Stress and your health

Go down

Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:28 am

What stresses you out? How do you handle stress? Do you have any advice for others on how to deal with stressful situations?

Did you know that stress can make you physically ill?

I have learned a few techniques that I use when I am coherent enough to remember them LOL.
Breath slowly and deep in through your nose and breath slowly out your mouth. Just focusing on your breathing can calm you down.
Lying down, start with your toes....... flex them and point them then relax them, then your feet, then your legs, until you have concentrated on every part of your body from your feet to your head. This is a great relaxation aid.


Last edited by Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:36 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:32 am

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, your body releases a burst of hormones to fuel your fight-or-flight response. When the threat is gone, your body returns to normal. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off.

That's why stress management is so important. Stress management gives you the tools to reset your alarm system. Without stress management, your body is always on red alert. Over time, that level of stress leads to serious health problems. Don't wait until then to combat stress. Start learning stress management techniques now.

Do you know anyone who isn't stressed out these days? The pace of our lives makes stress management a necessary skill for all of us. Learning to identify your problems and implement solutions is the key to successful stress relief. The first step in stress relief is identifying your stress triggers. Some causes of stress are obvious — job loss, a divorce, the death of a loved one. But small, daily hassles and demands such as a long commute or trouble finding child care also contribute to your stress level.

Once you've identified a stressful situation, you can start thinking about strategies to make it less problematic. Sometimes, the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV when the evening news is too depressing. When you can't avoid a stressful situation, try brainstorming ways to reduce the irritation factor. And don't feel like you have to figure it out all on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends. You may want to ask them what stress-relief techniques have worked well for them.

Stress won't disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with practice, you'll learn how to reduce your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges.

Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management. Relaxation isn't just about finding some quiet time or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that helps you repair the toll that stress takes on your mind and body.

Almost everyone can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques usually involve refocusing your attention to something calming and increasing awareness of your body. Common relaxation techniques include meditation and yoga. Almost any type of exercise is a great stress buster. It doesn't matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you practice relaxation regularly.
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:43 am

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. But when you're unable to cope well with the stress in your life, your mind and body may pay the price.

Your body is hard-wired by nature to react to stress in a way originally meant to protect you against perceived threats from predators and aggressors. But today's many demands may include managing a huge workload, making ends meet, taking care of aging parents as well as young children, and simply making it through the morning rush hour. You may feel overwhelmed by these daily stressors and wonder if you'll ever get a handle on all of these extra "threats" — you can empower yourself to do so.
Understanding the natural stress response

If your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That's because your body's "fight-or-flight reaction" — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.

When you encounter perceived threats — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

* Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies.
* Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes.

This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.
When the natural stress response goes haywire

The body's stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases hormone levels and enables your body to return to normal once a perceived threat has passed. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when the stressors of your life are always present, leaving you constantly feeling stressed, tense, nervous or on edge, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The less control you have over potentially stress-inducing events and the more uncertainty they create, the more likely you are to feel stressed. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contribute to your body's stress response.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

* Heart disease
* Sleep problems
* Digestive problems
* Depression
* Obesity
* Memory impairment
* Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema

That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:44 am

Your reaction to a potentially stressful event is different from anyone else's. How you react to stressors in your life includes such factors as:

* Genetics. The genes that control the stress response keep most people on a fairly even keel, only occasionally priming the body for fight or flight. Overactive or underactive stress responses may stem from slight differences in these genes.
* Life experiences. Strong stress reactions sometimes can be traced to early environmental factors. People who were exposed to extremely stressful events as children, such as neglect or abuse, tend to be particularly vulnerable to stress as adults.

You may have some friends who seem laid-back about almost everything and others who react strongly at the slightest stress. Most reactions to life stressors fall somewhere between those extremes.
Learning to react to life stressors in a healthy way

Stressful events are a fact of life. And you may not be able to change your current situation.

But you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you. You can learn to identify what stresses you out, how to take control of some stress-inducing circumstances, and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations.

