What is stress?
Stress is defined as a normal reaction the body has when changes occur. It can respond to these changes physically, mentally, or emotionally. Stress is normal and can be good or bad. Mental health is important and it is our job to educate ourselves on stress and stress management.
Or… “good stress.” This is the kind of stress we feel when we get excited. Our heart beats faster and faster and our hormones go crazy, but there is no threat or fear of anything. Good stress can be caused by a job promotion, roller coaster or a first date - amongst other things. You can trigger good stress by setting goals you get excited about accomplishing.
This is “bad stress.” Or what many of us know as just ...stress. Bad stress occurs when we repeatedly experience stressful things that make us feel lost or trapped. Bad stress can be caused by job loss, unhappy home life and I dunno - maybe what’s going on in the world today?
Stress and Health
Stress is said to be the #1 killer because too much bad stress, if not addressed and managed properly can lead to more extreme health problems. Stress is medically proven to contribute to stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and more. For that reason and many others, it is important that we learn to manage our own stress. We were all created to live healthy and happy lives. We owe it to ourselves to practice methods of positive self care to aid in the prevention of burnout, poor mental health and stress related illnesses.
7 tips for managing stress
Stress management is an ongoing, personal job - but a very rewarding one. You will feel happier, safer and more confident when you have your stress under control.
1. Use Your IMAGINATION
Use guided imagery. Guided imagery is like taking a vacation on your mind. It’s your “happy place.” When using guided imagery, you could imagine yourself on the beach, laying in the sand, listening to the waves, feeling the warmth of the sun with the smell of the ocean at your nose.
2. Focus on your Breathing
Breathwork is not only vital to our lives but the way we breathe plays a part in how we feel. Combat breathing is a form of breathing used by the military to aid troops in feeling more calm. Combat breathing happens when you count to four during every step of the breathing process. Breathe in. Count to four. Hold it. Count to four. Breathe out. Count to four. Hold. Count to four.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Relax all the muscles in your body group by group. For starters, begin with a few deep breaths. Then practice making your muscle super super tight and releasing tension by relaxing that same muscle. Begin with your forehead muscles and move down to your toes. Tighten that muscle, breathe in and then release on the exhale. With practice, you will begin to quickly identify muscle tension and you’ll be able to relax more quickly.
4. Use Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a very helpful tool when it comes to dealing with stress. Research suggests that certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones. You can enjoy candles, air fresheners, diffusers, incense and/or body products.
5. Reassess your To-Do List
Sometimes, we get crazy. It’s fine. During those times, we may set unrealistic goals for ourselves. If you’re trying to complete a week-long project in two days, of course you’re going to feel stressed out. Reassess your to-do list and make sure your goals are realistic. Sometimes, things around us change and we don’t change our goals. Be sure to reassess your goals and your to-do list when necessary.
6. Develop Positive Self-Talk
The way you talk to yourself is most important. When you talk to yourself with lots of self doubt, pity and self criticism that won’t help you feel less stressed out. If is often that we give others the benefit of the doubt when they do, say or behave in the wrong ways, but we are very harsh with ourselves when we mess up. We excuse others and condemn ourselves, we must be more patient and kind with ourselves. Do not beat yourself up with your language. Speak No Evil.
7. Be Creative!
CREATE! CREATE! CREATE! When times get tough and the stress becomes overwhelming, you can always free your mind from the stress of responsibility by being creative. Creativity allows us to free our minds and when we free our mental space, we are more ready and prepared. Regardless as to how you choose to be creative song, dance, paint - whatever… find time to be creative, free your mind and have fun!
We Are Victorious
Stress is said to be the #1 killer because too much bad stress, if not addressed and managed properly can lead to more extreme health problems. Stress is medically proven to contribute to stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and more. For that reason and many others, it is important that we learn to manage our own stress. We can win the fight against stress. Utilize positive mental health practices and stress management technique. Be honest with yourself about your feelings. If necessary, do not hesitate to seek professional help.
Share an Idea. Plant a Seed. Lift A Spirit.
Please add any tips to the comments share your thoughts!
As always, keep your head up and your spirit lifted!
Blog Written by Jhoe Virago