Stress - How To Prevent and Identify This Crippling Condition

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Controlling The Stress In Your Life

Stress is running rampant these days and it's time to learn how to prevent and identify this crippling condition.

If stress is part of your every day living, you're not alone. What if I told you that you can change your life and live with less stress? Well, you can. I'm going to show you some simple ways to kick this killer to the curb..

We all live with a certain amount of stress and anxiety. In fact, sometimes a little stress can be a good thing. Think about the times when being stressed out has caused you to act upon a project immediately instead of procrastinating.

As you've no doubt noticed, stress can come in various degrees and a variety of forms. A mild headache can become excruciating, irritability seems to arise from nowhere and a good nights sleep is a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. But it doesn't have to control your life. There are steps you can take to keep you strong, more relaxed, emotionally healthy and to feel better overall.

Reinforcements are here. Get ready to change your life with just a few simple tips.

That's right. Following these tips will help you to live stress-free and become more productive.

Reduce Stress With Music

Music releases tension in the body and mind.
Music releases tension in the body and mind. | Source

Meditation To The Rescue

Meditation conjures up different images for each of us. Actually, to meditate, simply means being able to dwell on something to the point that you are oblivious to outside distractions and time. " To be at peace requires us to be intimate with our sorrows, anger, loss, struggles, desires, pleasures, joys and happiness" - Jack Kornfield

Sit silently and listen eagerly. Wait expectantly. Focus on God's (universe) goodness and majesty. Expect change. Breathe deeply and your heart is changed, and peace will follow.

How To Relieve Stress With These Tips

The following tips will only work if you use them daily whether you're at your desk pumping out a new article or sitting around worrying about things you have little control over.

Let's take a look at exactly what you can do to relieve old Mr. Stress:

  • You absolutely must take a break every so often throughout the day. Unless you want back problems, poor circulation and brain fog you'll make this a priority.
  • Leave your desk and either take a short brisk walk or lie down in a dark quiet room. Your body needs a few minutes of complete relaxation. Even 10-15 minutes will make a difference.
  • Breathe deeply. Empty your mind and allow every muscle to relax and let-go. Inhale deeply for the count of 1-2-3-4 and exhale slowly releasing every muscle in your body for the count of 1-2-3-4 (or longer.) Repeat several times.
  • Drink a full glass of refreshing water often.
  • Repeat 6 things that you are grateful for.
  • Stretch your body gently as you continue to breathe.
  • Exercise, dance or walk the dog.
  • Smile.
  • Meditate/Pray
  • Give yourself a hug (or get one from another person.)
  • Cut back on your commitments - learn to say no.
  • Play.
  • Laugh.
  • Enjoy a hot bubble bath.
  • Treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate (raises the endorphins.)

Try to use at least 2 or 3 of these tips each day. You must begin to form new habits. As these better habits become automatic, you will begin to feel more relaxed, both in body and mind.

Things that cause one person stress may not necessarily do so for another. Finding out what triggers yours is an important step to stopping it.

Identifying Symptoms of Stress

Stress is your body’s response to changes in your life. Because life involves constant change (ranging from changing locations from home to work each morning to adapting to major life changes like marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one), there is no avoiding stress. This is why our goal isn’t to eliminate all stress, but to eliminate unnecessary stress.

The following list of symptoms are not to be used as self-diagnosis, but as a guide to raise your awareness. Be sure to see your doctor to further identify something that could be serious.

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Loss of concentration
  • Muscle Pain
  • Tension
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Fatigue
  • Over or under-eating
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Withdrawing From Being Social
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Upset Stomach
  • Excessive crying

Most of us realize that stress lowers the immune system. It can even bring about heart problems.

Most of us, do not even realize when we are stressed. Stress can affect our health and well-being. Every so often through-out the day, it's a good idea to do a self awareness body check.

Create a Place of Your Own

I love to be alone. I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Creating a place of your own can be done in an office, garden, deck, or a spare room. In the spring, summer and early fall, mine is on the large wooden deck. I have bright cushions on the furniture, a small fountain, potted plants and herbs in cheery colors. An ecco-friendly outdoor rug ties it all together.

