It is imperative that we learn how to deal with stress, especially people faced with chronic stress. Chronic stress can lead to heart related problems, weak immune system and even cancer.
I am a perfect example since my heart disease was partially caused by elevated levels of stress hormones which includes cortisol and ACTH.
Before going any further, you should first identify situations, people, phobias or some other factors which may trigger stressful reaction in your brain. If possible, remove them from your life. However, in most cases and for most people this is impossible which is were methods for dealing with stress come in.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE
The school of life is the best education you can get, by facing the challenges and breaking the barriers that life puts in front of us. Although we can learn about many things during our lifetime, the ability to deal with stress is one of the most important ones.
While faced with stressful situations, if you can't get away from it, you will just have to adapt which is a good thing that can be very useful to you, later in life.
The higher the stress and bigger the adversity, the more you can learn from it. Just remeber your first day in school, on job or the first time driving a car on the road. In all of them, you had to experience some dose of stress or anxiety but over time our brain adapts and it becomes like riding a bike.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - STAY CALM AND RELAXED
When faced with stress, the body will try to secrete stress hormones and chemicals to prepare you for lifesaving reaction. The problem is that most situation which we are faced today are far from being life threatening.
However, no matter in which kind of situation you may find yourself, it is crucial to block negative thoughts, while staying as calm and relaxed as possible. It may take some time and practice as well as mental training until your brain creates new pathways which will improve your ability to deal with stress, by keeping your cool.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - BREATHING
Simple technique such as breathing can be very effective in decreasing and dealing with stress. Deep breathing relaxes our nervous system which lowers the output of endocrine hormones, such as CRH, ACTH and cortisol, in the blood.
During stress, breathing may speed up and become shallow because of which a person may start gasping for air. However, with deep breathing you can change the messages that your brain is sending to the body thereby preventing increase in heart rate, blood pressure and decreasing the risk of stress induced heart attack.
Few minutes of deep breathing, per day, shoud be enough to experience the benefits and help you relax.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - VISUALIZATION
Vizualization is another useful tool, when it comes to dealing with stress, especially when combined with breathing exercises. However, it is not as useful as other techniques, when faced with stress. It is more useful before and after stressful situations, by visualizing positive progression of the stressful situation or its post effects.
How you imagine the future, can have a big effect on your motivation, mood, work, ability to concentrate, relax and deal with stress.
On the other hand, you can imagine the worst possible outcome and just accept it. This way, you remove all the pressure of your shoulders since you can't do any worse.
The worst possible outcome, besides losing a job, your house, being diagnosed with cancer, going to jail or some other life changing event, is death. Accepting your mortality in a worst-case scenario and reconciling with it, can make even some of the most stressful situations look like a child's play.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE THINGS YOU CAN'T CHANGE
As a human beings, we tend to worry about every little thing, although this applies more for women, than men. While hormones have some influence on the development of the brain in both sexes, the way we perceive tasks in front of us, also has great deal of effect on our ability to deal with problems in life.
The point is, concentrate only on things you have effect on, by doing it to the best of your abilities. Don't worry about the things you can't change or you don't have affect on.
Let's say, you have an exam or deadline for a job project. Just study, work and do it the best you can because there isn't anything else you can do.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - MAKE A PLAN
By organizing your daily and weekly schedule, you will become more efficient at time menagment. We tend to take for granted, the time we have on this world.
However, by setting short-term and long-term goals, prioritizing and making a plan, life journey becomes much easier, while getting the most of the time we have. It can also relieve some of the pressure and help us deal with stress which may appear as we get older, if we found ourselves in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Also, you don't need to plan every single part of the day unless you want to add more stress to your daily routine.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - LEARN TO SAY NO
I bet most of us have at least one person in their life which constantly calls for help about seemingly simple things. While helping others is praise worthy quality, the line has to be drawn.
If constantly helping that person affects your job or personal life, while making you irritable, then it is time to say no.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS - LOOK AT THING FROM OBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVE
Emotions and stress go together like salt and pepper. By looking at things from the objective point of view, you can lessen their effect thereby dealing with stressful situation in a more logical and relaxed way.
However, since we are only humans and not robots, it is impossible to rule them out completly.
Don't let the stress control you. Instead, take the control of the situation and deal with it. Express your feelings, in order to overcome them. You can also use stress to fuel your workouts, whether the emotion you are feeling is anger, fear, frustration, irritability or anxiety.
Although we need certain amount of rest, in order to process emotions and deal with stress, separating yourself from the world, eating a big bowl of ice-cream or sleeping for an entire day, is not the way to go. Instead, collect your thoughts, go to a vacation, change your life, met new people, learn from your mistakes and work on improving yourself.
By doing so, you will not only learn how to deal with stress, more efficiently but you will also grow as a person, from inside out. Improved version of yourself and newly acquired abilities will result in decreased risk of age related diseases, including heart disease.
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