Helpful Ways to Manage Stress in Your Busy Life

Stress is a constant and is with us all the time. It comes from mental or emotional activity and physical activity. It is unique and personal to each of us. Too much emotional stress can cause physical illness such as high blood pressure, ulcers, or even heart disease; physical stress from work or exercise is not likely to cause such ailments. The truth is that physical exercise can help you to relax and to handle your mental or emotional stress.

Recognizing the early signs of distress and then doing something about them can make an important difference in the quality of your life, and may actually influence your survival. To use stress in a positive way and prevent it from becoming distress, you should become aware of your own reactions to stressful events. The body responds to stress by going through three stages: (1) alarm, (2) resistance, and (3) exhaustion.

When stress occurs, it is important to recognize and deal with it. Here are some suggestions for ways to handle stress. As you begin to understand more about how stress affects you as an individual, you will come up with your own ideas of helping to ease the tensions.

Try Physical Activity & Take Care of Yourself. When you are nervous, angry, or upset, release the pressure through exercise or physical activity. Running, walking, playing tennis, or working in your garden are just some of the activities you might try. Remember, your body and your mind work together. Get enough rest and eat well. If you are irritable and tense from lack of sleep or if you are not eating correctly, you will have less ability to deal with stressful situations. If stress repeatedly keeps you from sleeping, you should ask your doctor for help.

Share Your Stress. It helps to talk to someone about your concerns and worries. A friend, family member, teacher, or counselor can help you see your problem in a different light. If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, don't fight the situation. Learn to accept what is-for now-until such time when you can change it.

Make Time For Fun and Relaxation. Schedule time for both work and recreation. Play can be just as important to your well being as work; you need a break from your daily routine to just relax and have fun. You can't always run away, but you can "dream the impossible dream." A quiet country scene painted mentally, or on canvas, can take you out of the turmoil of a stressful situation. Change the scene by reading a good book or playing beautiful music to create a sense of peace and tranquility.

Be a Participant in Life. Offer your services in neighborhood or volunteer organizations. Help yourself by helping other people. Get involved in the world and the people around you, and you'll find they will be attracted to you. You're on your way to making new friends and enjoying new activities.

Check Off Your Tasks. Trying to take care of everything at once can seem overwhelming, and, as a result, you may not accomplish anything, Instead, make a list of what tasks you have to do, then do one at a time, checking them off as they're completed. Give priority to the most important ones and do those first.

Cooperation vs. Confrontation Do other people upset you - particularly when they don't do things your way? Try cooperation instead of confrontation; it's better than fighting and always being "right:" A little give and take on both sides will reduce the strain and make you both feel more comfortable.


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