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Methods of Managing the Effects of Stress

Apr 18, 2008
Stress has become an everyday part of life for most of us and we do very little to cope with it. Some stress is actually a good thing as it helps keep us on our toes, ready to cope with whatever challenge we might have to face. Too much stress, however, is detrimental to the body, mind and spirit. Recognizing the signals of stress and stress related problems could reduce the damage that stress can cause. It can be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, as vary from person to person. So all symptoms of excessive stress may not be easily observed but those that are can also help to identify stressors and then recognize the other symptoms. If we pay attention to the early warning signs of stress, the effects can be combated preventing further harm.

Some of the most common early warning signs of excess stress are chronic fatigue, excessive irritability or moodiness, amplified or disproportionate anxiety, poor emotional control, noticeable changes in appetite, sleep patterns or sex drive, insomnia, critical feelings of dependency or helplessness and withdrawal from normal activity or responsibility. One may even verbally express signs of stress by making comments or talking about not being able to relax, feeling tense, and inability to focus or stay on task. They may verbalize that they don't feel good or are miserable and don't know why.

If you pay close attention to your body you may notice that you feel extremely fatigued, the TV may sound like it is blaring, and a door being shut sounds like it was slammed. One may argue or yell at those around them for no reason. These are indicators that stress has reached a critical level and needs to be dealt with.

While it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, it is of equal importance to be prepared for situations or events that are potentially stressful. Undergoing or anticipating major changes to ones life such as a move, change in jobs such as a promotion, new job or retirement or family status such as marriage, adoption or pregnancy. If undergoing a major change in one aspect of your life it may be advisable to limit or avoid changes in other aspects. Sometimes people feel stressed at certain times of the day or even of the year due to work or other pressures such as family obligations. For some it is the holidays, for others it's summer vacation, birthdays or anniversaries.

A good way to lower stress level or to prepare is to write things down. You may want to try keeping a daily log of events and reactions or even just taking a few moments a day to jot down your feelings or emotions. It is also helpful to write down appointments, to do lists, meal plans, and upcoming events instead of relying on memory as this can cause mental anguish and undue stress.

Learning to manage stress can help you to a happier, healthier life; and enjoy your job, family and friends.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Stress Management.
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