Stress Management - Getting Your Life Back
Stress management has become an important health issue. Stress is a physical and emotional reaction to conditions in the environment.
Conditions requiring us to make adjustments or respond in some way are the most common causes of stress.
These conditions are known as stressors. All of us have experienced stress at one point in our lives. These occasional bouts of stress can even be healthy because they prompt us to perform well.
For example, the stress of a deadline may make us work faster and avoid procrastinating.
Continued stress can cause unhealthy symptoms.
Over time, un-managed stress can cause significant health problems and can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, having a heart attack, or having digestive difficulties.
Learning proper stress coping training can improve our quality of life and prevent these types of health complications.
Below is an overview of some of the most common stress management techniques used today.
This stress relief technique was developed more than 70 years ago in Germany and requires repeated daily sessions of approximately 15 minutes each to be effective.
During each session, you repeat visualizations, such as “My eyelids are feeling very heavy,” to increase your relaxation.
You can do these techniques while in any comfortable position, although traditionally there were recommended positions for you to follow.
Research on autogenic training shows it does provide positive results for people who practice it.
Developed in the United States in the 1920s, progressive relaxation has become increasingly popular as a method of stress relief.
With this method, you would be in a very comfortable position, usually lying down. Starting with your feet, you would tighten your muscles as tensely as you could.
You would hold the tension for several seconds then release. From your feet, you would repeat the process with your legs and other parts of your party.
Edmund Jacobson who created this stress management method believed deliberately tightening and relaxing the muscles would train you to deal with the muscular tension associated with stress more effectively.
Although the concept of the “Runner’s High” has been a subject of debate among medical researchers, physical exercise does release endorphins into the body.
These endorphins act like drugs on our bodies by causing relaxation and euphoria. Different amounts of exercise may be required to release these proteins into our bodies.
Many long distance runners have reported this type of experience – feeling full of joy, invincible, unstoppable – but researchers have been unable to duplicate the experience in lab studies.
When we are experiencing stress, we do not exhale.
Instead, we tend to take air into our bodies then hold our breath, perhaps as a way to preserve oxygen for our flight or fight response.
By practicing deep breathing, we are alerting our body that the danger has passed and relaxation can begin.
To practice this method of stress relief, you must find a comfortable position. Inhale deeply using your diaphragm instead of your chest.
For many people, this takes practice. Next you exhale very slowly through your mouth.
These relaxation techniques based on breathing are a good choice because it can be done anywhere you might experience stress: in traffic, at the office, in your home, even in line at the store.
Meditation is a very old practice which can be found in some form in almost every religion of the world, although it is sometimes most closely associated with Eastern religions.
The idea of meditation is to focus your mind completely. While religious leaders recommended this method to help people gain a better knowledge of their deities and of themselves, meditation can also be used as an effective stress relief measure.
By focusing our thoughts, we can block out anything that causes us to feel stressed.
For example, meditation before going to bed can help clear our minds and stop those racing thoughts that can sometimes prevent us from sleeping.
Management of kids stress behavior by teaching them meditation and mindfulness can be very effective and is best learned at a young age.
This stress management approach suggests if you become aware of your body’s signs of stress you can take action to calm down and relax.
To make that happen, biofeedback machines are used which can alert you to changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and other signs of stress.
This stress relief approach was originated in the 1960s and has become more popular since the turn of the century.
For many people, the preferred method of stress relief is prescription medication, including anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs.
Although these can be useful for the treatment of short term stress caused by a temporary stressor, such as the loss of a loved one, they should not be used long-term as a method of stress management.
There are indeed better ways to manage stress and they often are not that difficult or expensive to implement in our daily lives.
Training and Knowledge
It all starts with a better knowledge of what stress is and how you react to it. Stress management for dummies can give you the basics to start with.
Working with a personal stress management journal is an effective way to get insight in your daily thinking and feeling processes.
Then you can learn different alternatives to deal with your life, your perceived problems and your stress reactions.
Western science it catching up and stress management research is showing the clear connection between body and mind.
Demand for specific management courses is prevalent in areas with constant migration and high economic activity, such as New York, San Diego or even Hong Kong.
Stress and life management PDF documents can be useful tools to fuel that continuous process toward a clearer view on life challenges and how we can react to them.
Look at some good videos about stress management. In a short time you will get to the essence of how to feel better. Warning: It can be fun.
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