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"Flat tire on the freeway and no jack ..Locking your keys in the car ..Flunking Algebra.. Again!  Stress! Everyday Stress."

But, if you are willing to believe City College Psychology Instructor Joseph L. Gill, people can learn to control stress in their lives.

He appeared as a guest speaker on campus, where he discussed his recent book “PERSONALIZED STRESS MANAGEMENT”.

“Living is a lifetime job, said Gill. “A job means work; work requires energy; and energy necessitates stress. We cannot live without stress, he explained.

Gill noted that stress in everyday life should be seen as a challenge, not a threat.

“Your life and how you manage stress is your trade and no one can manage it better than you.” Gill said.

He emphasized that good stress control habits can be learned and cultivated.

“Mastery of the trade is not something that you are born with .. it is more a learning process .. something everyone has the potential to develop,” said Gill.

“Stress can be defined as demands that are inconsistent with an individual’s energy, money, and time resources,” the Psychology instructor said.

According to Gill, the antidote for stress is relaxation. Each person has a “stress pocket” where stress is collected and stored. It can only get so full before it overfills and an individual feels out of control. Practicing relaxing and relieving stress on a regular basis keeps the “pocket” from overfilling and creating a crisis, he added.

“A crisis state is when you are afraid you are going to act the way you want to,” said Gill. “We put ourselves in a fight-or-flight situation.”

Gill used quitting a job as an example. A person will allow stress on the job to build to the point where he or she wants to quit but are then afraid to act because it will create a whole new stressful situation; being unemployed.

“A person can develop the ability to channel stress creatively,” said Gill. “Through the conscious control of diet, exercise, and sleeping habits, a person can learn to raise their threshold for coping with stress.”

He illustrated his point by demonstrating a technique of relaxing through conscious deep breathing.

“Breathing shallowly increases feelings of anxiety,” said Gill.

“Breathing deeply and fully creates a state of physical and mental relaxation.”
This technique and others are explained in his book “PERSONALIZED STRESS MANAGEMENT: A MANUAL FOR EVERYDAY LIFE AND WORK.”

Gill said that an individual can and should develop a personalized stress management program to control stress in day to day living.

“Stress is a natural, unavoidable, and often necessary reaction .. when stress is kept .. within the realm of personal management, it will foster more natural reactions to the demands of day to day living and assure better and healthier mental and physical functioning.” Said Gill.
 
 
 




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