5 way to handle stress, and the effect of exercise in your ability to handle life’s stressful situations.
We all have stress in our lives, but the way we cope with stress can be quite helpful in our mental health and the way we interact with others. Those who become depressed often withdraw and suffer silently, often without understanding what their stress is and where it came from. There is a huge industry of psychotherapy, pharmacology, psychiatrists and family councilors who are there to help, but often, the problem requires us to find a way to manage our stress, gain control over our lives and our situations and find a better way to a less stressful and more enjoyable existence.
Ways to handle stress in your life
1. When life gives you lemons, make lemonaide. When things go bad, as they sometimes do, there are things you can control and things you cannot. You may not control the loss of a job, or the loss of a loved one, but you can control the path going forward to an extent. Most people when bad things happen go through remorse which is natural but setting a plan to move forward that is written down is quite helpful, especially when things feel out of control. It is that lack of control that often leaves us depressed. The healing begins as we find ourselves out of our situation and move forward.
2. Control of your situation results in less stress – A great example of this is when you feel stuck in a rut, wheather that is financial or even in your job. By sitting in your situation and not doing anything, you are likely to be under terrific stress because of your situation that you may not be able to control as well as the other stresses that come from feeling helpless. In a case like this, writing down your goals for a month, three months, six months a year, three years and five years is essential, and then you need to break down those goals, write down how you get there and then follow the path you just laid down. When you look at your situation six months later, you will see what you accomplished and begin feeling like you are more in control. This is essential for those who want to get out of stress caused by situations they feel helpless in. Goal setting for stress relief is an essential tool most of us need to do. If you do not know where you’ve been, you do not know where you are going.
3. Chiropractic care and care of the human frame – Myofascial release and chiropractic manipulation can help you deal with stress better. Often, it is not your stress that makes you tight; but your body mechanics. Most people are unaware that when their shoulders are tight, it is because of their legs and their pelvis. Your chiropractor can help you with this.
4. Nutrition – The right foods have your body reacting to stressful situations better and faster. The wrong foods like most breads and pasta’s will have you crash and burn during the morning and afternoon, as we use coffee to keep us awake. Certain foods are inflammatory in nature, and will make you hurt. You can read more about this in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain available through Amazon.com.
5. Appropriate amounts of exercise and fitness allow us to handle stressful situations better. Check out this article in the NY Times which builds on this idea.
When Exercise Stresses You OutBy GRETCHEN REYNOLDS For most people, exercise elevates mood. Repeated studies with humans and animals have shown that regular workouts can increase stress resistance, decrease anxiety, lessen symptoms of depression and generally leave people cheerful. But what if someone sincerely dislikes exercise and works out only under a kind of emotional duress, deeming that he or she must do so, perhaps because a doctor or worried spouse has ordered it?In that case, which is hardly uncommon, does the stress of being, in effect, forced to exercise reduce or cancel out the otherwise sturdy emotional benefits of physical activity?
That issue has been of considerable interest to exercise scientists for some time, particularly those who work with animals, since in some experiments, animals are required to exercise at intensities or for durations that they don’t control. Such intense exercise greatly increases their stress, as measured by certain behaviors and by physiological markers like increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
But no study had directly compared the emotional effects of forced and voluntary exercise on anxiety and emotional resilience.
What do you think? As always, I value your opinion.