Managing Stress During Uncertain Times
These are stressful times. Many people have either lost their jobs or are fearful of losing their jobs in the future. The uncertainties of the day can undermine our sense of security and increase our feelings of stress. In fact, prolonged feelings of stress and uncertainty can lead to feelings of hopelessness, despair, and depression. As a result, it is important to keep in mind, the proven strategies that can help us manage the stressors of the day.
Learn To Listen to Your Body
Our body is an amazing mechanism. When we feel stressed, our body tends to give us warning signs, such as fatigue or physical pain. When you don’t pay attention to your body, the early warning signs of stress can evolve into major health issues. Learn to pay attention to your body and respond to what it needs.
Learn to Relax
Not everyone relaxes the same way. Some relax by reading a good book, while others relax by playing basketball. Whether you relax by being active or by having “down time,” make sure that you actively include it within your life.
Physical activities are a great way to discharge stress. Sustained exercise can release endorphins within the brain, which improves the overall feeling of well-being and improves the ability to focus and concentrate.
Talk Out Your Worries
Words are by far the best tool we have to deal with emotions. The more we are able to talk through our worries the more we are able to put them into proper perspective.
Learn To Accept What You Cannot Change
If you want to make yourself crazy, try to change everything and everyone around you. The more we try to change the things we have no control over, the more overwhelmed we tend to feel. Learn to accept what you cannot change and put your energy and thoughts where you can make a difference.Avoid Self-Medication and Maintain Good Nutrition
Drugs, alcohol, and overeating only masks stress. Poor nutrition and overconsumption of alcohol can increase fatigue and feelings of depression. Learn to listen to your body rather than numbing it out.
Balance Work and Play
Don’t take everything so seriously. Remember, play rejuvenates us. Let yourself try new things and learn to laugh again.Stop “Awfulizing”
Don’t be the a terminal pessimist. Remember, we often find what we are looking for. Look for the positive in situations and for the opportunities around you and you just might find it.
Understanding the Nature of Stress on the Body
Whenever the body perceives a threatening situation or experiences stress, it moves into a fight or flight state. During this time, the body prepares for action. The eyes become more focused and the adrenaline begins to flow. The blood vessels constrict and the heart rate increases. The body prepares us to survive the danger by getting us ready to either fight the danger or to run from it. In some instances, we might freeze or revert to old behaviors that were learned as a result of past traumatic experiences.
Fortunately, for most of us in today’s world, life and death situations are a rare experience. As a result, the need to be in the fight or flight stage is also rare. In those instances where there is real danger we are generally able to resolve the crisis quickly and then return to a normal state of relaxation.
However, because the body often perceives stress as a warning sign that danger is near, we tend to respond to life stressors with the same physiological response that occurs when our life is threatened. As a result, learning to relax the body is an important strategy in managing stress. If we do not learn to return the body to its natural state of rest and relaxation, significant physical and emotional problems can occur. To prevent burnout, learn to manage stress by relaxing the body.