Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stress Management

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Stress Management

Stress is a large part of every day life. Stress is has many definitions and there are many ways to manage stress. Most stress occurs at our busiest moments; school, work and home. Those are the most common places for stress to build. Nevertheless stress is unavoidable.

How do people know that they are stressed? The body responds to stress negatively. Many biological changes take place which include but are not limited to the following muscles tension, breathing heavily, dry mouth, sweats, tremors, dialating of pupils, response are not clear and there are many more (Wagner& Taylor). These changes can cause health problems if experienced to frequently. The body often becomes worn down making it more susceptible to becoming sick. Depending on how serious the stress, can determine the severity of its impact. For example, an individual may have a stressful week at work, and contract a virus, and end up with a common cold. Reducing stress may help the body recover faster, and may even keep a person healthier (Palmer).

The brain, nerves, and central nervous system interpret stress in our lives. Some factors effect the way people live and determine how stress is interpreted by their immune system, and what side affects stress will have. Nourishment is important because the immune system needs enough to weaken viruses (Palmer). Exercise is vital because it can relieve tension and keep the body healthy. However moderation is the key. Heavy exercise with no break can harm the body and wear it down with similar effects as stress. Personality is an important factor because that is the trait that helps individuals cope with stress. Easy going personalities are usually able to deal with stress better. People with this type of personality don’t let as much upset them and reason better when faced with stress. Hostile personalities usually become angry more quickly when faced with stress (Pope).

There are several side affects that occur from stress. Insomnia is another factor that stress may bring on. This occurs when a person is disrupted with thoughts and questions that drive them crazy and cause an inability to sleep. Chronic pain, headaches and backaches can be stress induced when under pressure. The muscles in these areas become tense under stress. Heart problems are the most common side affect. The pain felt in the chest is tension caused by an oxygen shortage to the heart. Heart attacks occur due to high blood pressure and can be fatal. Some behaviors that people take part in to reduce or cope with stress may also bring on heart problems. Stress can also hurt emotionally as with depression (Russel). Depression is another side affect from stress and that is a serious disorder to deal with. Pressures of life may really get to an individual making them feel down. Some of the symptoms discussed previously may be a sign of depression resulting from stress. Symptoms of depression may include diet, sleeping problems, headaches, body aches. Individuals who are depressed should seek counseling. (Palmer).

There are several different ways to manage stress. Not every way of managing stress is right for every person, because everyone’s reaction to stress is different. There is no right or wrong answer. One way is by practicing a simple breathing exercise. They calm down an individual and help them relax. There are many different techniques for breathing that can reduce stress. Stress counselors can recommend a certain technique for a each person. Relaxing and breathing work together. Relaxing may include doing something enjoyable, such as taking a walk, listening to music, picking up a hobby, reading or simply sitting or lying down in peace and quiet. Moderate exercising is another way of reducing stress, but it is important to remember not to over do it. Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean running the mile. It could simply mean stretching (Pope).

Biofeedback is also a way of managing stress. This involves monitoring specific areas of the body with an electrical device that is hooked up to an area of the body. The device makes a noise, and the pitch of the sound is determined by how relaxed the individual is (Palmer).

Eating well will help for managing stress. Healthy foods keep the immune system strong, as well as limiting the amount of caffeine that is consumed daily. Caffeine speeds up the heart and metabolic rate which can add stress. Quitting smoking is also an excellent alternative to reducing stress. Cigarette smoking has a similar effect that caffeine has on the body (Pope).

Individuals that are under stress should not turn to harmful stress relievers such as smoking, drinking or unhealthy eating. These unhelpful stress management strategies may seem like they are relieving stress, but instead they are hurting the body, which leads to more stress. Problems with work, relationships, school, and life in general should be dealt with accordingly. By using healthy strategies in moderation or seeking counseling a person can determine what works best for them in dealing with stress. By identifying stress, its causes and side affects managing stress will eventually become easier.



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