“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.” — Maureen Killoran
Everyone experiences some level of stress, whether it is emotional, physical or mental. Sometimes we feel as though there is nothing we can do about it. There are bills to pay, duties to attend, demands from our work, family and social groups, and always the unforeseen. Medical studies have shown that constant stress can put your health at risk.
Your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response (the “flight or flight” response). However, the constant stress of the way we live today doesn’t allow for this alarm system to shut off very often. This is why stress management is a necessity.
Stress management is all about the way you choose to handle and take charge of your reactions to the situations creating the stress. The first step is to identify the sources of stress. Remember, as much as a situation can create stress, your thoughts, feelings and actions will also determine the level of stress you experience. Having a positive attitude can make a big difference.
It is important to have a healthy diet. The toll that stress can take on the body weakens the immune system, so you need to not only eat healthy, but provide ample food at regular intervals. Additionally, when you are getting good nutrition, the brain is able to process information more easily. Getting enough physical activity also helps to promote an overall sense of well-being.
Having a social support is helpful. Whether you belong to a support group, spiritual group, or have friends that you can be with can make a difference. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
Nurture yourself with rest and relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, listening to music, or practicing yoga or meditation. Listen to your body when it tells you to slow down or take a break. Make sure to get enough sleep. Good sleep habits are one of the best ways to manage stress. Monroe Products has a generous collection of stress management titles, including verbally guided and Metamusic® selections.
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