Archive for June, 2013

Stress Management

I am down to an annual post, it appears, to who knows. I continue to keep the blog hidden while I pursue politics, or are politics pursuing me. I came to the blog looking to see if I had written on stress management. I found some stuff on vicarious trauma versus burnout but not quite usable for general staff meeting. Certainly stress management is my life now, finding a way to cope with all of the competing pressures of a hard job with a lot of responsibility, trying to do right for my fair city, keeping the lawn mowed and the dog walked and all of that. I continue to be a more disciplined harder working version of myself. I also allow myself a little breathing space. Today not much work got done, though I did show up and respond to what is in front of me. I did work on a handout for my training on stress management this week. Here is what I got:

Stress Management:

Stress really refers to Strain, the tendency to warp under pressure. Management implies an ongoing process of adjustments versus something that can be eliminated.

Stress is a chronic activation of our fight/flight/freeze response. It is biologically akin to anxiety (fear) and anger. High levels of coritisol are linked to an array of negative health outcomes. Stress Management involves identifying and reducing stressors or adjusting our thoughts, beliefs and actions to better manage the stressors in our life.

4 “A”s of Change

  1. Awareness
  2. Assessment
  3. Action
  4. Accountability


A positive overall orientation to life is protective against stress. It is called a Philosophy of Life. We have the ability to identify and alter our beliefs in ways that have large impacts on our life outcomes. The story we tell ourselves, who we are and why we are here, provide meaning and an overall organization to our lives.


Our natural state of being is one of relaxation. Noticing we have allowed tension to accumulate allows us to deal with it. Promoting an attitude of relaxation is easier then eliminating stress. We cannot make ourselves stop being tense but we very much can allow ourselves to relax. This process of allowing is called Passive Volition.



Categories: health, work