So what is this ugly little S word? Basically stress is anything that puts a demand on us. We then react in various ways including an increased heart rate, shallow breathing, increased blood pressure, tense muscles, and anxious or panicked thoughts. Some people are under stress so much that they get used to it and forget how to relax. They also tend to develop chronic cardiovascular problems or other health issues. Not good!
Learning how to effectively cope with your stress will go a long way in keeping you healthy. Stress is a subjective thing; what stresses you out may not even bother another person. How we cope with stress is also very subjective. Below is a list of potential methods you can try:
- Deep breathing - breathe in for 3 counts, hold for a second, and breathe out for 3 counts. Incidentally, this has also been shown to alleviate hot flashes.
- Exercise - many women find going for a brisk walk or run can blow away that stress.
- Meditation - more on this in later posts.
- Yoga - as long as you're not straining with the poses, this works great. Yoga usually involves rhythmic breathing which is very soothing.
- Sleep - sometimes all we need to do is get some good zzzz's.
- Yelling or Sighing - this works very well when you're alone, such as while driving in a car. Just let it all out and see how you feel afterwards.
- Music - many people can put on soothing or upbeat music and helps them to cope.
- Games - playing a game on the computer can help you to escape from your problems for awhile.
- Reading - this is another way to remove yourself from stress
- Television/Movies - again, anything that helps you to escape from your own life for awhile can be beneficial
- Talking it Out - if you have someone you trust you can discuss whatever is stressing you.
- Journaling - some people find that writing out their problems helps. You can then tear the paper up or burn it for an added release.
- Pets and Kids - sometimes just watching or playing with pets or kids will relieve your stress. They are so uninhibited and joyful that you cannot help but feel good.
- Crying - this one works well when you're alone. Just cry until you can't cry anymore.
As you can see, coping with stress involves either letting the tension out or escaping for awhile. I do want to caution you that the escape techniques can become a problem if you use them too much. Like most things in life, moderation is the key.
So how do you cope with stress? I would love to hear other methods so please feel free to comment.