S T R E S S…a six-letter word that can mean disaster in life. We all deal with it one way or another either externally or internally. Stress has been linked to various health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and anxiety just to name a few. Although stress is a fact of life, we have to learn to manage it so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on us.
Here’s an example of a terribly stressful situation. On a television show that I watch, one of the main characters, who is hospitalized, is dealing with an extremely stressful situation, which was caused by her own actions. Each time she is faced with her wrongdoings, as pointed out by her husband, her blood pressure shoots up putting her in range to have a heart attack or stroke. Although this is a scene from a television show, this story line showed me how people internalize stress and have a lot of pain and suffering from stressful situations.
One way that I manage stress is through prayer. God will take away the worry that we feel from stressful situations. We encounter stress while driving to work, at work, sometimes even at home and in other situations. Stress is inevitable, but how you deal with it makes all the difference in the world as it relates to your mind, body, and spirit.
Another way that I manage stress is through regular exercise. Exercise allows the body to release tension. I feel great after I exercise because I have released the stress and tension. In addition, deep breathing is helpful in releasing stress. I went to a workshop at a conference about a year ago and learned a great deep breathing technique that I want to share with you. First, you sit up straight in a chair but comfortable with your back resting naturally in the chair and your feet flat on the floor. Next, you close your eyes and empty your mind. After that you breathe in through the nose deeply and slowly (let your diaphragm expand) for a count of four (approximately), then hold it for a count of four, and blow out through the mouth for count of 10 (approximately). You can do this at a minimum of five times but up to 10 times if necessary. You will feel so much better after you try this technique. It works wonders! Be careful you might fall asleep! Also, don’t get up out of the chair right away. Make sure you are stable before standing.
My sister reminded me that not only do we have regular stress that we deal with every day; we will also have holiday stress to contend with. Holiday stress represents a whole different level of stress for many people. Holidays should be a time of reconnecting with family and spending quality time with one another. However, sometimes family gatherings can turn into moments of disaster for many. Thanksgiving can cause anxiety for some because many of us have family members who can be difficult to be around because of certain behaviors. Also, Christmas can be difficult because sometimes we can over spend causing financial stress.
If you are encountering regular stress right now or you believe that you will deal with holiday stress, in addition to the techniques I shared with you already, here are some tips in managing and/or avoiding stress:
Try laughing at normally stressful situations. (It is medicine to the soul.)
Take a bubble bath. (I know sometimes difficult to do, but try.)
Take a nap. (Equally as difficult as the bubble bath, but try anyway.)
Listen to music. (One of my favorite things to do!)
Call a friend. (Venting is good as long as you don’t dwell in it.)
Go shopping. (A little retail therapy is fun, but stick to a budget.)
Eat well. (Fights a lot of physically ailments.)
Get plenty of rest; six to eight hours of sleep. (Try your best.)
Get a hobby. (Might be a good time to start a quilting project!)
Allow yourself some quiet time. (Rest your mind; you’re allowed to do that.)
Do some reading. (Another one of my favorites!)
Do some journaling/writing. (Of course, this is at the top of my favorites!)
Join a support group. (Particularly good if you have a long-term stressful issue.)
Talk with a professional like a therapist. (There is nothing wrong with this at all.)
Learn something new. (Gain a new skill.)
Think and speak positively. (Positive thinking helps to reprogram your mind.)
Get involved in your town’s activities. (Perhaps this might be fun for you to do.)
Set realistic goals for yourself. (Don’t beat yourself up if you slip. Keep going!)
These are some ways to help manage stress, which I believe will work for you if you put them into practice. You have to figure out what technique works best for you. Of course, there are many more stress management ideas that are not on this list, but this list will help jump start your move toward managing daily stress.
As we approach various stressful situations in daily life, I pray that your stress lessens with the use of some of these techniques. I hope you can connect your mind, body, and spirit to manage stressful situations so that they become few and far between. Live, laugh, love and pray.
God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,
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