Dealing with Stress

By Jaime Rice

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

synonyms: strain, pressure, (nervous) tension, worry, anxiety, trouble, difficulty; informal hassle

Everyone deals with stress, on some level, almost every single day. Whether it is work-related stress, personal life stress, or a combination of both, stress levels can have wreak havoc on our bodies.

According to WebMD 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress-related symptoms. These symptoms can include; headaches, high blood pressure and anxiety. So the question is how do we manage and deal with everyday and/or extreme stress?

I am used to operating at a certain stress level and have been able to successfully manage that level for some time, but what happens when we are overloaded? For example, the last few weeks I have been in the process of selling a house, packing up to move, working long hours on big project, and dealing with other outside stressors. It is safe to say I reached a new level of stress, and I have noticed my body responding to the changing stress level. I seemed more fatigued, worn down more than normal and not sleeping well. I recognized what was going on and knew I needed to figure out how to get it under control before I went completely crazy.

First thing I did was focus on an outlet, something I could do to take my mind off everything and have fun. For me that is training or doing any sort of outside physical activity. I started taking my dog on long walks at the park and exploring area parks with hiking. I have to say this worked really well!

Second was realizing what was within my control and what was not. Accepting that I cannot control every little thing is very freeing. I know I can control my actions and how I respond to situations, but relinquishing the idea that I can control others made a huge difference.

Third was giving myself a break! We are often harder on ourselves than anyone else and this can add to stress levels when our expectations are not attainable or unreasonable for the situation.

Lastly, take a vacation. Whether it’s a long weekend road trip a few hours away or a week long beach trip, time away is essential to resetting your mind and body. I am planning a long vacation after things settle down and it gives me something to look forward to and get excited about.

These are only a few ways I manage stress and what works for me at the moment. Below are several links to other sites with advice on managing stress.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/07/11/10-practical-ways-to-handle-stress/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm

http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/tips-to-control-stress

 

 

 

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