Tuesday, October 14, 2008
You get home from work feeling tired and frustrated because your boss gave you a last minute special project that will require you to work over the weekend. No sooner than you get your foot in the door, your son races to you asking for a snack before dinner and your daughter is upset because the other girls in school excluded her from a small clique. Your spouse dumps on you about a promotion he was passed over and how the person who got it was the bossís nephew. If all that werenít enough, the dog had an accident and pooped on the living room carpet and everyone else in the house is acting as if it didnít happen, leaving you to clean it up.
Stress can come in many shapes and sizes and it affects us all in different ways. If youíre on a quest to improve your health by losing weight, too much stress can adversely impact your progress. The key to a happy and healthy well-being is coping with stress appropriately. The following five tips are things you can do to at any time and in any place to help you push away the stress and tension youíre feeling.
First, take a deep breath. This is not just some exercise in futility. Breathing deeply in and out can have some very therapeutic effects on the level of tension youíre feeling. Close your eyes and deeply breathe in, holding it for 10 seconds before exhaling. Repeat this three times.
Second, make a list of the top three things that are stressing you out. If itís your husband or wife, write it down. If itís your daughter, write it down. If itís your parents, write them down. Instead of merely writing down the name of the person, write down specifically what it is the person has said or done that has made you feel stressed. This takes focus off the person and places it on the behavior.
Third, go for a treat. Grab a small piece of chocolate or some fresh strawberries. Some people keep jelly beans or other sweet candy at their fingertips for those stressful times. If thatís not possible, try a cup of hot tea. You should find something that you can have to take you away from the moment and indulge in a quick pleasure.
Fourth, take a walk. If possible, find a stairwell and walk up and down a flight or two. Exercise helps to boost your adrenaline, which can help knock that stress right out, or if nothing else the exercise may help ease the stress a bit.
If these tips donít work, create some things of your own. Some people draw while others play the piano. When I was a kid, my mom, a self-made part-time seamstress, made her own clothes. When I saw her with a bunch of new outfits, I new she was having a stressful week. You have to find the outlet that helps you deal with your own stress.
The only thing prolonged levels of stress will do is keep your focus away your life, your family, your job. Get rid of the stress so you can put your attention where it is most needed.