Thursday, October 6, 2011

Strategies For Stress Management

Hello.  Welcome to the Center for Health and Wellness Blog. 

The month of October is a signal for me that the holiday season is just around the corner.  And, once Halloween passes, life just gets busier and busier elevating stress levels.   I want to spend this week discussing strategies that can be used to alleviate stress. 

What is stress?  Each of us reacts to this thing we call stress in different ways.  Some of the most common reactions to stress are:

Ø  tightening of muscles

Ø  headache

Ø  upset stomach

Ø  inability to sleep

Ø  fuzzy thinking

Ø  loss of appetite

Ø  over-sleeping

Ø  lethargy

Ø  anxiety

Ø  over-eating

Ø  fear.

Brian Seaward in his book Managing Stress defines stress as “the experience of a perceived threat (real or imagined) to one’s mental, physical, or spiritual well-being, resulting from a series of physiological responses and adaptations.”.   Do you have stress in your life? 

1.       Do you spend most of your days feeling your rushing from one activity to another?

2.       Do you have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep?

3.       Are you preoccupied with thoughts about getting your work done right?

4.       Are you quick to anger?

5.       Do you have trouble concentrating on the task in front of you?

6.       Do you spend time worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow?

7.       Do you frequently experience a tight pain in your neck or upper back or lower back?

8.       Do you experience a sense of irritability more than once a day?

Stress is a part of the human experience.  It is not realistic to expect to eliminate stress from our daily lives.  However, there are strategies that can be used to alleviate stress levels in our daily life.    Use the above questions to begin an awareness of the times that you experience stress in your daily life.  In the next post, we’ll begin to explore strategies that can be used to minimize daily stress levels.  In the meantime, additional information about stress can be found in Brian Seaward’s book, mentioned above, Managing Stress:  Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being, 6th edition., published by Jones and Bartlett in 2009. 

I will end this discussion with a quote by Albert Einstein:

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Until the next time, look for the possibilities.

Thank you for spending time with me.
Andrea G. Shenkman, M.S.
Adjunct Professor, Stress Management
Kaplan University


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