A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances defines stress. It effects every system in our body. Many emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, increased susceptibility to infections, infertility, and a host of viral disorders. Our society fosters a high level of stress. We have almost become numb to its existence, and many people don’t realize that they are overloaded with stress. How many of the following warning signs of stress overload can you identify in your life?
- Sudden Anger
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Constant Worry
- Constant Colds
- Lack of Concentration
- Mood Swings
- Letting Yourself Go
- Lack of Time
Less than 3 and you have a minimal amount of stress. 3 – 5 and you better keep an eye on your stress levels and make sure they don’t increase. If you can identify with more than 5, you must learn how to reduce and manage your stress before it becomes a serious problem. Your health may be at risk. Below are ten suggestions to help relieve the level of stress in your life:
- Get Organized – de-clutter your environment and schedule
- Control Your Environment – eliminate the negative
- Give Yourself Positive Feedback – be kind to yourself
- Plan Leisure Activities – have something to look forward to
- Exercise Your Body – a 20 minute walk has been proven to be a good tranquilizer
- Relax – learn and practice relaxation techniques
- Rest – sleep 7-8 hours a night
- Be Aware – pay attention to the distress signals of your body
- Eat Right – choose a balanced diet
- Enjoy Yourself – look for the humor in life
Stress puts our bodies in a “fight or flight” response which can put tremendous wear and tear on our systems over time. That is why learning to relax and care for ourselves is so important. To learn more about the warning signs of stress, visit The American Institute of Stress. They have a long list of common symptoms and signs of stress here: http://www.stress.org/stress-effects/.
Share with us what has helped you deal with stress. How do you de-stress?