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4 Steps to De-Stress

From the Emotion Health - Grief - Depression Articles List

 4 Steps to De-Stres
Stress and anxiety may rear their ugly heads during the holidays or other stressful times, but they may become constant chronic companions if you don't take the time to manage them.

Over time, chronic stress can cause problems with memory, concentration, irritability, depression, stomach upset, chest pain, substance abuse, and much more. With so many potential problems, it is important to learn how to deal with chronic stress. While we cannot always change the things that cause stress, we can do some things to lower our stress levels and help us cope more effectively.

1. Keep your relationships


Although it may be tempting to shut yourself off from others at times, when you face chronic stress it helps to have people around to help you feel grounded and normal. And sometimes, hearing about another person’s life can give you perspective or at least a break from your own troubles. If your relationships are the source of your stress, you can work to develop stronger relationships.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a co-worker.
  • Call or email an old friend.
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Take a class or join a club.
  • Take a moment to reflect on something kind another person has done for you.

2. Relax your mind and body


Slow your breathing. Swing on the front porch. Walk through the park at lunchtime. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, the opposite of the stress response. Using these techniques regularly will help lower your sense of constant stress. When you begin to develop a stressful response to something that happens, remind yourself to breathe as a first step.

Schedule five-minute relaxation breaks into your schedule throughout the day, or take twenty minutes at the end of the day to help your body and mind simply rest.

3. Fight or Flight? Exercise Instead


Your body releases chemicals during exercise that can combat mild depression, and focusing on another activity for a while can give your mind a break from your stress. Even a small thing like parking at the far end of the parking lot can provide some benefit. Walk and then walk some more. Add a Fitbit to your wrist and keep track of those extra steps.

4. Control what you can: Be empowered


You may not have any control over whether a spouse is unemployed or you have a chronic medical condition, but there are some things you can work to control: your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.

You can manage your time, think ahead about how you will react when something upsetting occurs, gather information, light a scented candle, and listen to music you love. Taking charge in even a small way can make a big difference when it seems like everything else in your life is out of control.

Take care of yourself in the best way you can. It may not make the stress go away, but it can help you feel less stressed so you are better able to cope with what life sends your way.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

Shutterstock.com/Alliance

08-31-2018 - 08:13 AM


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