Market umbrellas provide shade on bright sunny days. A stack of my favorite books and some fresh organic fruit and nuts are placed next to an ice-cold water pitcher. There's a CD player next to my favorite chair when I want to listen to music. My music is inspiring and uplifting.

I can daydream, laugh, cry or just sit peacefully. Wherever your sanctuary is, it is not a place for working. It's a happy, secure retreat where you can be alone ro ponder, think, get inspired, discover solutions or simply bask in silence.

What Causes Your Own Stress?

Some individuals get stressed easily while with others it takes several stressful events before they're affected. Let's take a look at some leading causes of stress and see just where you might fit in.

  • Financial Stress. This can be type of financial stress from buying a home or mounting credit cards to educational expenses or retirement for seniors. Include loss of work too.
  • Childhood Trauma. A difficult emotional childhood can cause physical stress throughout life.
  • Family Stress. Actions such as arguing, divorce, pregnancy and illness are major issues which cause stress.
  • Death of a Loved One. This rates as #1 in most surveys whether it be a child or a spouse.
  • Personal Health. This rates right up there also. When you suffer with chronic pain, extreme fatigue and life-threatening illness it's just about impossible to avoid stress.
  • Work. In these difficult financial times, you can consider yourself lucky if you have a job. Still, work related stress runs high. We worry about being replaced, downsized or the company closing down. Co workers can also add to our personal stress.
  • Dangerous Situations. Automobile accidents, fires, being a victim of a crime can cause physical and or emotional stress.


Taking Action To Reduce Stress

When we take action, we are on our way to completion of that project (paying a bill, confronting someone, finding a new job, practicing the piano, or finishing a new article). The action is usually followed by a feeling of “relief”.

To help avoid putting things off for another day (procrastination), start listing your priorities beginning with the most important first, followed by less important. Challenge yourself to tackle 1 or 2 of these priorities each day. This alone will begin to decrease your stress level. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment.

2 Proven Strategies For Reducing Stress

Here are 2 bonus stress-free relief techniques, which are proven strategies, for stress-proofing your life:

1. A very important note: Remember to breathe deeply by using your breathing muscle, the diaphragm, or belly breath." As you use diaphragmatic breathing instead of chest breathing your entire body will relax. Inhale deeply and quickly then release your air slowly while hissing.

2 The bodies nerve endings are found in the feet. At least once - a - week treat yourself to a foot massage. You can also do this yourself by kneading the bottom of your feet or place a small ball under the foot and roll it back and forth several times.

And learn to be yourself and not what anyone else expects you to be. Honor who you are by being true to yourself at all times. You are enough, just as you are. You are a diamond, unique and full of light.

As you begin to practice these tips you will:

  • Live a longer life.
  • Have a healthier heart.
  • Find that you sleep better
  • Improve your immune system.
  • Be able to focus and concentrate better.
  • Feel a sense of peace.

How stressed are you?

In general, how would you rate your level of stress?

See results without voting

A Simple Solution - Count your blessings

My grandma rarely suffered from stress. I remember one summer morning, walking hand in hand with her, through the forest near her home. As we created our own path through the beautiful trees and babbling brooks, I listened to her stories about family and life. She once told me, "If you keep yourself busy, counting all your blessings, you won't find time to be sad." For someone who had little schooling, I found that statement to be profound.

I refer to counting my blessings as "instant pleasure". I use my morning walk as a time to count all my blessings. By starting with the simple things like eyes that see, nutritious food to eat, the personality of each tree which waves to me with happy branches, my legs that make my walk possible - I continue right up to the end of my walk counting each blessing.  What a great way to "kick-start" my day.

Have a Laugh or Two Each Day

Take a quick break and exercise your laughing muscles. Let your stress filled body completely relax.

Taking a laugh break at least once a day is guaranteed to help you get more done. Re-nourish your body, mind and soul with humor. Fill your "laugh bank" with these funny jokes and videos.

