Tag - stress

Stress Management – How To Handle Stress Healthily

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stress management

Stress Management
How to handle stress healthily aims to provide simple tips to help let you cope with stress in a more wholesome way.

 

Stress. That’s one thing all people seem to have in common nowadays. The bustle of day to day living coupled with the challenges we face in our personal and professional lives all leaves us burned out and tired. We all feel stressed at some point or another. It is a normal and healthy reaction to a change or challenge. But the stress that continues for more than a few weeks can affect your health leaving you feeling less energetic, depressed, or can even lead to life-threatening ailments like cancer. Prevent stress from getting you sick by learning healthy ways to handle it.

Learn to recognize stress

The first step in managing stress is recognizing the presence of stress in your life. Learn how to tell if you’re just feeling tired, fatigued, or already suffering from heavy stress. Everyone experiences stress in a different way. You may be angry or irritable, unable to sleep, or suffer from headaches or stomach upset. What are the signs of stress on you? Once you know the signs you should look for you can start handling it.

Additionally, start learning how to identify situations that can cause stress. These situations are known as stressors. Your stresses can be family, work, relationships, money, health problems, or a combination of two or more of these stressors. Once you understand where your stress comes from, you can devise ways to deal with your tensions.

unhealthy ways to deal with stress

Avoid stress relieving in unhealthy ways

By feeling stressed, you can resort to unhealthy behaviors that help you relax. These behaviors may include:

Overeating
Cigarette smoking
Drinking alcohol and consuming drugs
Sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep
Overindulging
These behaviors can help you feel better at first, but they can do more harm than actually help. And some of these unhealthy habits can lead to unhealthier addictions that will cost more harm. Instead, use the tips below to find healthy ways to reduce stress.

Find healthy techniques to manage stress

There are many ways to manage stress. Try some to find out which ones work best for you.

Recognize the things that cannot change. Accepting that you cannot change certain things allows you to let go and not get upset. For example, you cannot change the fact that you should drive during rush hour. But you can look for ways to relax and make the ride more enjoyable, like listening to a podcast or an audiobook.

Avoid stressful situations. Whenever possible, step away from the source of stress. For example, if your family holds discussions avoid a certain topic that often bring a divide like politics, take a break and go for a walk or a ride in the car instead. You already know that this particular topic can start heated debates so it is better to just avoid it and get away. They can continue to indulge in their favorite discussions while you enjoy a long, quiet stroll.

exercise group

Exercise. Performing physical activities every day is the best and easiest way to deal with stress. When exercising, your brain starts releasing chemicals that make you feel good. Doing regular exercises can also help you with your repressed energy or frustration as you can release your tensions with every physical exertion. Look for something you enjoy, whether you are walking, bicycling, playing softball, swimming, taking up a new sports activity like martial arts, or dancing. Do it for at least 30 minutes most days. Regular exercise not only relieves you of stress but it can also make you lose excess weight.
This is like hitting two birds with one stone. Get a healthier, leaner, toned body while you de-stress.

Change your perspective. Try to develop a more positive attitude to the challenges you face. You can do this by replacing negative thoughts with more positive thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, “Why does everything always go wrong?” change that idea by replacing it with “I can find a way to overcome this.” It may seem difficult or silly at first, but you might find that this helps you to turn your perspective.

Do something you enjoy. When stress is getting you down, do something you enjoy to help you get your spirits back up again. It can be something as simple as reading a good book, listening to music, watching your favorite movie, or dining out with a friend. Alternatively, you may want to start a new hobby or class you’ve been putting off in a while. Remember that pottery class you’ve always wanted to sign up for? Now may be a good time to enroll. No matter what you choose, try to do at least one thing a day that is just for you.

Learn new ways to relax. The practice of relaxation techniques is a great way to deal with day-to-day stress. Relaxation techniques help you decrease your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure. There are many types, from deep breathing and meditation to yoga and Tai Chi. Take a class or try to learn from books, videos, and or online resources.

Connect with your loved ones. Don’t let stress stand between you and your social life. Spending quality time with family and friends can help you feel better and forget about stress. Trusting your problems to a friend can also help you solve them. You’ll get someone’s perspective and learn how to see things in a different light.

woman sleeping

Get enough sleep. Resting sufficiently during the night can help you think more clearly and have more energy. This will make it easier to handle any problems that may arise. Try to sleep between 7 and 9 hours every night.

(Read: The Science of Sleep. Why Getting To Sleep On Time Should Be Priority)

Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods helps give your body and mind energy. Avoid refreshments with high sugar content and consume many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, reduced or fat free dairy and lean protein.
Learn to say no. If your stress comes from doing too much homework at home or at work, learn to set limits. Ask others when you need help.

