Thursday, September 25, 2014

Live Better by Avoiding Stress in Your Life

A recent study has proven that stress is a killer.  That study was unnecessary because doctors have known that stress isn’t healthy for more than five decades.  Money problems, relationship issues and issues in the work place all cause stress.  While you can’t always avoid stress, you can take a number of steps that will help you deal with it a lot better and maybe even eliminate from your life entirely.

One of the best things you can do right now is to make a list of all the things that are causing stress in your life now.  Writing a list is incredibly helpful because by looking at the things that upset you, or stress you out, you can begin to avoid unnecessary people and places that are the causes of some of your stress.

When you finish the list take a look at whether or not there are ways to avoid them.  For example, if going to a certain store causes you stress because of the employees or a bad experience, you can begin to avoid that store.  You should also begin to avoid people that cause you stress even if they are your relatives.  

Stress Can Affect Your Attitude and Behavior

Stress affects the way you think and act, and it can even damage your body, so it’s something you should take seriously.   Key things that can help you avoid stress include learning to manage your time by setting a better schedule, finding more time to relax, and cutting out some unnecessary stressful activities.
Some of the short term effects of stress on your body include:

  • A faster heartbeat
  •  Headaches
  •  Stiff muscles and shoulders
  •   Back pain
  •   Faster breathing
  •   Sweating
  •   Upset stomach and nausea
  •  Diarrhea

The list above doesn’t include the mental effects of stress.  Stress can change the way you think about situations and other people, and it can make you angry for no reason at all.  It can also make it harder for you to concentrate at work or at simple tasks at home such as cooking.

The longer you carry excess stress, the worse the effects become.  In fact, long term stress can compromise the immune system and make it harder to stay healthy.  Stress can be very harmful to your heart, causing high blood pressure and an abnormal heartbeat as well as blood clots. 

Ulcers and other stomach problems can be caused or made worse by stress. This is only a short list of the effects stress can have on your body. 

Exercises You Can Perform Every Day to Lessen Stress

So, now that you know what can happen if you don't deal with your stress, how do you deal with it?  There are a number of ways you can deal with stress.  Listed below you’ll find the best methods for dealing with stress you can begin using today.  This list was compiled by WebMD:

A Few Exercises to Help You Deal with Every Day Stress

Breathe Deeply

Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

“Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She's a certified life coach in Rome, GA.

Be Present

Slow down.  “Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness,” Tutin says. Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.

When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.

Reach Out

Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others -- preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what's going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.

Tune In to Your Body

Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels.

“Simply be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything,” Tutin says. For 1 to 2 minutes, imagine each deep breath flowing to that body part. Repeat this process as you move your focus up your body, paying close attention to sensations you feel in each body part. 

Thanks for reading my Trying to Change My Life blog.  Please post a comment to let us know how you deal with stress in your life.  If you have something that works very well on stress, we’d love to hear about it.

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