As 18-year-old Zachary drove down the road one night, his chest began hurting, his pulse raced, and he had trouble catching his breath. I’m having a heart attack, he thought. He wisely pulled over and called 911. As it turned out, Zach was having a panic attack.
Singer/songwriter Billy Joel got it right when he wrote his classic rock song, “Pressure.” As a few lines of the song tell us, “You’re just like everybody else…even you cannot avoid…pressure.” Whether you’re a star or a stay-at-home mom, a senior adult or a millennial, you’ve got some sort of pressure in your life: pressure to perform, to provide, to produce, to make decisions.
What do you do when the pressure’s on? How often do you attempt to relieve stress in ways that are less than healthy? Do you automatically reach for the chips when you sit down at the computer to work? There’s just something about having a snack to munch on when it’s literally crunch time. Or how about sinking your teeth into that gooey chocolate candy bar every day when you get a break? You know you shouldn’t, but it’s so comforting!
If you’ve read this far in the series on stress, you may have a strong interest in finding ways to manage your stress over the long term. The key is to find the right combination of techniques that works for you. In addition to the basics discussed in part 4, study the following collection of stress management ideas from doctors, counselors and other experts.