Archive for category Stress Management

The Stress Response

Many actions occur when the stress response is thrust into action. The lungs work overtime, the heart kicks into overdrive, stress hormones are released, and all non-critical body the-stress-responsefunctions stop. Body functions such as immune system regulation, cell production, and cell regeneration are put on stand by. The body is on high alert, ready to escape the stressor that it is presented with. These functions are extremely useful for their intended purpose. Unfortunately their intended purpose is to survive in the wild. We rarely use stress in this setting and because of that a lot of issues arise.

The effects of stress

All of these actions happen when we are presented with everyday stress. When we are stuck in traffic or have a high workload this stress response occurs, along with its repercussions. Our immune system is weakened, our heart and lungs have unnecessary stress put on them, our mind shuts down. This can lead to a lot of problems short term. Long term chronic stress has disastrous consequences. Chronic stress gives us high blood pressure, arteries clog with plaque, the cardiovascular system becomes weak, the immune system is compromised, we develop a poor memory. Brain cells are destroyed and the communication between them is lowered. The damage done is both physical and mental. We not only suffer the pain of stress but we are bogged down by its consequences.

Take steps towards stress management

The stress response is in its nature a physical one. This physical response affects us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It is corrosive and is only meant for short duration in emergency situations. Our social constructs and modern environment triggers this stress response far to often. We are creatures of nature living in an unnatural world. We however don’t have to be slaves to this stress response. We can take many steps to avoid this stress and we can take just as many to conquer the response to it.

There will always be stress but it shouldn’t consume our lives. It shouldn’t be a daily occurrence and it definitely doesn’t need to adversely affect our health. Stress isn’t there to control you, you are there to control it. With the proper stress management strategies, with mindfulness based stress reduction, and with building new habits we can take the higher road and overcome the debilitating affects of stress. We can restore our emotional, mental, and physical health. Please read on to discover these methods and take back your life!

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Stress and Pleasure

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain with many purposes. It increases the pleasure of literally every activity. From eating to stress-and-pleasurereading, from appreciation of art to time spent with others, sex to music dopamine does it all. Dopamine brings us concentration; it helps develop the prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain that separates us humans from all other species. It is extremely powerful and necessary for functioning in the world. Stress and dopamine are intimately connected. The stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, and glucacorticiods work together to stop the production of dopamine.

Dopamine and stress

Stress will lower dopamine and it’s activity in the brain by lowering receptor activity. The more we stress the more this happens. The more it happens the more the brain is shaped to both have less and receive less dopamine. The damage will continue to weaken this chemical and take away from us concentration, pleasure, and a variety of other functions that dopamine is responsible for in our brain.

The impacts of stress

Stress does far more than reduce dopamine and its other affects can take a toll on our enjoyment of life as well. Ignoring the mental and emotional pain of stress much can be said about the health problems associated with stress. It will weaken our immune system making us susceptible to disease. It will harm our cardiovascular system making it harder to get around and enjoy physical activity. It can cause memory problems which not only is annoying but can be very damaging to our life. It can compromise our reproductive system. It can give us painful peptic ulcers and headaches.

Finding stress management strategies

The list goes on and the stress runs a muck on our body, mind, and emotions. We must find ways to avoid and cope with stress. Finding stress management strategies as well as stress reducers are important steps to take. So much can be done and we can start today. We can empower ourselves and take back our health and enjoyment of life. We can secure a safe spot in our world and we can live a happier life. This not only affects us but all those in our life. We must make the mature and responsible decisions to take back our lives from stress. It will take hard work but as long as we continue to take steps in the right direction we will reach our destination.

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Setting Goals

To obtain what we want in life we must be persistent in the clear goals that we set. There isn’t a predetermined outcome there is only the effort, grit, and focus you put into your goal that achieves it. We may not believe we are capable of achieving certain skills and success but if we have grit, clarity, and right approach we can achieve whatever we set out mind to.setting goals

Don’t limit yourself

First things first you should work for yourself. You should accept that you are capable of a great deal and you can accomplish more than you may think. It takes time to recondition the mind and build this confidence. Confidence is a key factor to success in any walk of life. Seeing success in yourself will trounce stress and build self-confidence.

Self-discipline comes from practice

Self-discipline is like any muscle in the body, if you work it out it gets stronger. The ability to respect yourself and make moves to goals will require a strong self-discipline and an ability to build this trait. Anyone is capable of it and it should be a goal of yours. Emotional stress may hamper these ideas so be sure to use stress management strategies as you work towards this goal.

