Tips for managing Stress
Stress is defined as any physical, emotional or other factor, that requires a response or affects health in any way. It can have an adverse effect on the functioning of the body and any of its parts.
Stress can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence, stress can result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Managing stress does not always come easy. With the death of a loved one or the birth of a child, stress can re-adjust our lives. How we react to a stressful situation can either help or hinder us.
How can I handle and manage stress?
Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, all require work toward change: changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it. How do you proceed?
What can I change for managing stress and anxiety?
1. Become aware of your stress and your emotional and physical reactions.
- Notice your distress. Don’t ignore it. Don’t gloss over your problems.
- Determine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about the meaning of these events?
- Determine how your body responds to the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset? In what specific ways?
2. Recognize what you can change.
- Can you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely?
- Can you reduce their intensity (manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)?
- Can you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break or leave the physical premises)?
- Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change? Goal setting, time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful here for reducing stress?
3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.
- Stress is a reaction triggered by your perception of danger…physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a worse?
- Are you expecting to please everyone?
- Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do you feel you must always prevail in every situation?
- Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you.
- Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the “what if’s.”
4. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress.
- Medications, when prescribed by a physician, can help in the short term to moderate your physical reactions and your stress. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution.
- Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Electronic biofeedback, like meditation, can help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension, heart reate, and blood pressure.
- Other remedies such as flower essences and essential oils may also relieve stress related symptoms.
Build your physical, mental and spiritual reserves to relieve stress
5. Build your physical reserves.
- Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week or perhaps yoga or walking.
- Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals and take vitamin supplements as required.
- Maintain your ideal weight.
- Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants.
- Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can.
- Get enough sleep. Try to maintain a consistant or regular sleep schedule.
6. Maintain your emotional reserves.
- Develop some mutually supportive friendships/relationships.
- Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you, rather than goals others have set for you.
- Expect some frustrations, failures, and sorrows.
- Always be kind and gentle with yourself – be a friend to yourself.
- Not all people that have stress, will have the same symptoms or have them to the same degree.
Supplements thay may help with managing stress
We have an enormous amount of influence over our health and body functions. Our body is remarkably responsive to what we eat, think, and use for supplementation. Supplements can play an important role, protecting your body from the damaging side effects of stress. The use of the following vitamins, minerals, and herbs such as bach flowe essence can help cut down the likelihood of the body going into a stress response mode. Stress response, can be a vicious cycle, and lack of nutrients may further damage the nervous system. This page is for your information only.
Vitamin B Complex-assists with
Is stored in the adrenal glands. A large amount is lost when the body goes into stress response.
Is essential in the transmission of nerve and muscle impulses, which cause irritability and nervousness. If your magnesium level is low, you might notice insomnia, mental spaciness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, anxiety and chronic tiredness.
Helps to maintain a normal heartbeat and nerve impulses. If your calcium level is low you might be noticing heart palpitations, nervousness, reduced ability to think clearly, insomnia and depression.
Removes toxins from the blood. It is critical for healthy nerves and a regular heartbeat. A potassium deficiency can lead to a cognitive impairment, nervousness, insomnia, periodic headaches, and depression.
Is needed for protein synthesis, critical to your body?s ability to deal with stress. If your zinc level is low you may be noticing unusual fatigue, memory impairment and increased susceptibility to infection.
St. John’s Wort
Provides a measure of calm during stress, grief, anxiety, or lingering depression. Results of its use, are noticed almost immediately and there are virtually no side effects when used correctly.
Panax Ginseng promotes regeneration from stress and fatigue. Siberian Ginseng supports the adrenal glands, circulatory system, stamina and endurance. Both ginsengs exert significant anti-anxiety effects and offset some negative effects of cortisone.
Not all people that have stress, will have the same symptoms or have them to the same degree.
It is best to consult your health practitioner prior to the use of any treatment for stress.
Bach Flower Essence and stress
There are many reasons to use Bach Flower Essence during times of stress. Below are ten examples of times when the bach flower essence might be of value:
- A part of your personality is getting in the way of achieving your goals.
- You are totally stressed out.
- You can’t seem to resolve your emotional and mental issues alone.
- You can’t stop your mind from worrying.
- You are in a traumatic situation or emergency.
- You are fearful, overanxious or depressed.
- You want to improve the part of you that needs repair or rebalancing so you can feel your best again.
- You are irritable, angry or resentful.
- You keep repeating the same mistakes.
- Your self-confidence or self-esteem is low.
Bach Flower Essence can help with healing physical and emotional stress.