Stress creeps into our lives in any number of ways. Feeling nervous before asking someone out on a date? That’s stress. Maybe you’re worrying about a loved one’s health crisis. That’s also stress. Jobs, money, health, family, taxes — the list of potential stress generators goes on and on (and on)! How about watching a scary movie? Buying a new house? Yes and yes. The circumstances don’t necessarily have to be considered negative to register as stressful as far as your body is concerned, and it’s your body’s reaction to stress that's so crucial. Tightened muscles, headaches, neck and stomach aches, irritability and anxiety — just some of the ways your body reacts to the different stressors in your life, and none of them are good for you.
Find Some Relief!
So what can you do? Obviously most everyone has stress in his or her life of some kind these days. How can you possibly get rid of it? Unfortunately, you probably can’t eliminate all of the stressors in your life, plus stress does serve a purpose because it helps alert us to potential problem situations (think fight-or-flight). Of course, feeling like you must fight or flee all the time (especially if you find yourself worrying about very minor situations) can become a real health problem. But with some practice you can learn how to better deal with stress and stress symptoms when they do hit you.
First, figure out what stresses you, and then decide what you can do about it. Is it your career? Or a drama-addicted friend? Bottom line, stress management is all about controlling the stressor (for example, by reducing your exposure to it) or controlling the way you react to it. Regular exercise and an active lifestyle, a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep will go a long way to helping you manage stress. Relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi help promote controlled breathing and improved focus, both excellent methods of stress reduction. Even just taking a short walk during the day can do wonders to reduce your work-related stress.
Whatever you choose to do, make stress management part of your routine and lifestyle. The health risks of long-term, high stress on the body include high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. If you feel like you’re overstressed to the point where it’s affecting your health, stop in to a convenient AppleCare clinic near you for a health check-up and more information on handling the stresses in your life.