Understanding and Dealing With Stress
Introduction > What Is Stress? > Signs of Stress > Dealing with Stress > Long Term Strategies > Resources
Yes, I'm Stressed -- "Help!"
You've recognized you're stressed, but what can you do? There are a number of long-term strategies you can take that include changing your lifestyle, removing yourself from stressful situations, and accepting the times when you will be under stress, but for immediate stress relief -- STOP. BREATHE.
Feel a little better?
One of the most immediate and easiest ways to deal with stress is responding to your body's physical symptoms. Sometimes this can be as easy as stopping what you're doing and taking a few deep, relaxing breaths. Sound too easy? Well try it.
- Are the kids or family getting on your nerves?
Go into another room, or even the bathroom or closet if you need to get away! Shut the door. Experience the quiet. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the tension go out of your head, neck and shoulders. Try not to feel too silly for hanging out in the coat closet.
- Had another bad day with your boss or another office worker?
Shut the door to your office if you have one and take a few minutes for yourself. No door? Stroll down the hall, rinse your face in cool water in the bathroom, or head outside for a few lungfulls of fresh air. Just getting away for a few minutes can be calming and help you relax.
- Spent too long studying over the books or trying to finish that report for work?
Push back from your desk. Roll your head and shoulders. Rub your hands together quickly to warm them and place them over your weary eyes, or just close your eyes and let your face and neck relax. Breathe in and out deeply. Remember the time your boss / coworker / teacher / you sat on the jelly donut.
There -- you've already lowered your stress and your blood pressure in just a few seconds. Because our first reaction to stress is physical (our body releases chemicals, our heartbeat and breath become faster, and muscles get tense as we prepare for 'fight or flight'), your first line of defense against stress is convincing your body to relax again.
Responding to the immediate physical effects of stress can help lessen the long-term and mental effects of stress. Developing a healthier lifestyle and building activities into your schedule that help you relax can also help your body, and mind, bounce back from stress. Here are some other 'quick fixes' and long-term tips for helping you deal with the physical effects of stress.
Next: Quick Fixes to Physical Effects of Stress