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Taking a Natural Approach to Stress Management

Aug 18, 2007
One of the biggest problems we have today is dealing with stress. Everyone gets stressed from time to time. Stress is actually a normal function of the body.

Under certain conditions stress can be helpful. One in four people suffer from the adverse health affects that stress can cause. It is estimated that seventy to ninety percent of adult visits to doctors are due to stress-related complaints. These problems cost an estimated 300 billion dollars annually in healthcare expenses.

Even though everyone can suffer from stress, the way we experience can be very different. There are some common symptoms and causes, however. What causes one person to be highly stressed may not bother another in the least.

When we are anxious, hurried, worried or feel threatened, our bodies begin to tense up. This reaction probably benefited us in caveman days-the well-known "fight or flight" reaction which prepared us for battle and allowed us to hunt prey. In the modern environment, the stress hormones released do not dissipate in the way that they did in our early history-we feel stressed, but don't engage in physical activity. As a result, these stress hormones attack the organs and create long-term problems if not dealt with adequately.

Constant worry or mental anguish creates chronic tension. This tension begins to take a toll on the body, mind and emotions. This chronic tension can result in anger, depression, fatigue, physical pain, irritability and many other unpleasant and undesirable reactions.

If we can identify what it is that causes stress, then we can effectively manage it. There are several common approaches to alleviating stress that can help most people. These approaches don't have to use drugs, but a natural approach that can produce long-term beneficial effects.

One of the best ways to reduce stress is to plan ahead. We can't know everything that will happen, but there is an advantage to getting there on time or even a bit early. Be prepared, and not just if you're a Boy Scout. Plan to arrive early for appointments; if you're held up in traffic, you still arrive at the meeting stress-free.

Be prepared also means: make sure that you have enough gas in your car, enough change for the bus, enough of the basic supplies at home such as food staples, and have extra keys made for those times when they get misplaced. Getting things ready ahead of time removes time-imposed stress. Prepare a lunch the day before. Pick out your clothes the night before.

Be prepared to wait. If you have a few minutes before the appointment, have a book or magazine handy. This will help you to deflect concerns about the upcoming meeting.

Get organized. Create a place for everything at home and at your workplace. Put things away when you are finished with them so that you know where they are. Learn to say no and to delegate responsibilities and chores when possible. Taking on too much will surely lead to stress. By making these simple adjustments you are taking a natural approach to stress management.
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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