|7/21/2012 12:22:00 PM|
Healthy Ways of Dealing With Stress
|How does all this stress, anxiety and tension affect your health?|
Your boss is laying people off and maybe you’re the next one to go. You are behind on the house payment and the credit card bills are piling up. The constant barrage of televised images of panic and world crisis 24 hours a day - seven days a week is bringing you down. How does all this stress, anxiety and tension affect your health?
Stress causes a series of reactions in the body that are often referred to as the “fight or flight syndrome”. The fight or flight syndrome is how the body responds to danger. It prepares the body for physical activity to either fight an enemy like a wild bear, or to run from danger. These days the stress is more likely to arise from the mounting tensions of life than from a wild bear attack, but the body still reacts whenever we feel threatened. It’s important that you find healthy ways to deal with stress.
The following are a few simple things you can consider to help you reduce stress:
- Exercise – Regular exercise can improve your overall health and reduce stress. It can work off tension and help you sleep better. If you are not currently exercising then it is probably best if you start by taking a brisk 15 minute walk every other day. Gradually increase your exercise program to 30 minutes daily.Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. Remember: Exercise should be fun! It is difficult to keep up an exercise program that you don’t enjoy.
- Time Management – If you find yourself getting stressed from to much to do and not enough time to do it all, then you need to manage your time better. Plan your day’s activities in advance and write down your plan. Start your day 10 minutes earlier, allowing time for unexpected delays. Prioritize your tasks and say “No.” to unimportant items. Set aside time on your calendar for the big projects and eliminate distractions. Take your time and do the job right the first time. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class.
- Prayer – Almost every religion recognizes some form of prayer. Research has found that praying can actually boost our health and reduce stress. Praying for other people’s problems can bring a different perspective to our own lives and make our personal challenges seem less overwhelming. Prayer is a very individual practice. You can pray in silence, with words, with song, with a book, alone or in a group.
- Realistic Goal Setting – We need to make sure the goals that we set are within our reach. If your goal will take longer than a year to reach, break it down into a series of smaller goals. If for some reason a goal cannot be reached in the time you have set, either give yourself an extension or get busy on the next goal. If you need help, talk to people that have done it, read books and seek counsel.
- Purposeful Down Time – When you are making out your schedule be sure to budget a little time for relaxation and family time. Plan on spending time each day taking it easy and recharging your batteries. Read a good book, play a game with the kids or take a nap.
- Counseling – Stress can cause some very serious health problems. The tips and techniques outlined in this article have been found to be helpful in reducing stress. If you have any concerns about stress related illnesses or if stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness in your life, maybe you should consider seeking the advice of a trained health professional.
Stress can sabotage your life and even if you are already in great shape physically, minimizing the effects of stress will help you feel better and live a happier life.
Michael W. Davis, author of Imaginary Castles, holds an Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He enjoys camping, backpacking, playing paintball, and praise music and resides in Greenwood, SC with his wife Linda, daughter Breanna, an ugly dog, and an arrogant little cat.
email@example.com This Opinion piece presents the opinions of the author and is not to be construed as medical or professional advice. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Moore Media Inc. or GwdToday.
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012
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Prayer – Almost every religion recognizes some form of prayer. Research has found that praying can actually boost our health and reduce stress. Praying for other people’s problems can bring a different perspective to our own lives and make our personal challenges seem less overwhelming. Prayer is a very individual practice. You can pray in silence, with words, with song, with a book, alone or in a group.
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