Stress, under certain conditions, is a good thing. It initiates changes in the body that help us to cope with difficult situations. In prehistoric times, the stress initiated changes that helped you physically and mentally to cope with the problems and opportunities you encountered. This can still apply today. A professional football player can’t enter the game with the attitude that a yoga instructor adopts when he teaches a class. The stress in tense situations helps our body adapt.
But, if we are under stress all the time, the changes initiated in our heart, muscles, lungs, and other stress apparatus can harm those same organs. If unable to adapt to stress, it can affect us psychologically, resulting in problems with depression or anxiety. If we feel under stress, or are unable to deal with stress, it can result in problems with all relationships in our life. Work, friends and family interrelationships can suffer.
Read through the following tips. Keep an open mind. Most of these will seem like common sense. But the hard part is putting them into effect. You should become more aware of the stress as it affects you and put procedures into place to decrease the effects in your life.
Figure out the specific items that cause you stress. Lots of the time, we have certain things that set us off. If we are always getting to work late, causing us stress, start leaving for work 15 minutes earlier. Again, that seems like a common sense solution but usually we don’t do it. We sometimes call our stressors pet peeves. If you are always set off by long lines at the grocery store, start avoiding the grocery store at the times there will be long lines. If you don’t like to have to wait when you go to a restaurant, start making an effort to calling ahead and scheduling a reservation.
Make sure to keep yourself in good health. If the body is not in good health, it can make it easier to feel, and magnify the effects of, stress. If you are having health problems, deal with it. If you have a cold, take the cold medicine right away. If it is something more important, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Exercise on a regular schedule. A physically fit body handles stress better. Exercising can also reduce stress when it affects you. Start small with just walking, and do it on a regular schedule. Try walking 4 days a week for 30 minutes a day. Stick with that if you don’t want to do more.
Watch what you eat. Again, something we talk about all the time. But if you eat nutritiously, your body will handle the stress better. If your food intake is too much off the nutrition guidelines, that will stress the body by itself, and make it harder for your body to handle outside stress.
Recognize when you are starting to get stressed. Don’t just react to what is going on around you. When you start to feel stressed, do you start to yell at those around you? Do you start to micromanage when you are feeling stressed? When things are all calm, try asking those close to you, if you can’t see these in yourself. See if you can identify these tells, and pay attention when they start to occur.
Find ways that work for you to relax when you see the tells of stress you have identified. Do you need to just step away for a moment when feeling stresses? Do so if possible. Find what works for you. Try to find several different things, if possible. You may be in situations where one or the other of your coping mechanisms might not work. Try a cup of tea. Read a chapter of your current book. Walk around the block. Go to the bathroom and stare in the mirror and splash some water on your face. Read a favorite poem. Recite a favorite coping quote to yourself. Find what works for you.
Think of Others
A lot of stress occurs when we are thinking about ourselves. Think of how the other person is feeling in the situation. Are you being a cause of their stress? Try to help them.
Try just randomly doing something for somebody where you are feeling stressed. If you are getting yourself a cup of tea for yourself to calm your stress, get one for someone else also. Taking your mind off yourself will help you take your mind off your stress.
Stress, and the ability to deal with stress, in your life can affect the quality of your life, and the quality of the life of those close to. Finding ways to deal with stress can improve your relationships and the way you enjoy life. It is up to you to decide how it will go.