Life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands. For many people stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress is not always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. Children are bullying and being bullied, military members are returning home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and men and women are finding it difficult to obtain good paying jobs to feed their families. All can be causes of stress. If you frequently find yourself feeling frazzled and overwhelmed it is time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its’ harmful effects.
Stress is especially caused by three main factors. There is no doubt that we are living in a fast-paced world that is full of constant change. Everything around us is constantly changing by the nano-second. Change in our environment is one of the main reasons that we experience stress. Work is another main cause of stress. A job, is a job, is a job, is a job. It is not a hobby, it is work. It is not necessarily intended to be fun. It is a job and a job is work. However, we can learn how to reduce our stress at home and at work. In an ideal world maybe we can get away from stressful situations, or change them. Too often we cannot do that. But we can learn to change our response to those situations. And we can develop techniques that will reduce the effects of stress on our mental and physical health.
When you feel like your life is out of control take a moment to regain charge of your life and manage your stress by following the 3 H’s, Humor, Hobbies, and Helping. Humor-Keeping a sense of humor during difficult times is important. Laughing reduces muscle tension and helps a person maintain perspective. Activities as simple as watching a funny movie, listening to a funny tape or watching a comedian’s routine, sharing time with a humorous friend at their cube, office, lunch, break or after work can provide a psychological lift and relieve stress. Hobbies-Such as maintaining regular leisure activities are important in reducing stress. Petting an animal, reading, bicycle riding, painting, gardening, walking, cooking, photography, collecting or music can reduce stress. The benefit is in the doing and not necessarily in the results. Helping-Many others relieve stress by reaching out to others. There are so many people in need by volunteering at a homeless shelter, local food bank, Red Cross or at your local school or library you will be too busy for stress. Studies show that those who help others enjoy better physical and mental health.