Watch what you think

Your thoughts will greatly affect your actions. Thinking to yourself “I don’t want failure” instead of “I want success” is surprisingly counter productive. Clinical studies have shown speaking about what you want and not what you don’t want will increase your goal completion by roughly three hundred percent. This is a massive statistic that should be integrated into our understanding of ourselves. When you are told what not to do you know you want to do it more! Tell yourself “I will do this at these times” and you will see additional success. Giving yourself a clear goal is vital to improving your success rate.

Build new patterns

Starting out is not always easy but when we get into rhythms and routines it becomes natural to complete these tasks. In theme with this site we are sure you want to set stress reducer goals. Be sure to be clear to yourself what these stress reducer goals are and with the aforementioned information begin to transform your emotional stress into peace.

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Some Stress Relief Games

Stress is taken very seriously in our western society and in most parts of the world. It causes harm to the body and in excessstress-relief-games it can cause extensive damage to the body. The cortisol, the adrenaline, and the host of other hormones released during stress causes damage and hormonal imbalance. One way to adapt to stress and take it with more grace is to play stress relief games.

Relaxing games

Stress relief games are both fun and relaxing. In addition to this they will build up a new pattern in which your brain responds to stress with less importance/affect. Everyone plays games and some are much better suited as stress relief games. There are over stimulating games such as video games or for example the board game Risk. Not to go off tangent but Risk, in my experience, ends with someone flipping the board over and fights. Anyways more peaceful activities are obviously better stress relief games.

Ideas for stress relief games

Some stress relief games include Sudoku, Chess, word games, casual sports, the floor is lava, disc golf, Ultimate Frisbee, 20 questions, I have never, card games, red rover, and whack-a-mole. There are plenty of stress relief games out there and obviously you’ll want to find the ones you enjoy the most. Try searching around the internet for new ideas and ask your friends what they play. Always be open to trying new things and you’ll expand your horizons. Check around craigslist for team pick up games in your area. Trying new things can be a stress reducer and it will help us grow, not to mention gaining new life experiences.

Stress relief games should be a side project to gaining control of your stress and improving your stress management skills. There is much to learn in this regard and focusing on building these skills will not just give you stress relief but it will build a foundation upon which you can empower yourself!

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Stress Management With Herbal Medicine

Stress management is something we do both actively and passively. We gain skills to use in the face of stress and we develop ways to relieve stress when no stressors are present.  Some of us use pharmaceuticals to calm down like Xannax or Valium.  Others prefer to use natural remedies such as Rhodiola or ginseng.  In this article we will discuss natural medicines to use as a stress reducer.stress-management-medicine

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is though to be the master adaptogen.  An adaptogen is an herb that is said to increase resistance to stress, anxiety, fatigue, and trauma.  One method of action they are thought to use is balancing endocrine hormones and the immune system.  If you are in excess or deficient in these the herb will lower or rise the hormones to balance their levels.  It is also said that Rhodiola functions at the allostasis level which is a far more dynamic way of dealing with long term stress.  In addition to this studies have shown that it improves mood and can alleviate depression.  It has also shown to improve physical and mental performances.

Ginseng

Ginseng comes in many genus, the most common being:  Siberian, Panax, American, and Red.  Ginseng has traditionally been used as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, stimulant, type II diabetes, and for the reduction of stress.  One study shows that is promising when used to increase overall quality of life.

Holy Basil

Holy Basil is becoming popular for use as a stress reducer and for mood support.  In Ayurvedic medicine it is said to be an adaptogen and is helpful is relieving stress.  It is a highly respected plant as is referred to as “the elixir of life”.  Tulsi Tea which can be bought at many health food stores has holy basil in all of its blends.  Many people I have talked to regard it as the best supplement they have taken for emotional well being and as a stress reducer.  I feel the same way, for me it works great and helps my stress management to be easy and thoughtful.

Although studies aren’t extensive for these medicines many have shown these and other herbs to be effective in relieving stress.  They are definitely worth a try and although we all react to medicines differently we should be able to find ones that work for us.  Stress management can certainly be improved with the use of medicines and it definitely is worth the time to find what works for you.

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Stress Is What You Make It

We make choices countless times daily. We choose what to eat, wear, say, etc. One thing we may not realize that we have the choice of is getting upset. Getting upset gives our personal power away to another. It lets us become stress-is-what-you-make-itemotionally weak and compromises out decision making skills. The majority of us don’t realize that we have the choice to get upset. It takes time and self-discipline to make this choice. It takes thoughtfulness and it requires a shift in life philosophy. All of us are capable keeping our upset in check which makes stress management much easier.

