Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feeling stressed? Tips to help you cope with, and overcome, stress

Modern life can be, and frequently is, stressful, and there’s not really a great deal we can do about it. From working long hours and busy commutes to fitting family life around everybody’s leisure pursuits and doing all of the household chores, there never seems to be a moment’s peace. It’s little wonder, then, that so many of us are stressed, frustrated, or anxious on a regular basis. Deadlines, demands, and daily life keeps us on our toes. While some may argue that a little bit of stress never did anybody any harm, there is much research to the contrary. Stress can cause us to lose sleep, neglect our own well-being, become ill more regularly, and even contribute to life-threatening conditions and increase our risks of strokes, heart attacks, and autoimmune and heart diseases. But how is this possible? Stress will often take our bodies to extremes and back again, increasing our heart rates, releasing stress hormones, and making it much more likely that we’ll react negatively to certain situations. So, yes, stress can often motivate us to get things done, but it can also be incredibly risky to our health, moods, relationships, and futures.

Coping with stress

Whether you’re experiencing a particularly difficult period in your life, seem to struggle to cope on a regular basis, or have reached the end of your tether, the good news is that stress can be managed; it’s all about taking a little time for yourself, and realizing that certain behaviors just aren’t good for you. For example, if you find work to be a root cause of the stress in your life be sure to step away from your desk for a break every now and again, try switching off by reading a book or dozing during your commute, and limit the number of times you check your emails, or answer your phone, outside of work hours. Exercise is a great stress-buster, and mood lifter, so aim to walk a little further, go out for a run, or even visit your local pool at least once a week. What could be better than taking time for yourself, during which you’re literally burning your stress away? Ensuring that you eat well, keep hydrated, get a good amount of sleep, and limit aggravations such as caffeine and alcohol, are all great ways to limit stress while meditation and massage can help to alleviate prolonged bouts of anxiety.

 Are you doing everything you can?

Of course, if you’re particularly prone to stress, simply managing your diet, going to bed earlier, or avoiding coffee will often do nothing to alleviate your symptoms. So, what now? It’s time to look at what’s causing that stress and reduce as many factors as possible; can you work fewer hours, travel a different way to work, reduce what’s expected of you, or even change the direction of your life altogether? Such drastic actions aren’t always possible. In times such as this, it’s essential to create a support network, analyze your attitudes and emotions, manage your sense of control, and, in some cases, seek a professional’s opinion. Medication or behavior therapy can be helpful in instances of increased stress, while consulting a therapist, such as chiropractor Sol Cogan, can also work wonders. Chiropractic care will assess your stress’s effect on your body, reduce muscle tension, and help you to face your life with a healthier attitude. Similarly, learning how to meditate or do yoga can change your outlook. Are you ready to beat stress?

Stress, while it can’t always be avoided, it CAN be managed with a healthy diet, positive outlook, and a little expert advice. Whether you decide to exercise more to beat the blues, change your work duties, or seek a specialist, know that you’re not on your own.

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