Managing Stress

Managing Stress

Between trying to balance your work, financial and family

responsibilities, you may feel like there's just nothing you

can do about your stress. But no matter how helpless you

may sometimes feel when dealing with stress, you still have

control over the way you choose to deal with your problems.

That's what stress management is all about: changing stressful

situations when you can, changing your reaction when you

can't-and most importantly-taking the time to care for

Where is your stress coming from?

Sometimes it's easy to see what's causing you stress:

major life events such as moving, switching jobs or

suffering a major loss are easy to pinpoint.

But what about the everyday stress that may not be

so obvious? A stress journal can help you identify the

regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with

Each time you feel stressed, write down:

?What caused your stress.

?How you felt, physically and emotionally.

?How you responded.

?What you did to feel better.

Take steps to lower your stress level

If your current methods of coping with stress don't

seem to be helping, it's time to try something else. Not

every method works for everyone every time, so try

different techniques and strategies until you find what

works for you.

?Exercise. Exercise is a natural stress reliever that

releases endorphins into your bloodstream.

Endorphins are chemicals that help your body

to reduce stress. Once you're in the habit of being

physically active, try to incorporate regular exercise

into your daily schedule. You can try walking,

running, swimming, cycling or gym classes. The

important thing is to pick something you enjoy

doing, so you're more likely to stick with it.

?Be social. Social engagement is one of the quickest,

most efficient ways to deal with stress. It can

help you avoid overreacting to events you may

see as threatening. Just reach out to your family

and friends, and make the effort to connect

regularly in person. The people you talk to don't

have to be able to fix your problems, they just need

to listen.

?Avoid unnecessary stress.You should try not to

overburden yourself. When possible, say "no" to

taking on more than you know you can handle. If

there's a person in your life who normally causes

you stress or makes you feel bad, consider limiting

the amount of time you spend with that person. Are

you worried about never finding the time to go to

the store? You can try shopping online for

everything from clothes to regular household items

and save yourself the trip-and the stress.

?Change your situation. If you can't avoid a

stressful situation, try to change it. Or, at least try

to change your reaction to it. Express your feelings

rather than keeping them to yourself. If something

(or someone) is bothering you, talk about your

concerns in a constructive and respectful way. But,

if you're asking someone to change, make sure

you're willing to do the same. Remember, a little

compromise can go a long way.

?Accept what you can't change. No matter how much we'd like to, there are certain stressors we can't avoid or

alter, such as the death of a loved one or coping with a serious illness. Accepting situations that seem unfair can

be hard, but in the end, it's easier than fighting against a situation you can't change.

?Have fun. You can reduce stress in your life by making sure you take the time to invest in yourself. Try to come

up with a list of things you enjoy doing (for example, gardening, watching a movie or reading) and then make it

a point to do at least one of these things every day.

?Live your healthiest life. Besides regular exercise, there are other ways to take care of your health that can

help make you more resistant to stress. You should eat a healthy diet and keep your energy up with consistent,

nutritious meals throughout the day. At night, you should aim to get the amount of sleep you need to wake

refreshed and think clearly. And remember, even though it may sometimes feel like it helps with the stress,

relying on smoking, drugs or alcohol can just lead to more problems down the road

Chronic stress can lead to:

  • Lowered immune function.
  • Irregular heart rate.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Worsening of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Worsening of asthma.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Poor eating habits.
  • Trouble sleeping.

Yours In Health,

Marisa Biserna RN, BSN

Director

Office 973 401 6834

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