Is stress really worth it?

One of the first things to consider is the thought “is it worth it”. That answer is rarely yes and more than not we don’t realize the effect it has on us. We should realize that little is accomplished by being upset. We can still protect ourselves (better in-fact) and we can keep a calm demeanor.

Make your choice

An important realization to make is that, of course, it’s a choice to be upset. It may not always be an easy one to make but it is almost always the right one to make. Making this paradigm shift in thought is one that brings us to a higher level of self-empowerment. It is a potent stress reducer and therefor great for our health and mind.

Bringing it all together

Many abilities come into play when you choose you want to be in control of your mood. We must understand that rarely are we upset for the reason we think we are. We are unhappy when something happens that we don’t want to. We should understand that when things go aerie, adapting to the new happening will give us the power of the situation back to us. This idea is a stress reducer, it prevents the need for stress relief because we cut stress off in its path.

Once we gain control of our upset we give ourselves a great self-empowerment and a strong life skill. Adapting to change and learning new skills is the constructive and thoughtful way to live our lives. It helps us and it helps the ones around us. Preventing stress is the most effective stress reducer and a skill we can all learn.

 

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Stress Management – Giving Yourself Time to Relax

find-time-to-relax

Ahhh relaxation...It can really reduce stress!

Stress is one of the most undesirable feelings in life, usually stemming from being over-worked, or having high expectations constantly set on you. All of the rigorous activities you perform on a daily basis will eventually get tiresome and usually cause tremendous stress if the right stress management steps aren’t taken. One of the key components in a stress management program is giving yourself time to relax, whether it be in the form of a hobby, a nap, or even meditation .What the relaxing activity is isn’t really significant. What is significant is that you have some way to wind your day down calmly doing something you enjoy.

How and What Relaxing Activities Help

Constantly working and thinking about working can pay a huge toll on your physical and mental health, often times causing you to be restless and eventually turning your life very stale with little to no excitement or happiness (after all you are spending all your time doing undesirable activities). While there’s no doubt work it good and actually necessary to live a stress-free life, it needs to be done in moderation. In order to properly moderate yourself you should set aside a specific time for work, and then set aside specific times each day to go about doing whatever it is you enjoy doing in your spare time. This helps balance you mentally, and give your body a rest from all of your day-to-day work.

Planning Your New, Balanced Life

In order to successfully carry out your leisure activities without any thoughts or work or guilt you need to set yourself up with a time plan for your day; this is required in any stress management plan. You need to plan ahead of time how long and what hours you’ll be working, and how long and what hours you’re free to do as you please. Choosing your work time usually isn’t up to you, but if it is it’s suggested that you put aside around 8 hours daily for work. As for free time schedule at least an hour or two to do whatever you like and wind your day down peacefully.

Stick to your new daily stress management plan and you’ll be well on your way to living stress-free and happy. Just remember to keep yourself on track, only using your work time for work, and your free time for leisure activities.

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Stress Management Strategies: Self Control

There are so many stress management strategies, some effective and some not. The effectiveness is due to the technique itself or the compatibility with you as an individual. Either way there is a deeper level you can delve self-controlinto and come out of with a real sense of control and calmness, even in the face of your biggest stress. There is a core foundation to lay and with the right knowledge and building the right skills you will have the strength to not just overcome stress but to prevent it from arising. Developing self control is vital in life and to learn to use it in a variety of ways will enrich your life at it’s very foundation.

Build a meaningful foundation

Building a foundation of strength and thoughtfulness will project outwards into every part of your life. You will be enriched and enlivened; problems you didn’t relate to stress will vanish. You can use stress management strategies to a much more effective degree. You will be working for yourself in a much more efficient manner and the doors of opportunity will open for you.

Adapting to your new skill-set

To achieve this we must adapt a new skill-set. The first step is to understand what you tell yourself your mind and body follow. It is amazing what neuroscience is uncovering. When we think we are about to eat a meal our blood sugar lowers, our stomach prepares and our metabolism picks up. Whether or not we eat the body still follows the mind. We can use this concept and all those like it to our greatest benefit.

When we tell ourselves we are going to be stressed by an event and that event happens sure enough we feel the stress response. We program into our mind what we want to have happen. Just think about it; people respond to events differently. One many become stressed, frightened, happy, etc when an event happens. They are choosing how they react to it. No one can upset us without out our permission.

