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Published on : January 15, 2014

How to Healthfully Survive These Stressful Times

How to Healthfully Survive These Stressful Times


Almost everyone’s anxiety level is elevated because of these stressful times which affect most aspects of our daily life. Many of us are worried about what=s going to happen to us. As many as 80 percent of Americans are stressed about their personal finances and the economy, according to the annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. All we have to do is read the newspaper, turn on the radio or talk to friends. To add insult to injury we have “road rage,” “desk rage,” “gone postal,” and something called techno-stress that is the incessant intensification and infusion of new information. One hundred years ago there were no jet planes, hardly any automobiles, certainly no cell phones, computers, internet, or fax machines. More than 80% of the world=s technological inventions have occurred since 1900.There was more information produced in the 30 years from 1965-1995 than was produced in the entire 5,000-year period from 300BC to 1965. We have experienced more change in the past 20 years than the world encountered in the previous 2,000 years. Never before in our history has our life=s changed so rapidly.


As a result, daily stress builds up like the steam in a pressure cooker. It needs to consistent release in order to prevent mental and physical health problems. Symptoms of prolonged stress may include lack of patience, anger, sadness, fatigue, depression, heightened emotions, withdrawal, sleep problems, lack of focus, poor decision-making, physical pain, feeling overwhelmed, eating unhealthy foods and memory problems. Whenever we experience increased stress in our life, we have to compensate for it by doing more things to release the stress and make an effort to avoid stressful conversations and situations.

The practice of meditation, a relaxation technique, has been well documented by the scientific community to lower cholesterol, pain, blood pressure, anxiety and tension. It also increases melatonin, which improves the quality of sleep. Other studies have clinically shown that meditation can enhance the health status of individuals with psoriasis, allergies, asthma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraines, diabetes, cancer and panic attacks.

As a stress management specialist for the past 30 years, I have assisted many companies, government agencies and individuals to make it through tough times. There is no quick fix, but with a strong desire to change, commitment, and by taking action, you can successfully make the necessary changes to survive these times healthfully.


  1. Exercise
  2. Increase periods of relaxation (Take 20 deep breaths a day)
  3. Don=t fixate on worry, anger, guilt and fear of the future
  4. Remember that you are in control (be proactive not reactive)
  5. Develop coping strategies for your stress
  6. Be extra good to yourself and get sufficient rest
  7. Express your concerns to friends and family and then let it go
  8. Lighten up, bring more fun and joy into your life
  9. Become more flexible in order to ride the waves of change
  10. Practice visualizing yourself already having these qualities

Being successful at accomplishing these 10 steps takes a strong intention and scheduling some of them into your daily routine. It will also help to connect every day with your spiritual preference. If none of this works for you, or if you can=t find the time, simply smile. It will send a message to the brain that all is well. One last thing you may ask yourself, what can I learn about myself from my reactions and behaviors? Awareness and taking responsibility are important steps to make the thinking and attitude changes to help you survive these stressful times.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gero, Ph.D. is a pioneer in the field of stress management, having taught his first program in 1974 and is the creator of the Success over Stress System. He delivered the first stress management program for the California Department of Corrections at San Quentin Prison; he assisted the Los Angeles Times with the stress surrounding the 1984 Olympics; he assisted Allied Signal with the stress and sabotage surrounding a plant closing; helped JPL (NASA) deal with the failure of the Mars Project; and, he assisted paramedics in the California State Firefighters Association with job stress. He is former director of the Health Awareness Institute and the Stress Management Institute of California. Dr. Gero co-wrote and co-produced a relaxation and stress management video hosted by Dennis Weaver, has produced several stress management and peak-performance CDs and has authored a book entitled “Secrets to Success at Work”. Several years ago, Jeff was granted a United States patent for a computer biofeedback mouse that helps reduce stress while enhancing productivity.
Dr Gero can be reached at 818 879-1373