Stress Reduction Information
What is Stress?Definition
Stress is the non-specific response of the body to any demand placed on it as stated by Hans Selye.¬† Stress can create feelings of conflict and/or anxiety within an individual. Stress can stem from demands places on oneself or from outside stimuli or situations. If stress is not identified and resolved, it can progressively deteriorate one's ability to function physically, mentally and emotionally.
CausesStress is most frequently caused by change, such as loss of a loved one; job loss or advancement; illness or injury and lifestyle changes. Some peoples' personalities are more prone to stress due to poor coping skills, eating habits,¬†lack of exercise, unhealthy lifestyles, and¬†negative attitudes.¬† Anything that causes stress is a stessor.
Some stress is positive (eustress)¬†and creates good opportunities and outlets in life. Positive stress can keep a person motivated and creative responses at their highest level.
Persisting stress or "distress" results in debilitating anxiety that affects one's overall mental, emotional and physical health.
Some signs of stress are headaches, dizziness, fast heartbeat, abnormal eating habits, troubled breathing, inability to slow down or relax, depression, ulcers, high-blood pressure, phobias, and disturbed sleep patterns.
Stress-coping SkillsWith proper coping skills, stress can be managed. Skills may include:
- Take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps calm the body.
- Watch your thoughts. Negative or fearful thoughts create more anxiety and stress. Thinking positive about a situation helps reduce stress.
- Practice visualization. Visualize what you want to happen in your life and affairs.
- Exercise Regularly. Physical activities often relieve the body of unnecessary tensions and allow the body to function more effectively. Exercise also provides needed diversions from life's pressures.
- Learn to relax. Just a few minutes of peace and quiet each day to give one the ability to properly assess a challenging situation and to respond in an appropriate manner. Relaxation is a skill. Read something inspirational and listen to your favorite music.
- Talk about stress. Opening up about your problems or tensions with close friends, a therapist, co-workers or a clergy member will allow a sharing of feelings and an opportunity to keep potential stressors in proper perspective.
- Structure planning of daily activities. By properly planning and using one's time wisely, daily demands can be handled before they create unhealthy stress. Daily planning provides for a varied schedule, which can include work, leisure, social and family activities, as well as personal time.
- Set realistic goals. People who expect too much of themselves are most frequently troubled by stress. Goals must be realistic to be motivational.
- Do some fun things. Treat yourself regularly by doing something that you enjoy.
- Get regular physical checkups. Often physicians can discover physical manifestations of stress that enable one to deal effectively with the tensions of stress.
- Seek more information about wholistic ways to handle stress. Contact the Wholistic Stress Control Institute to learn how to effectively manage the stress in your life.
Developed by: Jennie C. Trotter - Wholistic Stress Control Institute