Stress Survival 101!
Posted by solitaireparke
Relieving and managing stress is definitely a necessary survival skill, especially in this crazy fast-paced, technology driven world in which we live today. Authors stress about all sorts of things – whether readers will like our books, deadlines, writer’s block, book sales, the next new project, and a host of everyday things we call “life.” We all have this annoying affliction caused by work deadlines, an overabundance of traffic, countless family obligations, health problems, and who knows what else! Relaxation . . . That’s just crazy talk! So how is it possible to cram more time into a day when it’s packed full of “stuff” to do already? I don’t have the answer to that question, but there are experts out there in the cyber-world that seem to have some suggestions. Maybe it’s time we started listening to some of them before we become another stressed out statistic! (Stress is a major cause of heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on and on. Doesn’t sound good.) So see if any of these ideas might be helpful –
- Lower stress through your diet by making smart food choices that actually help your immune system to function properly rather than try to compensate for all the bad food we eat. Eating whole real food restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body. There is a connection between your stomach and your brain. Give your brain something healthy to work with.Release endorphins through exercise. Get your body moving and stop being so sedentary – dance, walk, do Yoga, Martial Arts, swimming, run up and down the stairs or whatever you like to do. Stand up and do some stretches if you can’t do anything else at the time. Our bodies were not designed to sit still for too long. Just get moving!!!
- Get a decent night’s sleep. Sleep and stress cause a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep makes it harder to handle the problems of the next day, which causes more stress. Allow your body to slow down right before bedtime – turn off the technology, as hard as that may be. Your body will thank you for it.
- Breathe. Yes, we do it all the time, but slow down your heart rate with slow deep breathing which will lower your blood pressure and allow you to calm down and relax. Never underestimate the power of just taking deep, slow breaths. Slow down that ragged life style for a little while.
- Have an attitude of being grateful for everything and everyone in your life. It has an amazing affect on your physical, psychological, and relational well-being. Increased positive emotions means greater stress tolerance, better relationships, improved overall health and better sleep. Create a daily habit of remembering what you are thankful for. There is too much negativity in this world already. Don’t add to it.
- Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and others. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly. People will never be perfect. Have healthy responses to conflicts at work and at home, and don’t be so hard on yourself. You can’t control what people are going to do or say, but you can control your reactions to it. Attempt to be the better person. It’s much less stressful when things don’t go as planned, and let’s face it, there are always surprises.
- Identify your priorities and establish boundaries. Consider what is the most important and put that as a priority. Say “no” to lesser priorities and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. You might need to set a specific time to exercise or spend quality time with a loved one, or to do something work related. This can keep you from feeling “pulled” in too many directions, or risk disappointment or resentment. Manage your time wisely.
- Take some “alone” time for yourself. It might only be 5 or 10 minutes, but go somewhere away from everyone and just relax and breathe. Walk outside and take in the beauty of nature, do some yoga, take a short rest and calm your mind, or listen to music. Go collect your thoughts and clear your head. Give yourself a break.
- Organize your life. Clean up your desk, or your house. Living in a cluttered world makes your mind cluttered as well. Keep things where they belong so you can find them again. It makes your life less stressful if you don’t have to hunt for something that you need at the time. Organize and unclutter your world. Your brain will thank you for it!
- Socialize and have fun. Laughter is great for your health. Visit with friends, or play Frisbee with your dog, play with your children at their level, watch funny videos on Youtube, or plan a vacation. Take a break from whatever is stressing you out and do something that’s fun. Too much work is not good for you physically or mentally.
So take some time to de-stress and have a great day!