By Patricia Carol Brooks
Stress is definitely the buzzword of the moment. But what is it and what can you do about it?
Stress is a feeling of tension that is both emotional and physical. Stress is our body’s natural reaction to everyday changes and challenges. Your body cannot tell the difference between good or bad news. What is most important is not the stress itself, but how a person reacts to it. Stress can take on many different forms and can contribute to symptoms of illness.
Common Symptoms of Stress Include:
- Sleep disorders
- Diminished sexual desire
- Eating problems
To Help Yourself De-Stress, Ask Yourself the Following Questions?
- At work do you have too many responsibilities?
- Do you have conflicting demands or expectations relative to co-workers,
- management or superiors?
- Unsure about job security due to downsizing, cutbacks or reorganization?
- Are there limited opportunities for advancement or adequate pay?
- Too many hassles and interruptions?
If you answered yes to more than one item, it is time to consider taking action to learn new coping skills or to effectively apply the ones you have.
Effective Ways To Deal with Stress:
- Relax. It’s important to unwind. Each person has his or her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation and massage therapy.
- Take a break. A change of pace, no matter how short, can give you a new outlook.
- Take advantage of break times and go for a walk.
- Exercise relaxes the body and helps you deal with mental stress.
- When things build up talk to a friend. Finding someone who will let you talk freely about your problems and feelings without judging you, does a world of good. It also helps to hear a different point of view. Friends will remind you that you’re not alone.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep improves your ability to deal with stressful situations. It’s very important we get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
- Write down your thoughts. Keeping a journal can be a great way to get things off your chest and work through issues. Later, you can go back and read through your journal and see how you’ve made progress.
- Set limits. When it comes to work and family, figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others.
- If the job is unbearable, plan and execute a career change. No, yes, the economy is challenging, but your health still need to be your number one priority. Network, send out resumes or work on transfers within the company.
- Get help from a professional if you need it. Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems.
In closing, it should be noted that no single method is successful; a combination of approaches is generally most effective. It is important that you learn to put aside fears and worries about things beyond your control and face change with courage and commitment.
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