Do you sometimes feel like you’re in a battle with life when the stress of life with its hectic schedules and never-ending deadlines demands more of you than you feel like you can give?
All of us in the modern world sometimes feel weighed down by these pressures. We find ourselves trying to juggle ten things at once: getting the kids to soccer practice on time, satisfying our superiors at work, and trying to squeeze in quality time with our spouse or partner. Just when we think we’ve finally got all our balls up into the air, the toilet springs a leak. Sound familiar?
Now, most people think that this kind of stress is just something that happens to us. They say to themselves, “I don’t really need to worry or be too concerned. Stress isn’t that big of a deal.”
If you’re someone who buys into this idea, you may want to reconsider your thinking. Stress isn’t just a minor inconvenience to be shrugged off. Stress...and stress alone has been medically proven to cause real illness. Research has established that you can end up in the hospital with a heart attack all because of runaway stress. Severe stress can even cause sudden damage to your heart muscle. A real medical illness called stress cardiomyopathy can occur in just a few hours all because of overwhelming stress. Yet, stress doesn’t just affect our hearts. Gastrointestinal troubles, inflammatory arthritic conditions, panic attacks, depression are just a few of the illnesses linked to stress. So if stress is getting the better of you, it’s time you did something about it. You need to win your battle with stress.
Let me share with you a few simple tips for taking control of your stress.
Tip #1: Just briefly stop what you’re doing. If you’re in the midst of something that’s making you feel like you’re going to lose control, you need to push the pause button. Get control of yourself and stop whatever it is you’re doing for thirty seconds to a minute. Disengage yourself. Stand up and move around. Break off the conversation you are having. You need to get control of the situation before you reach the tipping point.
Tip #2: Focus and breathe. Put your attention on your heart region in the middle of your chest and take some deep breaths. When we feel stressed out, our breathing frequently becomes shallow and rapid. An easy way to win the battle with stress is to take control of your breathing. If you consciously breathe more deeply and slowly it will alter your physiology. Your heart rate will slacken, and your racing mind will calm. Thirty seconds of deep breathing is all that it takes.
Tip #3: Find a long-term stress reduction solution. Perhaps it’s time you began thinking of a plan for long-term stress relief. Look for simple, easy-to-use stress reduction methods such as yoga relaxation, Tai Chi, psychotherapy, stress reduction workshops, or even just a weekly massage. Find a technique that resonates with you, and then begin practicing it on a regular basis. Stress can be harmful, but you don’t have to lose the fight. You can win your battle with stress if you put your mind to it.