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Managing stress in our lives may have a number of beneficial advantages, but what is a little stress opposed to extremely stressful is very subjective. People are different and how they look at and manage stress is different. One of the most important things we will ever do is develop the ability to determine the little things from the big things. If we’re always stressed about the little things, we run the risk of being under constant stress, which eventually contributes to disorders and diseases. Learning to manage stressful events that occur, expectedly or unexpectedly in our lifetime, will go a long way in helping us to enjoy life and live stress-free, for the most part.
Completely eliminating stress in our lives is impossible, because day to day life is full of stressful situations. Selling a home, taking kids to school, starting a new business or job, etc., are all tense and demanding circumstances. The more traumatic events, such as a death in the family, divorce, life-altering situation or being a victim of a crime to name a few can catapult us into a state of despair if we have not learned coping skills.
But learning to manage the day to day stresses can help us to better manage the bigger events. It helps to understand that under stress our brain perceives a threat which then produces a physical response causing our body to generate a significant amount of cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, this process can lead to illness. Unmanaged stress contributes to obesity, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders and Alzheimer’s.
There are ways to ease our stress load. Taking action to manage and cope with stress is an attainable goal, but the first step is to acknowledge the situation that is causing the constant stress. It is important to learn to differentiate things that you can or cannot change and to understand that traumatic events may require therapy and long-term management. The daily grind of deadlines, schedules, and strain can be managed by simple methods.
- Meditate and focus. Meditation quiets the mind and helps with depression and anxiety. It increases our focus and perception. It calms the brain and body so that we can think clearly and find and solutions.
- Hands-on projects such as gardening, painting, cooking, and crafts can be therapeutical and relaxing. When our hands are busy, our mind is focused on concentrating on the activity.
- Become physically active by joining a gym, walking outdoors, doing yoga, dancing or hiking. These are all great ways to alleviate stress and the bonus is getting healthy and fit.
- Take a time out to sit, relax and sip tea alone or with friends. This soiree will do wonders for quieting your mind and soothing your soul.
- Journal about your day in order to bring perspective to your stress levels and help you find solutions.
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