Unfortunately, there are many times in our lives when stress creeps in and causes chaos. Life is busy with work, kids, school and responsibilities and can seem overwhelming at times.
Stress has become a major cause of anxiety and panic attacks. If not dealt with, it can have an incapacitating effect on your life. More often than not, most people with A-type personalities are prime candidates for stress induced symptoms. The perfectionism they seek in everything they do never quite measures up to their expectations. This is not a perfect world; and it’s time we are kind to ourselves and believe we do not have to be perfect.
Most people deal with stress in different ways; either they ignore the initial problem which caused it; retreat within themselves, or fall apart.
Sometimes, however, stress reveals itself in other ways. Lightheadedness, an inability to focus, feelings of pressure and palpitations are all symptoms of stress. Moreover, continued stress can produce anxiety, panic, and the fright or flight syndrome.
Do you feel stress getting you down?
Here are some tips to help deal with stress and its after-effects.
1. Breathing exercises.
Practice the following process: inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, wait at the very end of the exhale for a count of 4, and repeat. This is a very deep breathing exercise that has been shown to calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system. Slowing down the breath allows CO2 to build up in the blood, which stimulates the response of the vagus nerve to produce feelings of calmness throughout the body.
2. Going outside for fresh air.
3. Walking or running for 20 mins can release endorphins which relieve stress.
4. Listening to calm, soft music lowers blood pressure and brings calm within.
5. 5,4,3,2,1 grounding exercise. This technique will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present. This is a calming technique that can help you get through tough or stressful situations. Take a deep belly breath to begin.
LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the mug, I see the picture frame.
FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.
LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the
three things out loud.
SMELL: Say two things you can smell. You can move to another spot
to sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favourite smells.
TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.
Take another deep belly breath to end.
If stress is getting you down, examine the cause. Determine the root cause, and discuss it with a professional or a loved one.
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