Ever have one of those days? You know the ones – where everything seems to go awry. The car doesn’t start, glass cups crashing all over the kitchen floor, traffic seems to actually stop completely? Yup – all great examples of things that can stress a person out. Yet the question to ask is do you have a hold of stress OR does stress have a hold of you?
Stress has a very real affect upon the body. According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
The body responds to each type of stress in similar ways. Different people may feel it in different ways. For example, some people experience mainly digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger and irritability. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold, and vaccines, such as the flu shot, are less effective for them.
Awesome, right? The funny thing about stress is that what can stress one person out may have little to no affect upon another. It really comes down to perspective, or rather, how do I view situations: stressful OR not. So how are we able, then, to best deal with stress? The answer to this question is as diverse as people out there. While there is a stress response which spurs specific actions within the body, there is also a very real relaxation response. This response can be induced in a number of different ways – exercise, meditation, socialization, etc. Obviously, some actions (exercise/activity) will have a positive affect upon health, in comparison to more sedentary (watching TV/reading a book) action. However, whatever allows you to relax is the absolute best place to start. Additional, we face stress everyday, so do make time DAILY for these activities. This way you will be able to ensure that you are tending to your relaxation needs to counter the daily affects of stress.
Here are some tips to better deal with your stress:
1. Check Your Triggers – Take inventory of WHAT stressed you
2. Know Thyself – Remain aware of HOW you react to stress
3. Focus Upon Breath – Take 3 – 5 deep breaths
4. Take Time – When able, allow yourself time to relax & recover
Remember, while stressors do exist it can only affect us as much as we are willing to allow it to. In remaining aware of what is happening in every moment, and how we are experiencing these moments we are better able to respond to our circumstances rather than react to them. In doing so, you can truly answer that you have a hold on stress and NOT the other way around!