How to Manage Stress

People may think of stress simply as a state of mental or physical fatigue. Others think of it as a feeling of anxiety or mild panic. Studies, however, have shown that stress is more than just an emotional or mental state. It affects every person even at the cellular level which would eventually lead to the physiological or organic dysfunctions. Chronic stress may even lead to certain cancers. Although not a direct result of stress, cancer is more likely to develop when the immune system is weakened by stressors.

Stress is a byproduct of our modern lifestyles, but it is by no means unavoidable. Some helpful tips as well as a basic understanding about the relationship of mind and body can help us cope with the daily stresses of life.

Here are some of the stress relief tips:

1.   Know the symptoms of stress. If you know the signs of stress, you can take actions right away. Otherwise it might become a chronic problem. Some of the symptoms include anxiety, mind racing, chest palpitations, problem concentrating, avoiding people and responsibilities, headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension and pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, nervous behaviors, and decreased sex drive.

2.   Take control of stress triggers. People get stressed when they lose a grip on a certain situation. Always be in control. This requires conscious effort on your part to subdue your subconscious autonomic response (e.g. racing heartbeat, mind-racing, etc.), and to plan ahead complex and potentially stress-inducing tasks. Eating right and exercising, setting realistic goals, taking a break and meditating to slow down “mind-racing,” being flexible, avoiding excessive competition, managing your anger, being optimistic, and utilizing relaxation techniques (Yoga, Breathing, etc.) – these are some of the things you can do to manage your stress.

3.  Take a holistic approach to stress relief. Ancient oriental practices and medicine are proven safe and effective to relieve stress. Aromatherapy is a very popular ancient practice used to restore the body’s natural balance using essential oils. Some use Epsom salt, a good stress reliever, especially to those who experience muscle and joint pain. Listening to the sound of nature also does wonders for stress relief. The soft patter of rain or the sound of waterfalls is seen to have a calming effect. Scented candle is also an affordable yet effective way to soothe our senses and get the feeling of relief.

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