There are as many definitions for stress as there are reactions to stress. Simply put, stress is the reaction of both the body and mind, to change. It can be good and it can be bad. The stresses of a new baby, a new job, a first date or an upcoming wedding are examples of wonderful stress. We often see this more as anticipation than stress. Stress is generally thought of in the negative sense. The changes experienced as negative outcomes are what the general population identifies with stress. Unchecked, stress can cause headaches, backaches, stomach aches and insomnia. It can also lead to depression and anxiety. Stress can also lead to potential life threatening disorders such as high blood pressure and heart disease. When stress occurs frequently, it can interfere with both physical and mental health. A number of studies have linked stress to risk for cardiovascular disease. Specifically, studies are linking the stress form pressure at work as well as social and environmental stresses to heart disease. A Yale University study reported that almost one third of workers surveys reported feeling “quite a bit or extremely stressed at work”. Learning to handle stress and knowing what your own reactions and limitations are can be the key to reducing the negative consequences.
Preparing for the day to day life stresses can be as simply as exercise, diet and sleep. Keeping healthy and feeling good can reduce the negative reaction and feelings of stress that result from a problem situation. Much of the stress we experience is just the result of normal responsibilities and activities that can result in a feeling of pressure and being overwhelmed. Planning out job and personal responsibilities can be a good defensive towards stress reduction.
Preparing ahead to deal with the everyday issues, such as traffic can help. Pack snacks in your car along with some music or book Cd’s can help. Make sure you schedule in a break during the day for a quick walk, stretch or healthy lunch. Even the most organized people can have a bad day when the responsibilities and obligation seem too much to handle. The best treatment for a stressful day can be a healthy dinner, a walk or run and then a good nights sleep. Some other suggestions for dealing with everyday stress include; learning to say no and setting limits, setting realistic goals for yourself as well as other. Replacing gossip and criticism with meditation and exercise can go along way in the war against stress and the health risks associated. Negative experiences and bad outcomes are a part of life, as are the positive experiences. The best defense to the health problems associated with stress is to understand your own body and reactions, with an effort towards prevention and planning.