Manage Your Stress – Tips on Managing Stress 4

Posted by Lloyd on February 16, 2011
Stress Management

Warning signs of clinical depression:
Feeling sad, anxious, irritable, nervous, guilty worthless or hopeless.
Changes in your sleep pattern (insomnia or sleeping more than normal).
Changes in appetite; gaining or losing weight without trying.
Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
Restless or slowed behaviour.
Persistent or recurring headaches, digestive disorders (e.g. stomach aches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea), or chronic pain.
Difficulty concentrating, remembering things or making decisions.
Fatigue or loss of energy.
Change in work style or productivity.
Thoughts of suicide or death – if these occur, seek immediate professional help.

Insider Scoop: Research suggests that the most damaging form of stress comes from dealing with people (interpersonal stress). In one study, participants were subjected to 3 types of stress: mental stress (a math test), physical stress (having an arm submerged in icy water) and interpersonal stress (trying to impress a non-responsive member of the opposite sex). Interpersonal stress made blood pressure, heart rates and even cholesterol levels soar – far more than the mental or physical challenges.

Walking Breaks – Walk away from stress
Instead of sitting down for another cup of stress-inducing caffeine on your coffee break, lunch hour or when you’re at home – try going for a stress-relieving and energizing walk. If you don’t like walking by yourself, try forming a walking club with two or three of your coworkers or friends.

What is “stress”?
Stress is not just an event or something that happens to you. It’s an attitude. Yours.

Any big change in your life (a divorce) is a stressor. So is a minor hassle (a traffic jam). But it’s one’s attitude towards stressors, major and minor, that counts. Do our coping skills measure up to the demands of the new situation? If not, we inwardly label that situation stressful and then comes our flight-or-fight reaction: the release of the body chemical adrenalin.

Stressed people may, over time, develop higher blood cholesterol levels and raised blood pressure (among other potential problems). Also, constant stress impedes the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle; probably most smokers and heavy drinkers are responding to stress. There are dozens of healthy, creative ways to manage stress.

You too can be a STRESS-BUSTER!
Stress Busting Tips:
Look at your lifestyle and try to Avoid, Alter or Accept the stressful situation;
Use relaxation techniques, like deep breathing;
Take a stress break – see a movie or read a book;
Patience! Do one thing at a time;
Don’t try to be perfect;
Learn to say “no”;
Put a little fun into your day;
Share your problems with others.

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