Stress - How To Prevent and Identify This Crippling Condition
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
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.
- Give yourself a hug (or get one from another person.)
- Cut back on your commitments - learn to say no.
- 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.
- Loss of concentration
- Muscle Pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of Motivation
- Over or under-eating
- 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?
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 for being here. I appreciate your leaving me a comment below. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.