It is a normal part of our daily lives. But it is how we react to and manage stress that affects the toll that stress will take on our lives. Overwhelming amounts of stress can lead to back pain, headaches, raised blood pressure, indigestion, sweating, palpitations, irritability and anxiety. It can also contribute to the development of such diseases as cold sores, ulcers and heart disease. Are you feeling stressed out?
Stress Management Techniques & Lifestyle Changes
Coping Skills – Try organizing your time differently, by getting more sleep at night or talking over your problems with a close friend or family member.
Dietary Changes – Eating foods that are good for you will help you stay focused, strong and healthy through the stress. Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages that can add to the symptoms of stress.
Get Connected – Develop and strengthen your social network so that you will have people to turn to in time of stress. Consider a support group.
Take a Break – Learn to say NO. As much as you would like to, it is not possible for you to attend and assist with every project, event and activity. If you are stressed out, try to reduce your work or activity load a little, even try a vacation.
Physical Exercises – help strengthen the body, relax the muscles and nervous system, integrate the mind and body, relieve muscle tension and improve physical function.
Mental Exercises – meditation helps you to clear your mind of stress and promote relaxation.
If you frequently become stressed, learn relaxation techniques that can help you manage stress throughout the day.
Breathing exercises – slow, diaphragmatic breathing and conscious muscle relaxation can help clear your mind and calm your physical responses to stress.
Herbs – there are many herbs that can be used to reduce stress and manage its symptoms. St. John’s wort, chamomile, ginger, wild yam, ginseng, borage, licorice, milk thistle and nettle have all been found to help in managing stress. Always consult a doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
Aromatherapy –Certain scents can calm the body and relieve the tension and anxiety that is often associated with stress. Essential oils of lavender, chamomile, geranium, rose, neroli, sweet marjoram, and ylang-ylang are commonly recommended for stress relief. These can be used in massage, added to a bath or inhaled through a vaporizer.