Coping With Stress - The Right Way!

By: Darvin J. Hooey


 
We're all impacted by stress in one form or another, so coping with stress correctly is crucial for all of us. The causes of stress in our lives, like bills, job loss, family illness, etc., seem to be constant, so it may seem that handling stress is a futile effort. However, there are effective ways to control the affect of stress on you. Without understanding and using these control mechanisms, stress will not only be draining mentally, but stress can also manifest into physical ailments and problems. The first step to effectively managing your stress is to determine what causes it.
Why Are You So Stressed?
Identifying the causes of stress is required for effectively coping with stress. Mentally, stress is the result of the frustration or concern caused by changes in your life. The biological affects are the result of ineefectively handling the mental aspects of stress. Here are a few items that can initiate the previously mentioned concern and frustration:


  • Physical pain

  • Conflict

  • Divorce

  • Marital Issues

  • Job Loss

  • Deadlines

  • Money Problems


What Are the Signs of Stress?
As I said before, stress can cause both negative mental and physical conditions, if not dealt with appropriately. Unfortunately, most of us do not recognize that we are stressed until we see some of these negative conditions manifest in our lives. It's when these sign manifest, that coping with stress becomes critical:

  • Physical pain (As opposed to causing stress, pain can also be a sign of stress, like back or neck pain)

  • Constipation

  • Difficulty Sleeping

  • Weight Gain / Loss

  • Ulcers

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Relationship Issues


If you are seeing any or all of these issues showing themselves in your life, stress could be the reason! Now let's deal with it. Let's be fair here. There are both healthy and unhealthy ways to handle stress. Let's outline some of the unhealthy ways first, so that you might be better prepared to avoid them.
Coping With Stress - Unhealthy Ways
There are a number of things people take to the extreme to deal with stress. Done in every now and then, these things are not necessarily bad, but they are only short-term crutches and do nothing to deal with the real cause of the stress:

  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • Drugs

  • Overeating

  • Withdrawing from friends and family

  • Sleeping too much

  •  Watching TV or surfing to avoid "life"


Again, these are just temporary escapes, not solutions. They do nothing to eliminate the stress in your life or to avoid the negative health effects that can manifest as a result. Let's take a look at some more appropriate ways to deal with stress.
Coping With Stress - Healthy Ways
 Mental Aspects 

  • Realize you can't control the uncontrollable

  • Look for the "silver lining" (there's something positive in every situation)

  • Be more expressive (don't hold things in!)

  • Improve time management skills


 Physical Aspects 

  • Eat more nutritious food

  • Get the sleep you need

  • Exercise regularly

  • Meditate

  • Find a stress-free hobby


 In the past, I have had quite a few problems dealing with stress, mainly due to a highly demanding job. I eventually began to go to the health club and work out more often. However, this only addressed the exercise part of the solution. I have personally found a way of coping with stress that simultaneously satisfies the exercise, meditation and stress-free hobby aspects. My solution is yoga. I can do it in the privacy of my own home and the benefits of yoga go far beyond the ones I just listed!

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