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Stress can have a positive influence in our lives because it can help us concentrate, focus and perform
so that we reach peak efficiency. Many people in fact, perform better under pressure. However, when stress
generates a negative response, causing you to feel "geared-up" so that you cannot relax, you need to
re-evaluate the stressful situation. When stress becomes an on-going cycle, your health and well-being
can suffer. Negative stress can be associated with many physical ailments from tension headaches to heart attacks.
The good news is that you CAN learn to manage the stress in your life and feel fulfilled at the same time.
One of the best ways of managing stress is regular physical activity, with perhaps a 30 minute walk 5 times
per week. This allows you to "clear your mind" and can also give you a chance to plan and re-evaluate situations
that contribute to a stressful lifestyle.
Stress is a fact of life, but it need not be a way of life. There are many things in life that you cannot control,
but there are very few things that you cannot learn to manage. The first step to managing negative stress is to
become aware of the triggers that cause this stress (stressors) and learn to be pro-active rather than reactive
in these situations. It is often the response to a stressful situation that is more harmful than the stress itself.
The negative response of anger and frustration can increase blood pressure and heart rate and long-term negative
stress can raise cholesterol levels. If you look at these physical responses, you can see why stress is linked
with heart disease.
A positive attitude and lifestyle are key elements of stress management. The better you will be able to deal
with the stress in your life. When you learn to think positively, exercise, eat well, and get the sleep your
body requires, you will be taking care of the most important person you know, YOU!
Follow the "G-E-T S-T-R-E-S-S F-I-T" plan for a healthier, more enjoyable life. Here are 12 easy-to-remember
tips on how you can bring stress fitness into your life. Keep them handy and review them often.
If you're still not sure how to manage, talk to a health care professional.
- Give yourself a break. Go for a walk. Get some sleep. Get away from it all.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Talk it out.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Take a course — for fun or self-improvement.
- Relax — with a good book, a great movie or your favourite music.
- Exercise. Walk. Jog. Swim. Dance. Go to the gym.
- Set priorities.
- Schedule your time.
- Find alternative sources of satisfaction.
- Increase your awareness of what causes you stress. Tune in.
- Take action! Address the person or situation that's causing your stress.
Remember, there is no single stress coping skill that will effectively help you manage your stress
in all situations or all of the time. The best approach is developing a flexible set of techniques that
works for you as an individual.
Suggestions for reducing stress:
- Learn to say "NO." You cannot do everything for everyone. You will also end up having more time for yourself and the
things you enjoy to do.
- Save some private time for yourself.
- Handle one thing at a time. Divide your workload into smaller tasks and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment,
when each task is completed.
- You may find that working "with" others is easier and less stressful than competing with others in everyday activities.
- Learn to talk about problems and concerns. Do not "bottle up" your feelings.
- It is OK to give in occasionally. No one is right all of the time.
- Consider learning some relaxation techniques.
- Listen to music that you find relaxing.
- If a situation causes you to become very upset, take a deep breath, count to 10, and try to calm down.
- It takes more muscle energy to frown than it does to smile, so conserve energy and smile.
You should begin to feel relaxed and calm. You may need to repeat these exercises until you feel comfortable.
- Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, arms resting in your lap, shoulders
relaxed and your eyes closed.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, counting slowly to four and breathe out through your mouth.
Repeat 4 or 5 times then pause and breathe normally.
- An alternate exercise is to breathe in and out, counting on the exhaled breaths for a count of
- Repeat this slow, deep-breathing exercise for ten deep breaths, then pause and breathe
- Repeat either breathing exercises for approximately five minutes.
Copyright © September 2005 Low Carb Luxury