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The effects of stress continues to have profound effects on Americans. Current statistics state that 44% or Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago; work stress has been correlated with 12% or work related strokes; stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illnesses; stress increases the risk of heart attack by 25%, heart disease by 40% and stroke by 50%. Stress can cause extreme damage to a person’s physical and emotional well being, so managing stress can help you to decrease medical situations such as heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes. Simple actions can help you to stay healthy, so remember that managing stress can also help you to have a better outlook on life, and even perform better in your most prized life domains.
Stress symptoms can vary from each person. However, there are some typical symptoms of stress.
·High level of moodiness
·Frequent tearfulness and crying
·Low self esteem
·Complaints of headaches or migraines
·Complaints of stomach issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
·Pains in neck, shoulders or back
·Difficulty breathing, racing heart, chest pain
·Chronic feeling of being sick
·Change in appetite
·Loss of sexual interest
·Difficulty with concentrating or remembering
·Difficulty with focus
·Racing or intrusive thoughts
·Forgetfulness and disorganization
·Unwanted thoughts about topics of worry
·Withdrawal from family and friends
·Avoidance of social activities
·Avoidance of responsibilities
·Failure to complete self care (showering, clothing, etc)
·Beginning use or increase use of alcohol or drugs
Stress management is important. The following are ways to manage stress:
1. Relaxation Techniques
Deep Breathing, Yoga, Pilates, Meditation are excellent ways to practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing helps to control our natural fight-or-flight response by causing an emotional and physical state of relataxion or sense of calmness, while yoga and pilates works on the body and brain in combination through physical exercise.
2. Eat right. Sleep well. Exercise.
This is an old saying but it is still applicable today. When we take care of our bodies, we can better manage stress. ating right helps to give us the proper nutrition to be able to function and manage stress, and when we get enough sleep our bodies and brain are prepared to manage small and large levels of stress. Exercising enables us to release negative energy and to produce positive neurotransmitters and hormones that can make us feel good - Feeling good helps us to feel more able to manage stress.
3. Thought replacement.
When you are feeling high levels of stress, try to determine where the feeling is coming from. Is there an identifiable circumstance or trigger? If there is, can you think of a potential solution? When you know what is upsetting you then you can create a plan to resolve the issue. If the stressor is irrational, you can change the way you are thinking about the situation. Thought replacement means identifying your negative thought and replacing it was something reality based, but positive.
4. Support System.
Friends, family, neighbors, pastors and co-workers can make up a support system, where the people in your life who care about you and offer you comfort, support or advice make for strong and stable connections that can heal during times of pain. Surround yourself with people who love you, but will hold you accountable. Reach out to them. Maintain your relationship when things are good so you have people to console you when things are bad.
5. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol.
Drugs and alcohol can increase your physiological stress and emotional stress. Using alcohol or drugs can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. Withdrawal symptoms also can cause symptoms of physiological stress and psychological stress.
If you believe you have chronic stress that is not getting better doing the simple techniques, it may be advised to seek a professional evaluation. A professional can work with you to identify stressors., as well as help you to receive treatment. A professional therapist or psychiatrist can help teach you skills through such methods as cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to learn the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This can help you to learn how to better manage stress.