A stress response example

Imagine a room full people at a party having a good time and all the sudden a clown walks in. Some people are excited because they love clowns. Another may become stressed because he thinks the circus is overwhelming. Others are afraid because they had a bad experience and always told themselves that clowns are scary. They are all right and their feelings are all valid. Sure some of this is predetermined by personality but most of it is from what we have conditioned ourselves to believe with the words we speak to ourselves.

Listen to your subconscious

The subconscious is always listening to what we say, the body is as well. What we tell ourselves affects us emotionally, physically, and mentally. What we think about on a daily basis comes from the beliefs we have built in life. We build beliefs by thinking in certain ways and perceiving the world with our unique touch. Your body and mind are always listening for your instructions. You have the choice to be who you want to be. To start building a stronger self control we must enter into new habits with our internal and external dialog. This is the key first step and we will discuss this and the steps that follow it in much more depth in the upcoming articles.

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Stress Management Activities

There are plenty of things to do when you are bored. There are also plenty of things to plan out and be excited for. These can both be used as stress management activities, and are, without you realizing it. Once you do you can plan the stress management activities out better and use them to your advantage. There are also those stress management activities that are just that, and planned for that exact purpose. Utilizing your time if a key trait of successful individuals. You don’t have to go overboard and you don’t even have to get on-board. You can still be successful and waste your time but to utilize it is a great thing. So here are a few specific stress management activities you may consider.stress-management-activities

Stress Management Activities

Any form of physical activity makes for great stress management activities. Pick your pleasure because there is no end to the choices. Jogging, cycling, yoga, backpacking, rock climbing, swimming, weight lifting, or even just a nice long walk. These are multi beneficial activities and once you get in the pattern they kind of just flow in and out of your day. If you’ve never been one for fitness consider it if for nothing else the personal gain you will receive. They are so numerous and so helpful to being happy, healthy, and effective in life. Combined this with music to get you going, make yourself a reward system, find an exercise buddy, or just commit a block of your time to do it and when that time rolls around you just do it. This is not only a very low-cost high-benefit choice but of all the stress management activities it takes the cake.

Aside from exercise which I feel is the most effective and simple of all the stress management activities there are so many choices. Do what you love and try new things to discover new love. Give your life variety and give it joy. Don’t over indulge but don’t let yourself get excessively stressed because that is just as bad. Take a balanced approached to life and reap the benefits of it. Break out of old habits and form new more constructive ones. Continue to evolve and break out of those habits to continue to grow and fit the part of your life you are in. Be mindful and respect yourself and your life.

Live life and snap out of your old patterns!

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Stress Management Strategies

Let us take a look at some stress management strategies we can begin to use in our life. Stress management strategies differ from stress management in that they are something to lay down as a foundation. They will be what you build the rest of your ideas and tools off of. They are the framework we will use to create a solid mind that is ready to handle anything the world can throw at us. We should rethink our current approach to our stress management strategies if we aren’t effectively stressed. They are not being effective but with the right individual ideas we can improve or drastically change them.stress-management-strategies

Some of us may not even use stress management strategies and just kind of go through the stress as something that is second nature. This is a hopeless approach and it is one no one needs to take. There are always options and there are always ways to improve our life. The following will briefly explain the ideas and get you moving the right direction to find the appropriate approach to employing stress management strategies effectively into your life.

First we must analyze what our approach very clearly and write out the pros and cons of it. There are an extremely wide variety of stress management strategies that people take in a very broad spectrum of beliefs. The most effective foundation is one that approaches stress as an opportunity. If we look at it in a positive light we can see options and solutions instead of frustrations and misfortunes. It is obviously very beneficial and it may be very hard for you to rebuild into. The benefits of this practical and empowering framework will guide you through life with a gentle yet powerful presence. It will show you many things about yourself and your environment you didn’t see. It will begin to dissolve the us vs them mentality and take you to new heights of happiness, thoughtfulness, and ambition.

This should be your fundamental approach to life. There are very few things in life that applies to everyone. We aren’t saying that this is what’s right and what your doing is wrong, we are just displaying the most rewarding perspective on stress and on life. We are not passing judgment on others, everyone is free to do what they want to do (as long as it’s not harmful to others) and we all have the freewill to be who we want to be.

This is the founation to the most effective stress management strategies as well as the idea shared by most of the successful people in the world. It may be hard to break out of old patterns, but with the right motivation and understanding of the benefits we can all transform into whomever we want to be.

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