Stress does not refer to the events in your life that irritate you. It instead refers to your body’s reaction to those events. Different people can respond much differently to the same stress-inducing events.
Chronic stress can lead to a depleted immune system, fatigue, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Stress is an underlying factor in most health problems. Stress management is one of the most important steps one can take to achieve optimal vitality.
Tips for stress management
- Get adequate rest and relaxation. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Get moderate exercise and limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
- Cultivate positive feelings and experiences. Laugh!
- Identify the main causes of stress in your life and determine how to change them.
- Seek to control what you can in your life, but also be flexible and recognize what you cannot control.
- Find sources of social affiliation and support.
- Change your perception so things that once seemed stressful no longer have a hold on you. Remember, even if you cannot change a situation you have a choice regarding how you respond to that situation.
- Manage your time efficiently – don’t let it manage you.
- Practice deep, slow abdominal breathing.
- Avoid exposing yourself to violent TV shows or movies and give yourself an occasional break from the news (which concentrates many stressful situations from around the world into one show).
- Create a calm atmosphere in your home (enjoy quiet music, decrease clutter, reduce chemicals).