Resources

If you feel that you are not able to handle stress by yourself, you may now want to consider to talk to your health care provider. You may also consider seeing a therapist or counselor who can help you find other ways to cope with stress. Depending on the cause of your stress, you may also be helped by joining a support group.

Do not take stress so lightly because if left untreated this can lead to many health problems as well as mental and physical breakdown. Remember, a good and healthy life means you are physically, emotionally, and mentally stable.

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Relationship Stress What To Do About It

 

 

 

 

 

 

No More Stress! Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Improve Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Relationship Stress What To Do About It

You may not be able to put it into words clearly but you just “feel” that your relationship is in trouble. You find yourself questioning whether or not it’s even worth saving and constantly wondering what’s missing from your relationship. Is it commitment, compatibility, trust, love? We wreck our brains trying to figure out how can we identify what’s really going on.

If you could change one thing about your relationship what would it be? Wouldn’t you want things to be the way they were in the beginning? Wouldn’t you want to feel the closeness that you once had? Wouldn’t you want to feel loved and cared about again? All these questions are not foreign to someone who has been or still is in love and in a relationship

I used to lose sleep at night worrying whether my relationship was going to last even another day. We used to be best friends and I just didn’t know what happened. How did it get so bad? I knew how close we were in the beginning. Now, we were hardly speaking. And when we did it was never pleasant. It makes me angry that people get more training learning how to flip hamburgers at McDonald’s than in developing a lasting relationship. Chances are, like me, you’ve turned to friends and family looking for helpful advice. You may have even tried chat rooms looking for someone to help. I’ve found advice from these sources just doesn’t work. Worse, as I experienced, they encourage you to “dump the b*tch out”. The tons of relationship books out there, I found most left me with more questions than answers.

Know that your relationship will not fix itself.
Relationship stress impacts everything about your life whether you realize it or not. When your mind is bothered by what’s happening with you and your partner, you’re carrying the stress of that fight to your work, how you deal with people, how you project yourself to the world. It will create a vicious cycle of negativity that will not help make things better. Realize when this is happening.

For this article, we’ll tackle how you can minimize stress with regards to your relationship so you can slowly work on the other issues.

  • Characterize what is the real problem and what your relationship is all about. Before you tackle solutions to the problem your relationship is facing, first determine if something is really a problem and the actual relationship itself and the challenges you face. The love you feel for one another should be protected from the stresses you encounter. To confuse the two would severely affect the relationship dynamic. For this to be successful we need to work at controlling our response so it doesn’t poison our feeling about our mate.
  • Constant reaffirmation of your partnership leads to is important.
    Little misunderstandings often happen so it is important that you remind both of yourselves that you are allies in the struggle and not enemies that should clash. Remember that you are each other’s support no matter what happens. If mistakes are made, being quick to apologize demonstrates a strong commitment to the relationship. Also, being forgiving about the other’s shortcomings has a similar effect. A constant reminder of how much you value your partner and the relationship will help clear away the doubts that sometimes tries to set in.
  • Do not be afraid to seek help if you need it as things can often be confusing and do not be too proud or stubborn which will help you lose objectivity. Most often, an impartial third party like a relationship coach who can hear both your sides will be able to see things clearly and will be able to provide valuable insight will greatly help you see things in different angles you have not considered. If you truly value your closest relationship, then the willingness to do whatever it takes to strengthen the bond of love and unity should be done. It may not always be easy but the rewards of having your loved one close and your relationship intact should be worth it.
  • Find opportunities to push and encourage one another to be better individuals. How do you feel when your partner expresses their confidence and trust in your judgment and actions? If you say you are more encouraged, it feels good, doesn’t it? We feel more emboldened and confident to take on more challenging tasks and face challenging times when we know our partner’s going to be by our side as their presence often casts away self-doubt. And even if the cloud of doubt lingers, knowing that we have another person to count on gives us the boost of courage we need to make it through. Mutual encouragement is a very powerful anti-stress tool a relationship can wield. Do not wait for stressful situations to present themselves before you utter a word or two of encouragement.
  • Treat each other with respect and do not let familiarity breed contempt. When we are under stress, we often tend to shirk away and be less resourceful. The last thing we want to ever do is to treat the other person as our shock absorber in life. In reality, it is not familiarity that lets us breed contempt for another but the lack of consideration and the show of disrespect. Promote unity and maintain a high level of respect for one another by making sure you treat the other with deference. Let them know where they stand and where you stand. Open and honest communication will help you get this through.

These are just some tips to help you make what you have work better. Relationships need hard work to maintain because after the burst of attraction settles and you get to know each other better it also unearths layers of one’s personality that we need to deal with. We not only take the good but also the bad. The challenges will always be there but to know how to properly handle them will reward us with years of lasting friendship and companionship with someone we can count on through our deepest, toughest times and in the peak of our successes.  And putting in all these hard works will be worth it.

