Because of the world-wide economic recession, most of us will have become aware of just how much more stressed we are.
If we haven’t recognised or don’t recognise the signs of stress, those around us will probably be aware of just how stressed we have become. Although some stress can be good for us; it keeps us motivated, alert and in some circumstances, stress can make us aware of danger signs and how best to avoid them, in abundance it can also make us sick.
Living with stress without any relief can lead to negative stress reactions. Stress is known to disturb the internal balance, which can lead to physical symptoms, if stress persists. Those symptoms include the usual problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia and an upset stomach.
Stress can also lead to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety attacks. Stress can also worsen other symptoms and/or diseases, (as outlined in my Stress affects our DNA Blog).
So how do we reduce stress?
Here are just some ideas of how we can reduce stress:
- Having a positive attitude helps. When we’re positive we tend to cope better and are less likely to encounter stress. It’s a fact that we don’t and won’t always have control over some of the problems we deal with; therefore, we need to be accepting of those situations;
- Being assertive means we’re less likely to get stressed. I have seen first hand what happens when anger is used as a means of alleviating stress. Try and assert your opinions, beliefs and feelings instead of using anger to get your point across. It also reduces our need to be defensive all the time;
- Managing our time more effectively can help with cutting down on stress. Set appropriate goals so that you know you’ll be okay in reaching them and say no to any requests that will add to more stress. That way you get to stay in control;
- Exercise is a good stress reliever. Exercise produces a chemical that makes us less prone to the effects of stress and helps us cope better if we’re already dealing with stress.
I believe that so long as we know and understand the symptoms of stress, we will be able to do something about it. Simplifying our lives, changing the way we deal with and think about stress, is a good place to start.