In Conclusion ~

Only you can release your stress. Worry and stress are damaging. Your very own candlelight which should be lighting your way, is snuffed out. Let the stress go. Give it wings and it will fly away. Your mind will be rejuvenated.

As an old Chinese proverb says “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

Thank You

Thank you for being here. I appreciate your leaving me a comment below. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Comments 45 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Something I do to relieve stress is pour a great big Mug of simple ice-water and meditivly let it relax me,thanks for sharing vocalcoach!;)


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

Invaluable advice for these stressful times.

Up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

amillar - Stress seems to be in the air, in our food, through-out our bodies. Everywhere! But we can take a "stress-break" if we put our mind to it. Thank you amillar. :)vocalcoach


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Mentalist acer - You know that I was thinking about drinking plenty of nice, cold H20? But it only came to mind as I was ending the article around midnight. :) Yawn. I was just too tired to go back and edit. So, thank you, my friend for adding this great tip. :)vocalcoach


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

vocalcoach~~ Lovely read filled with great suggestions... people need to pause and seek some clarity in it all... Voted UP & BEAUTIFUL~~ thank you!


mdlawyer profile image

mdlawyer 5 years ago

Great destressing ideas. Thanks for the share, vocalcoach


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

VocalCoach, you have done well here, I've so many blessing to count in lieu of any of my stresses and the triviality of then vs the stress that is mainly in the confines of my mind. Thanks for the message, and God Bless, Dusty


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Excellent advice! Thanks once again Vocalcoach! I love the video and think the song is beautiful and very warm and relaxing! Up and beautiful!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Hi, Audrey. What great suggestions for relieving stress. Lily Tomlin once said, "For fast acting relief, (from stress), try slowing down." I think she was on to something there.

Another very smart lady is/was your grandma. Counting your blessings is both profound and healthful.


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

Wonderful suggestions for a universal condition. As you said, we need some stress, but it quickly gets blown out of proportion. The gratitude journal struck me. The Lord is so gracious and generous we'll never be able to thank Him enough for all His blessings to us, but that doesn't need to keep us from trying!

(I wanted to read that funny hub by Habee, but it wasn't there.)


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Well, the first photograph certainly is explicit...lol...! I have started meditating, but need to be more consistent! I'm glad you're feeling better Audrey! Good to have you back!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

marcoujor - I agree with you. Seeking clarity is indeed the key factor to reducing stress. So happy to see you! Thank you. :)vocalcoach


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

I am a atrong beleiver in the power of exercise. it peps you like nothing else.

also what i use often is alternative nostril breathing.inhale deep through the right exhale through the left then inhale through the left exhale through the rightand do at least ten rounds of thses which with practise can stretch to 10 minutes.

the slower and deeper you make it the better the destressing. all forms of pranayam help. the word cna be googled and loads of methods will come up.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

"If you keep yourself busy, counting all your blessings, you won't find time to be sad." This is such a strong message, thanks for sharing. Great and useful Hub.


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Great ideas for relieveing stress.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Wonderful common sense advice that makes me relax just upon reading it. Voted up and useful.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Stress is our biggest enemy and does more damage than we can imagine. Excellent hub, thank you!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Perfect timing and I thank you for some great tips as needed desperately vocalcoach! Stress is the worst, and it is so helpful to find ways to cope! Great Hub!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Genna - You are so on target. Speaking of which...I am going to take a much needed "hub" break right now. A few stretches, hot tea and playing with Clancey (shih ztu).

Thanks, Genna. :) vocalcoach


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Fossillady - Loved your opening comment. I laughed out loud! Thanks for asking how I am. Much better now. Not completely back to normal, but know that is happening as I breathe in positive healing energy during my meditation sessions. Thank you, my friend. Love, Audrey


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Got here as soon as I could.

There was a time in my life when I rushed to do everything. From morning to night was a complete tear. I even walked fast. Then one day, I don't know what happened...I just stopped. I don't worry about anything, anymore and I'll see you when I get there. :)

Great hub and greatly needed.