No More Stress! Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Improve Health

Stress can be hard to scientifically define as it is a subjective phenomenon. Often the word is used to describe our reactions to certain behavior exhibited by others like a boss being tough, a customer that insists on certain things you are not allowed to give, pressure from your parents or peers, etc. But these examples and countless like it is not really stress itself but stressors that illicit a response from us. Stress itself is quite difficult to define as it varies from individual. We undergo stress when our bodies start releasing chemicals into our blood which gives us more strength and a boost in energy. This explains why when that boss (the stressor) puts the pressure on you to finish a deadline at the last minute, you find that you are able to be more productive and create better output. Stress can be either good or bad as it all depends on the situation. In this article, we will try to tackle the bad side of stress and how being in this heightened state of strength and energy is wreaking havoc to your mind and body.

Chronic stress impacts your health negatively as physical manifestations start to show and or be felt. High blood pressure, headaches, body ache, and even certain diseases like diabetes, or stroke often affect us when we are so stressed out. Certain anxiety disorders and even depression may follow.
Therefore, reducing stress is a must in improving our health and it should always be a target in our long-term health goals.

Start with identifying your stress triggers. Be observant of the situations happening around you and start taking note of your reactions. Writing down your observations will greatly help in keeping track of your responses. Once you are able to do so, you’ll get a clearer idea of what things are stressing you out and will be able to slowly eliminate or lessen your contact with these stressors.

As hard as it is to do, we need to start seeing things from different angles and change the way we perceive stressful situations. Many common events cause most people to immediately feel stressed and overwhelmed. Death, divorce, break-up, job loss, a new job, moving, exams, injury, and other interpersonal conflicts are all normal. Yes, they may be hard to go through but know that there is always a way to get by and there will always be people you can reach out so you can talk and unburden yourself. Listening to other people’s perspective in any of these situations may just give you a better understanding of how to approach these stressors and handle them in a way conducive to your living.
Learn how to evaluate situations more constructively and not focus too much on how it makes you feel but rather how you can approach it so solutions can be seen. Remember, it is not just about “thinking positively” but rather thinking in the most helpful, rational, solutions-driven way.

Having solid relationships can also be a great way to de-stress. Strong relationships need not always be of the romantic kind which many people always think about. A strong bond with your family, siblings, close circle of friends, a support group are all great things to maintain. They can listen to your problems, offer good advice, and even help out in times of great need. This alleviates the burden of having to go through tough situations on your own.

Give your body enough rest. Oftentimes, when we deal with the stressors in our lives, we tend to overwork ourselves thinking that it would be best to go about it this way. By the time, we get home, we’d be so exhausted that we just drop our bodies to the bed and try to sleep, only to find that despite being overworked we could not sleep properly. Then we wake up in the hour we need to, to once again go to work and burn more of our energy. This isn’t proper rest. Stress and sleep deprivation is bidirectional. The reason why you’re able to be up and do all that work is that stress can keep you awake and not getting sleep contributes to your stress level. It’s a nasty cycle that needs to be broken. Give your body time to relax. Turn your room into a sanctuary conducive to sleep and develop good sleep hygiene. First, reduce your caffeine and sugar intake. Make sure you stick to a sleeping schedule. Check your windows and put in screens or curtains that can block sunlight. Avoid touching gadgets that tell your brain it’s “daytime” like cellular phones, computers, or the television. Using aromatherapy can also help you sleep much better. Smelling certain scents at specific hours will help in the relaxation process.
Investing in an electric oil diffuser would be a good idea because they come with safety features and you don’t have to light a candle which makes it less a fire hazard. Scents like citrus, chamomile, and lavender are great to have around as they can help you relax.

Start exercising regularly. Moderate exercise done regularly greatly helps in reducing your stress level. You don’t have to immediately sign up for expensive gym membership. Start by walking every day and incorporating weights. Pretty soon, you’ll find that not only are you getting more relaxed but dropping unwanted weight too. Exercising is beneficial not only physically but mentally as well.

Learn to relax your mind and your body. There are numerous techniques you can do yourself and they include breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and even muscle relaxation. They help you clear your mind, reduce tension, and slow down your heart rate especially in those highly stressful moments.

Check this resource out for many guided meditations. Free Guided Meditations – UCLA Health

If doing all the above still has not contributed to your quality of life, learn when to seek help. Consult a psychologist or mental health provider. You don’t have to suffer from a serious mental ailment in order to seek professional help. Asking for expert advice is a good thing as they can help you in identifying the underlying problems and developing a more effective coping strategy to suit you. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and in your well-being. You are worth it.