Don’t Stress It

Did you know that stress can make you sick? I mean physically sick, not mentally sick. Most of the time when we are stressed, we say things like I’m sick and tired” and that could be a lot truer than we think.

When the body undergoes stress, your immune system begins to drop and the body becomes more open to germs leading to unwanted illnesses. Have you ever wondered why so many high school and college students often have a cold or the flu around midterm and finals time? Maybe you have noticed that many of your co-workers will get sick when there is a really big deadline that needs to be met.

Not to worry, and I mean that literally. There are a number of ways that you can avoid stress. As much as we dread or dislike doing this you have to exercise. Working out is one of the most effective stress managements techniques there is. The exercise doesn’t have to be an intense cardio workout. In fact, taking a 30 minute walk will suffice. Your local park will usually have a walking or bike path. Just try it out. As long as you can clear your head of all the things that you think about during the day, you’re good to go.

After we leave school, we tend to forget to do something really basic, something that is intrinsic to our educational learning. Believe it or not, writing can relieve large amounts of stress. Expressing yourself in the written form can reduce your stress level. You don’t have to be a writer, just try it anyway. Everyday for a week, just write about anything and everything that comes to mind. Don’t want your hand to cramp up from holding the pen so hard? Then type it out on your computer. You can keep it to yourself or you can post online, there are many blog websites out there. If you read other peoples blogs, you’ll realize you are not alone. Still not convinced that writing does the trick? If you are creative in anyway, do what expresses you and your feelings. If you were a musician before, then try playing; a painter, then get some canvases; a singer, then find some music you like and sing along. There are endless ways a creative mind can relieve itself from stress.

We should never be afraid to express ourselves. I was once told that it is okay to have a healthy crying session every now and then. If you feel like talking instead, call up that best friend or that sibling and speak your mind. Are you feeling angry? It is okay to feel angry, it really is. Emotions are a necessary part of being human so do not deny yourself that because if you do, you will stress out.

Relax your body-center. I know that may sound a little bit crazy, but body-centered relaxation is a lot more common than you think. Yoga, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and breathing exercises are different forms of body-centered relaxation. I bet that sounds better than exercise right now, doesn’t it?

Finally, try to distract your mind from the stress by different activities. There are many ways to relax your mind, meditation and self-hypnosis are a couple. If that’s not your cup of tea, you could try listening to relaxing music. Those are just some of the very simple ways to relieve your stress.

Now let’s move on to what we can do to minimize stress in our lives. Time management is something you start to get a better grasp of as you grow older. However, the majority of the adult world often has no concept of time management which can lead to high levels of stress especially in the work place. We really should put some effort into prioritizing our schedule so that we have an agenda and we are not just scrambling around like a lost soul in the dark, stressing about what you think you have to do next.

This next one is a tough one. You should try to find an effective way of dealing with stress. By that I mean that you should figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you in reducing your stress levels. I mentioned this before, and here it is again. You have to be healthy. That means you have to eat right, sleep well, and limit your alcoholic and smoking intake. That might sound like a sacrifice but it works. Try to make strong relationships with your family and friends. Studies have shown that those that have a strong personal network or support system can deal with stress a lot better than those who don’t. Finally, minimize or stop all together those thoughts that cause stress. Work on your problem solving and you could feel so much better.

In terms of evaluating stress levels, there are a variety of causes. Your stress level could be based on your family genetics, how much family support you have, your own attitude, or your ability to bounce back. Ultimately, your level of stress depends on how you perceive it and how long you let it last. There are a few ways to evaluate your stress level. You can go the professional route and talk to a counselor about it. Or you can check online, there are many stress level calculators on the Internet.

As mentioned before, stress can affect your physical self. The more stress you have, the more likely you are to get sick because stress affects your heart and blood vessels, nervous system and immune system. The most common stress related issues are coronary artery disease, asthma and diabetes. Stress can also take it’s toll on your emotions. You can become depressed, and as a result moody, anxious, and difficult to deal with.

When we are stressed, our body releases hormones that increase your heart rate and respiratory system. The body then begins to prepare itself for danger and this is referred to as the fight-for-flight” stress response. It can go unnoticed or it can be extreme. The more stress we have, the less likely it is we will feel good, physically and mentally. So try to eliminate that problem by not stressing out of problems most of us have no control over.

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