Up to 80% of ALL health problems
can be caused or aggravated by stress!
Think about that for a second. Stress accounts for 8 out of every 10
health problems. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that learning to
more efficiently manage our stress would lead to a heck of a lot less illness! The problem
is that we silly humans seem to think that we are supposed to worry about a bunch of
things that we NEVER seem to change by worrying about em!
Managing stress is not a skill that most of us are born with naturally
(dont we sometimes envy those "Type Bs" who never seem flustered by
Stress management is, however, a skill that we can acquire with a bit
of practice and patience. So, kick back
relax, and take your time reading this
information sheet. The purpose is to get you started down the road towards learning how to
lighten up and relax.
Life truly is a journey, not a destination. Happiness is contagious.
Nobody likes being around stressed-out people cuz it makes us feel even more nervous
and uncomfortable, right?
You know that each and every one of these items is important but, be
honest with yourself, cant you find some areas that could stand a little
improvement? If so, you are well on the way to a new, calmer you.
Tips for reducing Stress:
- Eliminate self-inflicted physical stressors such as smoking, caffeine, drugs and
- Take good care of your health. Eat nutritionally balanced meals and practice good sleep
habits. Take a daily multi-vitamin.
There really is a "Mind-Body Connection". A stronger, healthier Body will lead
to a stronger, healthier Mind.
- Exercise at least 3-5 days a week. Check with your physician about starting a regular
- Observe and, if necessary, change the way you perceive yourself or your world. Much
stress can be avoided or at least better handled by interpreting events neutrally or
- Learn and regularly practice relaxation skills in order to release accumulated tension
or anxiety. Go to a bookstore or library or borrow some self-help tapes by experts like
Stuart Wilde or Dr. Wayne Dyer. Many of us process information better by listening than by
- Examine whether you are a Type A (high-strung) personality type and how this personal
style can affect your stress levels. If you do have a stress-prone personality, resolve to
become a Type B (mellow) person in a Type A body. Become actors and pretend you are
relaxed even when you are not. In this way your brain will fool your body into feeling
calmer and less stressed. (That Mind-Body thing again!)
- Learn and practice good time management. Get organized! Check out the "One
Minute Manager" series of books.
- Set a reasonable pace for your life. This means keeping the rate of change in your life
at a comfortable level by scheduling "breathers" when overwhelmed. Avoid too
many major life changes occurring within too short a period of time. Take a few
responsibilities off of your "platter" if you are overloaded. Learning to say
"No" can have magical properties when you are stressed out.
- Schedule and enjoy creative pursuits and hobbies that you find personally satisfying and
relaxing. Do some activities alone and some with others (ex. grow flowers, read, play
tennis, take walks, go to an art exhibit or a movie). Learn to escape and give your mind a
rest. (My upset stomach is a sign that I'm getting a bit stressed out and that its
time to go fishing!)
- Evaluate your network of friends and family. Hopefully, they can offer you emotional and
other support that can help buffer you from the negative effects of stress. You are not
"dumping" on them. A true friend WANTS to be there for you when you need them.
Rely on professional or spiritual help as you see fit. Psychologists and other
professionals are specially trained to help us develop and maintain healthy stress
- Improve your relationship with others by learning to more assertively express yourself.
Understand and learn to manage destructive or stress-provoking emotions (ex. anger,
frustration, and jealousy).
- Become philosophical by learning to accept those things over which you have no control
or cannot change. Does the problem have enough significance that it will matter to you in
five years? If the problem "does not mean poop to a tree", take a deep breath
and relax! Very few (if any) things are EVER changed by worrying about them.
You Dont Worry
You Still Die.
So Why Worry?"
- Read up on, and become a master of, stress management. Go to your local bookstore and
pick up a book or two to help strengthen your coping skills. Try "Relax,
How You can Feel Better, Reduce Stress and Overcome Tension," by J.
White, or "Dont Sweat the Small Stuff
and its all small
stuff," by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. for example.
- Learn to recognize the physical cues (headaches, muscle tightness, jaw pain, upset
stomach, loose bowels, heart flutters, shakiness, lightheadedness, disturbed sleep,
irritability, panicky feelings, frequent urination, etc.) that you are getting a bit
stressed out. They are warning signs and can lead to more serious health problems if
neglected and ignored.
- Schedule a Massage. Even the word
"massage" sounds relaxing, doesnt it?
- Activities like Tai Chi, YOGA and
Meditation can help build inner peace and strength in a low impact fashion that is very
easy on the body and quite relaxing for the mind. The concept of Tai Chi is to develop
internal energy ("Chi") through a series of beautiful, dance-like, movements.
Focusing on connecting the body and spirit by way of the mind, Tai Chi is now being
utilized to effectively reduce stress, promote internal peace and help in preventing
disease (like Osteoporosis). It has also been shown to significantly improve balance in
the elderly, thus helping to reduce the incidence of falls a hip fracture.
- Go back and re-read this page often. Each and every one of these thoughts is critical to
your overall success so incorporate as many as you can into your daily thought processes.
Nothing is worth having unless it is earned! So,