Tips to Handle Stress

Published in the November 2008 Hudson, OH Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

Tips to Handle StressStress is with us whether we want it to be or not. We are integrated beings so stress can have a profound effect on us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When we are stressed our sleep may be disturbed; we may have a change in appetite – craving carbohydrates and fatty foods; we may have difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering; we may become fatigued and have little or no energy or motivation; we may develop aches and pains, high blood pressure or  frequent illnesses. Statistics show that 85% of visits to primary care physicians are stress related.

There are short term and long term effects of stress so it is important to develop coping skills. We need to learn how to control it – not have it control us. So how do we do that?

First, become aware of how stress and  tension are affecting you. Next, make a conscious effort to deal with it. Last, be willing to institute some changes in your life.

Vital to your well-being is to start taking better care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Eat well but also pay attention to how your body feels after you have eaten certain foods and learn to avoid them. Exercise, go for walks, or join a yoga class. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day so that you are well hydrated. Learn  how to meditate – a wonderful gift to give yourself. Take time each day to have some quiet moments alone.  Even five minutes – in a quiet place – at home or your workplace – taking 5-10 slow, deep breaths can be amazingly calming. If you are feeling totally overwhelmed talk to someone about your problems and if necessary – seek counseling. Most importantly – take time to play – and especially enjoy being with family and friends.