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How Does Stress Affect You

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stessWhen it comes to stress we all deal with it in different ways, some of the common responses to stress are listed below. Take a minute and think about how stress affects you.

Aches and Pains*

  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Neck ache
  • Stomach ache
  • Tight muscles
  • Clenched jaw

Energy Level and Sleep*

  • Feeling tired without a good reason
  • Trouble sleeping

Feelings

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Helplessness
  • Out of control
  • Tense

Other Emotional Signs

  • Easily irritated
  • Impatient
  • Forgetful

*Some physical signs of stress may be caused by a medical condition or by medicines you take. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your physical symptoms, ask your doctor if stress might be the cause.

How Do You Respond?

When you are under stress, do any of these behaviors apply to you?

  • I eat to calm down.
  • I speak and eat very fast.
  • I drink alcohol or smoke to calm down.
  • I rush around but do not get much done.
  • I work too much.
  • I delay doing the things I need to do.
  • I sleep too little, too much or both.
  • I slow down.
  • I try to do too many things at once.

Engaging in even one of these behaviors may mean that you are not dealing with stress as well as you could. Learn some ways you can fight stress with healthy habits.

Here are 4 simple techniques for managing stress:

Positive Self-Talk

  • Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”).
    Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

Emergency Stress Stoppers
There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line. Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.Try these emergency stress stoppers. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them.

  • Count to 10 before you speak.
  • Take three to five deep breaths.
  • Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
  • Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.
  • Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
  • Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at your neighbor.
  • Consider meditation or prayer to break the negative cycle.

Finding Pleasure
When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good and away from the distraction. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress. You don’t have to do a lot to find pleasure. Even if you’re ill or down, you can find pleasure in simple things such as going for a drive, chatting with a friend or reading a good book, a bike ride, what usually relaxes me is a workout at the gym or a run by the beach. Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 to 30 minutes.Such as:

  • Start an art project (oil paint, sketch, create a scrap book or finger paint with grandchildren).
  • Take up a hobby, new or old.
  • Read a favorite book, short story, magazine or newspaper.
  • Have coffee or a meal with friends.
  • Play golf, tennis, ping-pong or bowl.
  • Sew, knit or crochet.
  • Listen to music during or after you practice relaxation.
  • Take a nature walk — listen to the birds, identify trees and flowers.
  • Make a list of everything you still want to do in life.
  • Watch an old movie on TV or rent a video.
  • Take a class at your local college.
  • Play cards or board games with family and friends.
  • take a walk or a run
  • bike ride

Daily Relaxation
Relaxation is more than sitting in your favorite chair watching TV. To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi (a series of slow, graceful movements) and meditation.Like most skills, relaxation takes practice. Many people join a class to learn and practice relaxation skills.Deep breathing is a form of relaxation you can learn and practice at home using the following steps. It’s a good skill to practice as you start or end your day. With daily practice, you will soon be able to use this skill whenever you feel stress.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap or lie down. Close your eyes.
  2. Picture yourself in a peaceful place. Perhaps you’re lying on the beach, walking in the mountains or floating in the clouds. Hold this scene in your mind.
  3. Inhale and exhale. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply.
  4. Continue to breathe slowly for 10 minutes or more.
  5. Try to take at least five to 10 minutes every day for deep breathing or another form of relaxation.

Originally posted 2015-07-30 15:40:50.

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