Analyze the Demands
You should analyze the demands to determine
whether they are episodic or chronic. Then analyze
the controllability of the demand. Analysis tends to
put your demands in perspective and take away some
of their power to affect you.
EPISODIC. Demands are episodic if they are
short term. You can see the end of the situation or
the removal of the demand in the near future. When
we determine that a demand is episodic, it becomes
easier to deal with because we know it will be over
CHRONIC. Chronic demands are long term and
usually require a change in the way we live our life to
remove them as stressors. When we find a demand to
be chronic, we must look at our habits to see if we
can make changes that will help us live with the
demand over the long haul.
CONTROLLABILITY. We need to look at the
demand to see how much control we have over it.
We can divide the demands into the following
l Those we control completely
l Those we can influence but not totally control
l Those we have no control over
If we control the demand, then we have made the
decision to allow the demand into our life. These
demands should have a long-term benefit. Take a
look at the demands that you control. Ask yourself if
you really want to keep the demands in your life. If
the answer is yes, then you need to develop coping
strategies that will allow you to deal with them.
Demands that you can influence but not totally control
are within your power to change. Children are a good
We can influence them by using good
nurturing and parenting skills. Through our influence
we can minimize the negative distress and maximize
the positive eustress.
Demands that you have no
control over are sometimes the most frustrating. We
feel we need some measure of control over things that
affect our lives. If you determine that you have no
control over a demand, relax. There is absolutely
nothing that you can do about it, so it requires no
action on your part.
Your job in dealing with
demands that you cannot control or influence is
Take measures that will
lessen the impact of these demands.
Look at Your Habits
We need to be aware of how we usually react to
Do we react mentally or
physically, or a combination of both? Answering this
question will help us determine what activities will
help us build the most resistance to stress and help us
revitalize after dealing with stressful situations.
MENTAL STRESSORS. Mental stressors react
to stress with their thinking.
They may start
imagining the problems are larger than they really are.
They may be unable to concentrate on anything
besides their current source of stress. They tend to
dwell on problems.
Mental stressors need to
participate in activities that will engage their minds.
Listening to music, reading, and doing crossword
puzzles are examples of activities that will reenergize
the mental stressor.
PHYSICAL STRESSORS. Physical stressors
react to stress with their body. They may perspire,
increase their breathing and pulse rates, fidget, pace,
feel sick to their stomachs, or get a headache. People
who react physically to stress need to have physical
activities to revitalize. Activities such as jogging,
aerobics, and lifting weights are
examples of activities that will help the physical
stressor manage the effects of stress.
COMBINATION STRESSORS. Some people
may react with a combination of mental and physical
symptoms. To realize a healthy level of resistance,
they need to engage in both physical and mental
Organized sports are good combination
activities. You need to be mentally and physically
active to participate. Jogging while listening to music
and memorized exercise routines offer similar relief
for the combination stressor.
MATCH YOUR ACTIVITIES TO YOUR
STYLE. It is important to reenergize with activities
that match your particular stress style. If you are
already enjoying the benefits of activities that match
your style, continue to plan time for them in your
If you find the activities that you
normally pursue do not match your stress style, you
need to try different activities to maximize the benefits
of your leisure time. If you dont have any activities