazy World, a book, he co-authored with his father “One of the ten most influential psychotherapists in America”  Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D.  For more details on Dr. Clifford Lazarus visit this link to The Lazarus Institute.  Or visit his page here on friendlysuggestions.com.

Books available at Amazon by Arnold and Clifford Lazarus

Direct links to two highly recommended books by Dr. Clifford Lazarus and Dr. Arnold A. Lazarus:

The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies for Staying Sane in a Crazy World 

Don’t Believe It for a Minute!: Forty Toxic Ideas That Are Driving You Crazy

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