Home' Nova National : Nova November 2013 Contents novamagazine.com.au
She took a break from journalism, and later
wrote a book called A pressure cooker saved
my life, how to have it all, do it all, and keep
it all together which I highly recommend,
not only for the cooking tips, but the very
useful lifestyle advice.
Let’s face it, life is stressf ul. The problem
with stress is that it gradually creeps up on
us, so we become unaware of its impact on
our well being, until a crisis forces us to make
changes. It is like one of those unwelcome
guests whom we grudgingly accommodate
for weeks on end, until we discover one day
that we have become const antly moody,
irritable, and are now finding any excuse to
avoid coming home at night.
Of course, stressful factors will vary
according to each individual. One per son
will be terrified of public speaking, while
another will be excited by the challenge.
Stress also manifests itself in many different
ways. The psychologist Connie Lillas used
a driving analogy to describe the three most
com mon way s people respond when they ’re
over whelmed by stress:
Foot on the gas - An angry or agitated
stress response. We get heated, keyed up,
overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
Foot on the brake - A withdrawn or
depressed stress response. We shut down, space
out and show very little energy or emotion.
Foot on both pedals - A tense and frozen
stress response. We “ freeze” under pressure
and can’t do anything. We look paralysed, but
under the surface we are extremely agitated.
Make sure you never
miss an issue again.
Subscribe to NOVA for only
$48 for 12 issues each year.
Have NOVA home delivered
Oriental Medicine practitioner Olivier LeJus continues his
series on reducing the impact of stress on our daily lives.
© NOVA NOVEMBER 2013
TRADITIONAL EASTERN MEDICINE
FROM AUSTRALIAN TRAINED AND
• • Japanese-style acupuncture
• • Chinese Herbalism
• • Remedial massage
• • Medical fund rebates available
• • Enmore (Sydney) clinic
0 415 376 083
M.H .Sc (TCM)
Celebrating our 20th year
Bali’s beauty and
spirituality is a magnet
for our readers, so speak
directly to them with your
advertisement in NOVA.
For details, call
0477 915 031 or email
Holding an event in Bali?
The consequences of stress were
dramatically exposed on national
television a few years ago, when
the Sydney-based journalist
Juanita Phillips suffered an on air coughing
fit while presenting the ABC evening
news, forcing the national broadc aster
to temporally divert the program to its
Melbourne studio. Ju anita later attributed
the very public breathing incident to
ongoing stress. This traumatic experience
forced the new sreader to reevalu ate her life.
We should remember that while we may
feel the stress in our life is out of our control,
it is up to us how we respond to it. Taking
up yoga and meditation, or learning deep
breathing techniques can increase our ability
to stay ca lm and collect ed under pressure, but
managing stress is also about learning to take
charge of the way we deal with problems.
The first step is to identify and, as much as
possible, tr y to eliminate the stress factors
that are affecting us.
I know that when I started taking a hard
look at myself, I quickly realised I was actually
very good at making my life difficult.
In her book, Juanita Phillips explains
that when she decided to change her lifestyle,
she soon realised many of the technological
gadgets she was using were not only great time
wasters, but a constant source of stress. This
led her to take drastic steps to simplify her life
as much as possible, which resulted in getting
rid of most of her kitchen equipment, (except
her pressure c ooker which she discovered wa s
a great time saver). She bought a ver y basic
mobile phone, a nd switched off her voic e
mail service. After all, if the call were that
important, the person would get back to her
anyway. She got rid of her landline, and she
took drastic steps to control her use of the
Internet. ( ‘Do I really need to check my email
a dozen times a day?’ I ask myself). She set
herself a two minute limit for replying to work
email. She dropp ed out of Facebook, without
any ill consequences, and she drastically
limited her television intake. Being a bu sy
mum with a young child, she started dividing
her day into 15 minute blocks of time with
each specific household task allotted a
single, or a multiple slots, thus forcing her to
stop procra stinating.
She taught herself to learn to say, “Can I
check my diary and get back to you?” instead
of automatically accepting invitations to
social events only to find herself over whelmed
later on. By reorganising her wardrobe, a nd
getting rid of all the clothes she hadn’t worn
in a year, she made it a lot easier and quicker
to select an outfit every day.
With her new method, Juanita got rid of
most of her stress, and she used the extra time
for doing the things she really wanted to do.
We can probably all make similar changes
in our life without any ill effects. Of course,
the idea is not to make our life miserable by
cutting out all the things we enjoy. After all,
watching a little bit of junk on TV now and
then has never harmed anyone. But in my
personal experienc e, pruning most of the
unnecessary time wasters out of the day can
make a lot of difference in reducing stress
levels without really costing any thing.
In my case, it even led me into buying a
pressure co oker from a discount warehou se,
which would have made my late mother very
proud of her son.
Olivier Lejus. MHSc.,BHSc. is a registered
acupuncturist practising in Sydney.
Links Archive Nova October 2013 Nova December 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page