Managing Stress: Discover Your Ambivalences

By Marsha Hudnall on 07/06/2010
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Today's post is another by our psychologist-masters Darla Breckenridge, who has been with us only a few months but has already been named "The Strategy Lady" by the women who come to Green Mountain.  She also teaches our stress management classes.  It's a dynamite combination.

Sometimes the most difficult stress to deal with is created by ambivalence.  Should I quit my job or stay in it?   Should I leave my marriage?  Should I go to the party and feel awkward or should I stay home and feel lonely?   Should I keep my feelings hidden with unconscious eating or should I create space for myself to feel?

Feelings of being overwhelmed can come from positive situations like leaving on vacation or planning a wedding as well as difficult or negative situations.  But for many women, the core challenge to managing stress comes from the belief that others' needs are more important than our own. How is it that we come to believe that our own needs are not important?  Is it possible to take care of ourselves the way that we take care of others?

The challenge of making time for ourselves in the swirl of life is the cornerstone of stress management.  Follow this process to begin to put together your plan for managing stress.

  1. Identify your stressors.
  2. Get clear about your ambivalences.
  3. Learn coping techniques such as developing a support network for long-term weight loss success and adding time for yourself on your to do list.

What is one strategy that you can use to manage a stressful situation this week?

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