Voted way up and useful


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

mdlawyer - Glad to see you. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)vocalcoach


carrie450 profile image

carrie450 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

Wonderful hub vocalcoach. Very good tips on relieving stress, thanks


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

carrie - It seems we can all use a few reminders on hor to relieve stress. Let's face it - it's a part of life. Glad you approved and I hope you are in good health. I send you healing energy each day. Stay close :) vocalcoach


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hah!!! I've been looking for you on the forum thread and all this time you've been busy posting your work from the beginning. What a joke on me, LOL So glad you joined us. I'll check out your other hubs later this week...my computer is funny right now and I am way over due for my sleep.

Love the hub, and the beautiful song. Now, I'm off to count my blessings-you are one of them. Take care.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Denise - You are something else! With all you have on your hub-plate, you still take time to support me. You give a whole knew meaning to the word "loyalty". What a treasure you are. Now, get some rest. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

chspublish - I think I probably benefit the most when writing a hub like this. Puts me in the right frame of mind. :) Thank you. :)vocalcoach


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

breakfastpop - Just learning to be aware of areas where we tend to hold tension is another step to loving our bodies. Like - right now. I am pausing to do a bit of deep breathing and stretching for my poor back. :) Then, off to read another great hub of yours. vocalcoach


Vanessa Johnsson profile image

Vanessa Johnsson 4 years ago from Washington DC

I wish I could make my friend, Brian understand what you explained here. Wonderful and very useful article!


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Let's wake this one up! No need for ZZZ's on such an interesting hub!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

One of the best things I did for myself was to create space of my own to relax. It is amazing how much that helps to relieve stress. Great post and well done.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Important info about stress, so woken up! lol! no zzzzs for you!


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

I like your suggestions to meditate and find some solitude. I also seek out exercise and being outside. For me, in a highly stressed state, "counting my blessings" doesn't really work, it feels like a "should." I usually instead try to name the source of my stress and acknowledge it. Just acknowledging it helps. And one small action to remedy it also helps. Gratitude will come later, but not at the moment of stress. Thanks vocalcoach. Voted up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

rcrumble - You are so kind. Thank you very much. Love your comment :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

teaches12345 - I really love your idea of creating a space of your own to relax.

I sure need that and make sure it happens. Thank you my friend and have a glorious day!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dear Nell - You have helped to awaken this sleepy hub. You're a doll for taking time to do this. Thank you!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Louisa Rogers - You have made an excellent point here. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful advice! Appreciate your comments and the votes.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Stress is a part of our life. Research shows stress level in people living in cities is greater than people living in rural areas. Thanks for the wonderful tips.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Vinaya - Thank you for reading this and commenting. I've lived in cities most of my life except for Hawaii. I recently moved from city life to living in the forest and what a difference in my stress level. I believe the beautiful trees and clean pure air have "soaked up" most of my stress. :)


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I just found this hub..and it is timely today as I am feeling stressed..just about somethings in my life I don't know how to change. I am going to try some of your methods..Great hub and so well written. Voting up and pinning.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

carol7777 ~ I sure hope some of these methods will help you feel better. You deserve a peaceful mind and body. We may not be able to change circumstances in our life, but we can change how they affect us. I had to learn this lesson when my beautiful son was taken from me. Not easy.

Sending you warm hugs dear Carol. Remember to breathe deep as you "let go" of stressful images. Replace those with calm, trusting thoughts. Thank you for pinning this and the vote up!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I am glad stress is not a serious factor in my life. Great tips on signs if stress and sources that cause it.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

teaches12345 - You are one of many who can say that stress is not a serious factor. I tend to feel this way too most of the time. :) What would you say is the main reason you don't get stressed out? Or are there several factors?

Thanks so much.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

It would be wrong to say that I never have stress in my life. But I am able to manage it quite effectively. I think music plays a major part in relieving stress.

You have provided some great advice and tips to identify and deal with stress.

Well presented hub, thanks and voted up!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

ChitrangadaSharan - I believe we all are subjected to a certain amount of stress. The key is learning how to manage it as you do. Music is a marvelous way to reduce and prevent stress. Thank you so much.

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