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What Is Stress and How Can We Manage It?

It would be nice if we could go through life without feeling the negative effects of stress. Unfortunately we don’t live in this world. Many outside factors can impact our everyday life and cause stress. It is this stress that is our body and mind’s way of dealing with the events (positive and negative) that impacts us. These reactions can be both biological and psychological in nature and finding a way to manage stress can minimize the negative effects. We here at HPFY can give you some tips to manage stress.

Stress

What does Stress Include?

Stress BallYeah, we have all been stressed at one time or another, but what is the true definition of stress? Stress can be defined as a subjective response by the body caused by a particular situation. Being subjective means that what might be stressful to someone may not be a stressor for someone else. Stress is our body’s way of preparing to face danger and stress can manifest itself in both physical and psychological ways, therefore affecting our behavior. Not all forms of stress are negative. Sometimes stress can help you meet a deadline or react quickly in an emergency situation. As with many other things, there are several types of stress and they can include:

  1. Acute Stress: This is the most common form of stress and is usually short lived. These short-term effects can include tension headaches, upset stomach, and even feelings of distress. Usually, this is brought about by thinking about recent events or an upcoming, future occurrence.
  2. Episodic Acute Stress: When acute stress is occurring frequently or events often trigger stress, this can be an example of episodic acute stress. It can often be characterized by irritability and a tendency to be tense. Also, those who worry often can suffer from this type of stress.
  3. Chronic Stress: Experienced over a long period of time, this type of stress is the most damaging of all. This stress can occur when the sufferer can’t escape the cause of stress. Examples can include poverty, family problems, or marital problems. Suicides, violent behavior, and health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, can all be the results of untreated chronic stress.

Yes, not all stress is bad and can even help in situations of crises or in the face of the deadline. Often these chaotic situations can trigger the “fight or flight” response we have all heard of. This is a normal response by our body to stress, but should be temporary. Once the situation has dissipated, our heart rate should return to normal and return our bodies to their normal everyday state. Unfortunately, these physiological responses can take their toll on our bodies and overall mental well-being.

Manage Stress

How to Manage Stress?

Since it is nearly impossible to eliminate stress from our everyday lives, it is imperative to learn how to cope with and manage stress. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, this may not be case for everyone. Some people are better than others in dealing with stressful situations. The question is: how do they do it? Of course, the first step is trying to avoid any potential stressful situation and as you can imagine that can be difficult, if not impossible. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests several steps for managing stress. These are:

  • Care for Yourself: Eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep/rest, along with exercising, can keep you mentally alert and ready for any and all events (positive or negative).
  • Support Groups: Often, speaking to others who have had similar experiences and can understand what you are going through can alleviate burdens on you.
  • Be Social: Stressful events often have a way of isolating you from your friends and/or family. By staying socially active you can minimize negative effects of stress.
  • Avoid Stressors: This one is obvious, but by avoiding events or situations that cause your stress can minimize the negative effects of those stressors.
  • Avoid Drugs/Alcohol: The temporary benefits of drugs and alcohol during stressful times can lead to serious, if not dangerous, problems down the road. Plus, they don’t solve the problem, do they?

A Day away From Stress

Tools for Managing Stress

Managing stress can incorporate numerous behavioral and even environmental steps. By being proactive you can minimize the effects of stress on your everyday life. Besides the techniques above, we here at HPFY can offer some aids to help you manage stress. Some of these are:

  • Aromatherapy: Scents such as lavender oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil are all scents that can promote a stress free environment in order to relax.
  • Stress Ball: This hand exerciser is a great outlet for stress. Take out all your stress on this soft, latex free, squeezable ball!!
  • Music: When de-stressing, the use of relaxing music, such as Stress Stop, can help you recover from stressful situations and return to your normal well-being.
  • Dietary Supplements: Many nutritional supplements have ingredients that can help regulate your body’s response to stressors. For instance, the Historical Remedies Homeopathic Stress LOzenge is a minty, natural way to combat stress.

You can’t avoid stress totally, but minimizing your exposure is a great step towards managing stress. When stress is unavoidable, finding the proper tools for managing your stress can go a long way being able to keep stress from impacting you negatively.

 

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