Managing Stress

Today now more than ever, it seems as though we are all subject to stress, a by product of the constant and primarily psychological pressures of modern life.

We also suffer consequences when our body’s biological mechanisms for handling stress go awry. Fortunately, in managing stress there are many way in which to relax and unwind.

life can get crazy

Stress Facts

 85 percent of adults know that they may suffer adverse health effects from stress.

 An estimated 75-90 percent of doctor’s visits are related to symptoms caused by stress.

 Stress has been linked to leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer lung ailments, accidents and suicide, as well as numerous other disorders.

 Unmanaged stress can suppress the immune system.

 People under constant stress may accumulate fat around their abdomen due to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

What is Stress?

Stress occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands we experience and the resources we have to deal with those demands. A stressor is a situation, event or demand that causes stress.

Stress is not an event, but our reaction to that event. When left unchecked, physical, emotional, and mental resources can become depleted, leading to illness symptoms of chronic stress including:

 Fatigue

 Chronic muscle tension and headaches

 Chest pain and a rapid heart rate

 Frequent illnesses or infections such as colds

 Intestinal problems or pain

 High blood pressure

 Changes in appetite

 Insomnia and teeth grinding

 Overeating

 Procrastination

 Irritability and lashing out

 Increase in smoking, drinking or drug use

 Reckless driving

 Negativity

In order to overcome and change some of our negative responses to stress, we can use alternate strategies including:

 Talking

 Laughing

 Exercising

 Prayer or meditation

 Practicing coping and relaxation skills

 Improving organizational and time management skills

meditation techniques

Categorize Your Stressors

A helpful exercise is to list all your stressors. Include everything – traffic, workload, disorganization, lack of communication, relationships, illness, housework, etc. You might find that simply creating the list makes you feel a little more in control. Take each item on your list and ask yourself two questions about each one:

1. How important is it?

2. Can I control or change it?

Focus most of your resources on those stressors that are important and controllable. Action is when you do something that actively changes a situation. Examples of actions include learning time management skills, using problem solving skills, practicing assertive communication or implementing money management.

relax to relieve stress

Stress Coping Techniques

Coping skills help offset the negative effects of stress. They do not change the situation, but they give you a positive outlet and help your mind and body rest, rejuvenate and recover. They include: physical activity/exercise, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, using positive thoughts, finding fun and laughter and effective time management.

Practice Quick Relaxation Exercises

Practice quick relaxation techniques such as:

 Deep breathing

 Visual imagery

 Listening to music

how to manage stress with music

Let’s Chat > How do you manage your stress?

2 thoughts on “Managing Stress Ways to Relax and Unwind

  1. I wish I could say that I manage stress. Not so, however I am thankful that I do have less stress in my life since retirement. With Faith and Determination we can conquer Sis.

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