Stress management strategies may include:

* Exercise
* Relaxation techniques
* Fostering healthy friendships
* Getting plenty of sleep
* Professional counseling or psychotherapy

The payoff of managing stress is peace of mind and — perhaps — a longer, healthier life.
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:45 am

In small doses, stress is a good thing. It can energize and motivate you and perhaps even prevent or delay certain types of damage to your cells. But prolonged or excessive stress — the kind that overwhelms your ability to cope — can take a severe psychological and physical toll. High stress levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal problems, an impaired immune system and cancer.

The following tips may help reduce your stress.
Identify your stress triggers

Your genes, personality and life experiences all influence the way you respond to stress. Situations and events that are distressing for most people might not bother you in the least. Or, you may be particularly sensitive to even minor stressors. The first step in dealing with stress is identifying your particular stress triggers.

Some causes of stress are obvious — job loss, a divorce, the death of a loved one. But small, daily hassles and demands such as a long commute or trouble finding childcare also contribute to your stress level. Over time, small, persistent stressors can wreak more havoc than sudden, devastating events do.

Try one or more of these techniques to help identify the factors causing you stress:

* Keep a stress journal. For one week, note which events and situations cause a negative physical, mental or emotional response. Record the day and time. Give a brief description of the situation. Where were you? Who was involved? What seemed to cause the stress? Also, describe your reaction. What were your physical symptoms? How did you feel? What did you say or do? Finally, on a scale of 1 (not very intense) to 5 (very intense), rate the intensity of your stress.
* Make a list of all the demands on your time and energy for one week. Some examples may include your job, volunteer work, driving kids to after-school activities or caring for an elderly parent. Then, on a scale of 1 (not very intense) to 5 (very intense), rate the intensity of stress that each demand causes.

Sit down and look at your stress recordings. Pay particular attention to events that you ranked as very stressful. Select one of them to work on using problem-solving techniques. That means identifying and exploring the problem, looking for ways to resolve it, and selecting and implementing a solution.

Suppose, for instance, that you're behind at work because you leave early to pick up your son from school. You might check with other parents to see if your son can ride with them. Or, you might come in early, work through your lunch hour or take work home to catch up. The best way to cope with stress is to try to find a way to change the circumstances that are causing it.
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:46 am

Effective time management skills can help you identify goals, set priorities and minimize stress in your life. Use these tips to improve your time management skills and lower your stress level.

* Create realistic expectations and deadlines for yourself, and set regular progress reviews.
* Throw away unimportant papers on your desk.
* Prepare a master list of tasks. Throughout the day, scan your master list and work on tasks in priority order.
* Use a planner. Store addresses and telephone numbers there. Copy tasks from your master list onto the page for the day on which you expect to do them. Evaluate and prioritize daily.
* For especially important or difficult projects, reserve an interruption-free block of time behind closed doors.

Extinguish job burnout

Nowhere is stress more likely than in the workplace. Twenty-five percent of people say that their job is the primary stressor in their lives. And the vast majority of workers believe that on-the-job stress is worse today than it was just 10 years ago.

Job stress can affect your professional and personal relationships, your livelihood, and your health.

Here are strategies you can use:

* Identify the source of the problem. Whether it's an unrealistic workload, job insecurity, inadequate compensation, office politics or a hostile work environment, you need to figure out what's making you miserable at work and then take steps to deal with it.
* Develop friendships at work and outside the office. Sharing unsettling feelings with people you trust is the first step toward resolving them. Minimize activities with "negative" people who only reinforce bad feelings.
* Take time off. Take a vacation or a long weekend. During the workday, take short breaks.
* Set limits. When necessary, learn to say no in a friendly but firm manner.
* Choose battles wisely. Don't rush to argue every time someone disagrees with you. Keep a cool head, and save your argument for things that really matter.
* Have an outlet. Read, enjoy a hobby, exercise or get involved in some other activity that is relaxing and gets your mind off work.
* Seek help. If none of these things relieves your feelings of stress or burnout, ask a health care professional for advice
avatar
Hummingbird
Admin

Posts : 287
Join date : 2009-08-09
Age : 51
Location : TN

View user profile http://mysupportgroup.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Stress and your health

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum