Dealing with Stress

Dealing with stress involves a commitment to make lifestyle changes to reach your stress management goals. These techniques are proven stress reducers and tension tamers.

How to deal with stress is an important topic! You only have to turn on CNN or read the local news to know that we live in a stressful world.

The World Health Organization states that stress is becoming a "global epidemic". Stress is becoming a part of life but it does not have to be a way of life.

Do you feel frazzled at the end of the day?

Are you constantly feeling pressured and pulled in many directions?

You may think that you are adjusting to your increased stress levels and the increased stress is just a part of living in the modern world.

But there is enough empirically validated research to show that chronic stress can lead to stress related illnesses and even death.

This makes dealing with stress a priority for you and your family. There are a number of techniques for dealing with stress which include:

  • pairing down the to-do list and focusing on what is important
  • knowing your warning signs and symptoms of stress
  • changing the way you think about stress
  • exercise to reduce stress
  • getting a good night's sleep

Simplify your life and focus on what is important

One of the major causes of stress is the feeling of being pressed for time. With 24/7 communication, pressing deadlines, and the blurring of boundaries between professional and personal life, you can feel pulled in many directions with not enough time to focus on what is important to you.

Do you jump from one thing to the next putting out fires?

Do you feel that you are on a treadmill, constantly putting out bush fires and battling against the tyranny of the urgent!

Not being in control and feeling like your life is a movie reeling from one dramatic scene to another can cause plenty of stress.

Simplifying your life with effective time management puts you back in control of your life movie and focuses you on your high value activities.

Know you warning signs and symptoms of stress

One of the first steps to stress management is to learn more about your stress.

stress diary

Do you know what your main causes of stress are?

Do you know your warning signs of stress?

A stress diary gives you objective stress information about what stresses you out and how you react to these stressors.

When you know what causes you stress and how you react to it then you can put in place stress management techniques to deal with stress. Some of these stress management techniques include:

Change the way you think and deal with stress

Did you know that how you view stress is important?

We all know individuals who don't appear to be impacted by stressful events while the same event sends another into a tailspin of increasing stress.

Based on the definition of stress, the way that you view a situation is a factor how much stress you feel and and your ability to cope with stress.

Each negative outlook can activate the stress response.

By changing your perspective you can change the physiological reaction into a challenge response, which develops your stress coping skills.

Some strategies you can adopt to change the way that you view stress include:

  • ways to develop positive thinking habits in the face of situations causing stress.

    This doesn't mean that you adopt emu-like qualities and bury your head in the sand but rather adopt a constructive and realistic view of the situation and the options available to you.

  • use cognitive therapy to challenge your assumptions and thinking habits around situations that may cause you stress.

Exercise and dealing with stress

Exercise is one of the best stress reducers.

Stress activates the fight or flight response! Your heart pounds, breathing rate increases, and stress hormones are released into the blood stream.

In caveman times this served an important purpose!

The caveman was able to fight or flee from the saber-tooth tiger and thanks to the boost of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, stopped him from being on today's menu.

But today the main causes of stress are very different.

The irate boss, financial concerns, or being late to a meeting can all activate the stress response. In fact any annoyance or frustration can trigger a stress reaction.

This can mean that the stress response is constantly activated which increases muscle tension and floods your body with stress hormones.

Now it would be ridiculous to "fight" or "flee" from a late meeting, a traffic jam, financial concerns, or some of today's more common causes of stress.

This can mean that we are left in a state of stress-induced tension with accumulated stress products waiting to be used.

Exercise provides a great way to reduce stress and use up these accumulated stress products. Exercise reduces stress through a number of different ways - by relaxing muscles and releasing the body's natural feel good chemicals to name a few.

This makes exercise not only important for stress reduction but also an important lifestyle choice for overall health, weight control, and increased well-being.

Here are a number of ways that you can maintain an exercise program for stress relief.

Dealing with stress: Get a good night's sleep!

Muscle tension is one of the commonest stress symptoms but sleep disorders such as insomnia runs a close second.

Since the invention of the light bulb work and other activities have eroded the number of hours of sleep that we get, with Americans getting roughly 20 percent less sleep than their 19th century counterparts.

Sleep is not just important for coping with stress. Numerous studies show that a good night's sleep is important for good health.

But when stressed the racing thoughts can be harder to rein in than a wild stallion. As you toss and turn, your merry-go-round of thoughts can keep you up.

This lack of sleep can also mean that you get more irritable and frustrated, which in turn, increases the stress that you feel.

It can become a vicious cycle of increasing stress and poorer sleep!

Many people take sleep medications for insomnia but there are a number of other methods you can use to promote a good night's sleep. Some of these resources include:

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