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Simple Stress Reduction Tips

Updated on December 11, 2011
Stressed
Stressed

We all experience stress. In fact, stress isn't always a bad thing. Good stress gives us the ability to cope with the unexpected when it comes our way, or to react quickly if the need arises. Hormones speed up our heart and give us a needed boost of energy to see us through the situation. The problem is that when we live stressed-out all the time all those hormones can lead to unwanted symptoms such as.

Stress Related Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Lowered immune system
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • On edge

Stress Definition

The definition of stress at dictionary.com is "The physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain." When an event, situation, or person puts pressure on us, pulls us in a direction, or is forced on us…that is stress. What we do about it is either healthy or unhealthy.

Unhealthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Before we look at how reduce stress, or cope with it, let's look at what not to do. Some of the most common unhealthy ways people try to keep the stress monster at bay include:

  • Bursts of anger (the stressed person feels better but the one you lash out as does not)
  • Drinking alcohol in excess
  • Overcommitting to stay busy and avoid problems
  • Overeating
  • Procrastination
  • Relaxation drugs
  • Sleeping to avoid problems
  • Smoking
  • Under-eating
  • Withdrawal from social contact

The thing all these approaches have in common is that they don't really do a thing to alleviate or cope with the stress. They are reactive rather than proactive.

Stress Management Techniques

The fact is that we cannot eliminate stress from our lives. Getting married, buying a house, having a baby, death of a loved one, our jobs and finances are all part of life that induce stress. Instead of turning to the above unhealthy stress management techniques, consider these healthy alternatives

  • Diet: Some of the very comfort foods we turn to when stressed can actually cause a stress response. These include caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners. Changing our diet can help reduce stress.
  • Meditation: Take time to be quiet and meditate. This instills a sense of calm and inner peace. While you may think you don't have time for meditation, taking the time offers benefits throughout the day by keeping you calmer and reduces negative emotions.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise reduces stress as it raises the "feel-good endorphins" your body produces and as a result reduces the inclination to worry. According to Mayo Clinic, it can also improve your mood, boost your self-confidence, and diminish symptoms associated with anxiety and mild depression.
  • Lifestyle: Life is busier than ever and multitasking has become the norm. This includes juggling your job demands as well as the demands of the family. Often there isn't a lot we can do about our jobs, but we can change the way we live at home. Learn to delegate household chores. Avoid over commitment and reduce extracurricular activities. Replace them with family time and take advantage of opportunities to build lasting memories.

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Additional Stress Reduction Tips

Along with the above, there are a few small things you can do to help reduce stress:

  • Get a pet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Help others
  • Keep a journal
  • Prayer
  • Spend time with other people
  • Take deep breaths (learn yoga breathing)
  • Take time to have fun

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    • profile image

      Travelwyse 5 years ago

      Having been to my first ever yoga class yesterday, I can attest to the usefulness of yoga breathing :)

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia

      It is awesome when we learn to take advantage of the ways our body should work. Thanks for the comment!

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 5 years ago

      Great tips and really appreciate the tip on diet. That seems to be my biggest downfall. Love these kinds of hubs Donna. Hope to see more. Voted up!

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Brian! I agree about the food reminder. Our comfort food doesn't really do the job we think it does. :)

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      Excellent tips...I especially liked the one about getting a pet. They really are stress-reducing, loving companions. Voted up.

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Donna. You are so right about pets. Their unconditional love and companionship really helps reduce stress.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great tips on how to help reduce stress. I might suggest my favorite stress reducer - take a walk or a long sit by a large body of water. That just does it for me!

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Delores,

      Long walks or sitting at the lake or ocean do wonders for me, too. Or just sitting and watching the birds. Nature is a natural de-stresser. Thanks for reading and taking a moment to leave a comment.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 5 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      amazing, hope you will read my blog on fibromyalgia..

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi jesusmyjoy, I haven't read your blog on fibromyalgia. I'll see if I can find it for sure.

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