"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure," said Peter Marshall, former pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, who also twice served as Chaplain of the United States Senate.

Call it difficulties, tragedies or problems, some people face catastrophic events like hurricanes, job loss, divorce or automobile accidents without great stress in their lives. Others find enormous difficulty coping with the same chaotic circumstances, feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Events like these cause much unwanted stress and need to be balanced with positive calming energy to help you cope and make sense of the chaos you are facing.

At times, you may have enough reserve calming energy within to help you deal with such traumatic events. However, if you are constantly bombarded with energy drainers and negativity and are already low on your reserves, even small chaotic events can cause catastrophic levels of stress. This makes it increasingly difficult to handle yet one more issue. Chaos is difficult enough to deal with as it happens but often you live with the side effects long after the actual event is over.

Stressors on Steroids

Stress can come from many areas such as unrealistic expectations at work or a demanding unfair boss. They can also come from a new baby in the home, family visiting, an eminent wedding, work load distribution or financial concerns. Major catastrophes are not the biggest everyday stressors. In fact, many are cloaked in totally benign categories, and for the most part are not even recognized for the stressors they are. Research studies show the following three issues are the most common stressors in today’s society.

Conflict between Beliefs and Values – Inner conflict is a huge stressor for everyone. When your beliefs and values are not aligned with your thoughts and actions enormous stress occurs. You are constantly in-conflict with yourself. For example, you may value family life, but you do not spend time with your family allowing work, tennis, your golf game or Monday night football to interfere. There is stress-causing conflict between your values and actions. Is your spiritual side important to you -- do you attend church or go to temple regularly? If not, why? Take time to think about your core values and beliefs and determine if they match your actions.

Personal/Family Stress – This category can overwhelm you if you do not understand what ground rules you’ve established and if you are not aligned with them. Family stress is also personal stress and comes in many forms, such as having a child with difficulties in school, a teen being bullied, a blended marriage or a senior family member under financial or health stress. Another recently acknowledged stressor is being a caregiver to a loved one who is elderly or who has health problems. Evaluate what is going on in your life and bring it into alignment with your thinking and actions.

Employment – This can be the obvious “elephant in the room” for stress if you don’t like what you do or where you work. Do you feel underpaid, overworked and underappreciated? Being unhappy with your work or finding your job too demanding can lead to chronic stress. Get rid of the 1990’s notion that you must love your job. If you hate your job then get another job. If you cannot do that and cannot change what is happening in your workplace environment then let go of the negatives and find peace in the fact that you have a steady income. Learn how to manage job stress – the options are either illness or unemployment.

Losing your job or not being able to find work can dramatically add to your stress level. While millions are out of work today, it is of little consolation if you are one of the millions. Don’t just sit there -- make a plan. Putting together a plan on how to find a job is very stress relieving. But if you don’t take action on the plan your stress levels will rise to new heights. Take action.

Stress Control Plan

Getting in-control is the way to prevent positive energy depletion or increase it. Even when in the midst of a chaotic event you can start to increase that much-needed positive energy reserve.

Do get in-control by determining what is causing your stress.

Do get in-control by acknowledging what is out of alignment.

Do get in-control by creating a stress-relieving plan.

Do get in-control by taking action that is in alignment with your plan.

According to Wikipedia, stress typically describes a negative concept that can have an impact on one’s mental and physical well-being. Nowhere is it described as a debilitating disease, yet many treat it as such. Get in-control of your life by bringing your beliefs and values into alignment with your decisions and actions. By simply doing this the stress and all of its side effects are significantly diminished. You can do it and get back in control of your life.

© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2012

Author's Bio: 

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She designs personal and office environments that promote work/life balance and increase prosperity. She is the author of Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It, and Selling Your Home with a Competitive Edge. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or www.energy-by-design.com. Also visit her strictly business site www.engagetolead.com.