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Feeling Stressed - Dealing With our Feelings

Updated on August 30, 2012

Dealing With Stress

Stress seems to be a natural part of our world. We all deal with stress. There are many reasons we feel stressed and many benefits to being relaxed. There are different types of stress we may encounter. Some stress comes in brief spurts, some stress is persistent. Stress that is prolonged can cause emotional problems and affect our mental and physical well being. Our body naturally responds to stress through release of the flight or fight hormone. A study among college students showed an increase in acne when it was exam time, regardless of what they ate or how they slept. Temporary stress has short term physical effects. Right after exams were finished their acne cleared. This is known as situational stress. There are many physical conditions that can be attributed to stress.

Stress Has Many Negative Effects

The longer you endure stress the longer your body has to deal with the physical reactions of stress. Stress that goes on for an extended period of time can change the body’s immune system and age a person faster, and cause more serious health conditions. Stress has been found to impair the brain’s ability to block some toxins and worsen existing health issues, putting a person at greater risk for things like heart disease, depression, obesity, hypertension, cancer, high cholesterol, and a shorter temper to name just a few of the negative effects of stress. Stress can make it harder to recover from health problems too. A Swedish study found women who had heart attacks had a lower rate of recovery if they were also dealing with marital issues such as alcohol abuse, infidelity, a spouse’s psychiatric or physical illness. Managing stress can help considerably with recuperation and better physical and mental health for those who are dealing with stress of any kind.

Become Stress Self Aware

  • understand the reason you feel stressed - speak to a mental health therapist so that you can find the cause of your stress
  • take note of your moods by writing down your thoughts and feelings to gain better insight for yourself as to some possible causes of the stress
  • take time for you - just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference and can help you adjust your mental outlook and alter the way your body responds to stressful situations.
  • when you feel angry - walk away and count to 10 so that you can take a moment to look at the situation once again. Things like walking also help you work off steam.
  • take a look at your lifestyle - prioritize, delgate and avoid putting undo pressure on yourself
  • set realistic standards and reduce your need for perfection - have reasonable expectations of others.

Pay Attention to Your Sources of Stress

Stress can make a person feel overwhelmed and at the edge of their rope. In a survey done in 2007, about ⅓ of people in the United States are dealing with extreme levels of stress, and approximately 20% report that they are dealing with high levels of stress for more than half of the month.

Taking action to manage stress is beneficial towards our mental and physical health. Managing stress will allow us to modify the reactions we have and change to a more positive attitude and healthy behavior.

How people handle stress is very individualized. Everyone handles stress differently. It is helpful for you to recognize what you think and how you behave when you are stressed. Give some thought as to how your thoughts and behaviors differ between feeling stressed and when you are not. Pay attention to the sources of stress, triggers, and situations that make you feel stressed.

Some people react to stress by acting out, being irritable, angry, and moody. People can have physical symptoms such as headaches, trouble concentrating, loss of sleep, muscle tension, lethargy, and an effect on their appetite, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Look at your behavior and if you are making unhealthy choice it is beneficial to seek counseling and learn to manage your stress in a healthier way.

  • meditation
  • exercise
  • talking to people you feel close


Take care of yourself. Try to avoid taking on too much. Even when it comes to changing your lifestyle, focus on one good habit at a time. Eat right, drink plenty of warter, get enough sleep, and having a positive attitude are important towards destressing and improving your mental and physical health. Vacations are a great way to give yourself a break from the things you are dealing with.

Getting support by reaching out to others will help greatly in dealing with the overwhelmingness you are feeling.

Learn How to Meditate

Relaxation Techniques

There are many relaxation techniques that can be used to reduce stress. You can help yourself cope better with the tensions and stress that happens in the course of a day. Relaxation techniques are a great way to improve your quality of life. There are no negative side effects to relaxation techniques and the benefits will relieve the anxiety and stress you are feeling. Your body, mind and soul will work at a more optimal level. There are real physiological effects you will benefit from. You will slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, your breathing rate will be slower, and your muscles will have increased blood. Pain and tension will also be reduced. You will have better concentration. Relaxation techniques can even improve your frustration tolerance and work on reducing your anger. You can boost your confidence and cope more positively. You may have an increased desire to exercise, get more and better sleep and have more patience for the people you care about Alternative and complementary medicine has many techniques for relaxation.

The idea of relaxation techniques is to change what you focus on by directing your thoughts towards things that wiil make you feel more calm and create more of a body-mind connection. Hypnosis, Meditation, Massage, Yoga, and Tai Chi are common relaxation techniques.

Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your Reaction

Stress will always exist in our lives. Learning to manage our feelings is an important tool in dealing with the stressful things we encounter. Relaxation techniques are useful to integrate into your routine. In addition to doing thing that relax us, it is important to understand our thought processes. The thoughts we have can magnify or reduce our reaction to the things we find stressful. We become attached to our thoughts and beliefs. It may be helpful to look at what affects our beliefs have on our reactions to the things that cause us stress. Change your thoughts and you may just change your reaction.

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    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Pamela, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your up ratings too! I am so glad you found this article about stress useful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent article on stress, which everyone experiences to some degree, but excessive stress sure does a lot of damage to the body. Your information and suggestions were very good. Rated up and awesome.

    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      It's a deal! :))

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Tell me if you mind any typos in mine! :)

    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Thanks for looking out for me. It is always good to have an objective pair of eyes. Looking forward to reading more of your great hubs.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Great point, toknowinfo! Laughing at ourselves sure is good medicine :). It is good stress management to avoid the expectation to be perfect, that is for sure. (I've edited a lot of material in my life, so I readily notice the typos.)

    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Doctor Kristy,

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. I just hope the quiz didn't cause you too much stress.

    • Doctor Kristy profile image

      Kristy Callan 5 years ago from Australia

      This was a good, in-depth article. The quiz was fun too (even though I didn't do too well on it!)

    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Ms. Dee, thanks for bring this to my attention. I try to be so careful but I know seeking perfection will only make me stressed. Mistakes are okay as long as we can laugh about them.

    • toknowinfo profile image
      Author

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Ms. Dee, thank you for your comments. I look forward to reading your hub too.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      P.S. There are a handful or so of typos/spelling errors.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Interesting to read how the body responds to stress. I understand that Fibromyalgia is a result of being stuck in the flight or fight mode and the body not able to de-stress. Also, this is a good point managing thoughts can help with managing stress. Helpful article in thinking through your personal management of stress. I also know that helpful responses to stress vary by personality type, too. (I wrote a hub article on this, Patterns of Anxiety and Stress Symptoms - Escaping the Grip.)