How many times a day do you hear this? How many times do you hear yourself say this?
It seems everywhere you turn, people are under stress. You're under stress. You can't escape it. And it's no wonder. You work a full time job, you cook, you shop, deal with traffic, raise children, worry over money, argue with your mate.
Somebody stop the ride....Please!
What exactly is stress? Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy.
This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.
Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time. But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. You begin having headaches and unexplained aches and pains. You sleep too much or not enough, you're exhausted all the time, you lose your appetite or eat everything in sight. Your weight begins to flucuate, you experience chest pain, and every cold or flu that comes down the pike--you catch!
You make a doctor's appointment and endure a battery of tests. Your doctor finds absolutely nothing wrong with you. You want to choke him when he says that all your symptoms are related to stress and how you need to avoid it!
No sh*t, Sherlock!!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there really is no way to avoid stress. It's a fact of life. As long as there are outside influences, jobs, traffic, bills, and people to deal with daily, you are going to have stress. The only way to completely avoid it is to quit your job, forsake your family and friends, give away all your belongings, and live on a mountain-top far away from everyone and everything.
Cynthia! You're not helping!! You're making me feel even more stressed out!
Don't panic just yet, dear friends. There are some ways to make stress feel a bit less stressful.
And, no! It's NOT this, although I know we've all done this at one time or another!
There are simple tricks of the trade to keep you from repeatedly banging your head against walls, cracking under pressure and losing your mind. You already know what they are but I am going to remind you.....
At least eight hours, 7 nights a week. You need to shut down. Sleep is essential. Your body and your mind must be completely at rest in order heal and restore. Most of us are sleep deprived. So now, not only are you stressed, you are tired. Am I joking? Who has time to sleep? You must make time. Force yourself to get into bed at the same time every night. If you have trouble falling asleep, create peace in your bedroom. Turn off the TV and leave the cell phone in another room. Play some relaxing music to help you unwind. Buy the nicest pillows, sheets and cozy comforters you can possibly afford. Your bedroom should be a haven--a quiet, comfortable, clutter and stress-free, inviting place of rest.
Daily exercise is the best stress reliever. It releases all those endorphins you need to feel good. If your budget allows, join a gym. Try kickboxing, yoga, a dance class. Install a punching bag in your basement and punch and kick away. Take a walk, have sex, lift weights, work out at home to an aerobics DVD. No need to exercise for hours a day. Who has time for that? But you can certainly spare 15-20 minutes a day to get your blood flowing and your body moving.
Now you know I was going to talk about food. Nourish your body with good, healthy food--lean protein, lots of fruit and fresh veggies. Avoid white flour, white sugar carbs. Say no to bagels, donuts, cookies, cake, and fast food. They might taste good but those kinds of foods are going to make you feel worse in the long run. Don't turn to food for comfort. You will become depressed, bloated and aggravated because your clothes don't fit. That causes even more stress!
|Don't fall for this!!|
Feed your soul......
Pray, meditate, go to church, listen to music, and read articles and books that inspire you. Take time everyday to still your mind and nourish your soul with something good. The world is filled with nothing but bad news. Turn off the TV and the radio. A constant diet of bad, upsetting, hopeless news makes you even more stressed I am not suggesting you pull the covers over your head and ignore what is happening in the world. We need to be aware and conscious of what is going on around us. Read the paper or listen to the news once a day, and then take a few moments to send your prayers, love, and healing energy out into the universe. Worrying and stressing over current events will not change a thing. You can donate funds to worthy causes or volunteer your time if you wish. In fact, I recommend you do. Prayers and good thoughts are meaningless without some kind of action. But stop stressing over it. You will make yourself sick.
Everyone needs a confidant. A partner, a best friend, a parent--someone you can share anything with and not hold back. Make sure you have at least one person you can talk to on a regular basis. Find a non-judgmental source of help, advice and ideas. Someone you can trust. Talking about it makes your burden seem lighter. If you can't find someone to talk to, go see a therapist. I talk to a therapist once a week. I have fears and concerns about my father as I watch him battling cancer right now. Combine that with all the other stress I have in my life and I would go mad if I couldn't talk about it. I don't want to upset my family and friends right now with my personal issues, so I dump it all on a professional. It makes me feel better and less guilty for actually feeling the way I do.
When was the last time you had some good, clean fun? Remember how you couldn't wait to get outside and play as a child? School work, chores, and all your troubles were soon forgotten the moment you hopped on your bike, joined in a baseball game with friends, or just sat in your room and played with your favorite toys or games. Play--the great escape! Take up a hobby, go bike riding, join a ball team, go out dancing, bowling, hiking! Go outside and play!
Most importantly, don't stress out over stress!
The worst thing you can do is keep reminding yourself how stressed you are. The more you talk about it, the more you believe it, and the more stressed you become. Practice loving, patient, encouraging self-talk and stop the negative chatter. Your mind will believe anything you tell it and your spirit will interpret it as truth. Keep reminding yourself that you are strong and capable. This is how you find inner peace and the strength to weather any kind of stressful storm.
And this is my Daily Cyn.......