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Stress Management Tips

Stress Management Tips

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Published by Eduardo Martinez

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Published by: Eduardo Martinez on Jan 01, 2010
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05/19/2012

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STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPShttp://www.stressmanagementtips.com/Stress Management Tips
In simplest terms, stress is the opposite of relaxation. Both positive and negative aspectsof life can be equally stressful. Stress comes from the external forces in our lives that pushour buttons and provoke extreme emotions. Although we commonly think of stress comingfrom the frustrations and low points in life, high points and achievements are stressful aswell.
Ups – Downs
Jubilation – Depression
Promotion – Termination
Marriage – Divorce
Birth – DeathEach of the above pairs of opposites has one thing in common – stress. Yet, to add to theconfusion, even uncertainty can cause stress. In addition, stress can result from somethingas minor as breaking a shoestring or something as major as your child ruining his newexpensive shoes!Stress raises your level of adrenaline, which results in an increase in heart rate,respiration, and blood pressure. These increases make bodily organs work harder. Over the long term, reducing stress is critical to combatting such illnesses as heart disease, highblood pressure, and stroke.Stress Management Tips is all about helping you develop an effective stress managementstrategy. Explore the causes of stress and its symptoms. Find out how stress affects usand what you can do to reduce stress for both yourself and your family. Learn how somestress management tips, stress reliever games, and stress relieving exercises can helpimprove your stress management skills and help you cope with stress.
Site Contents:
 
Causes of Stress
Simply put, stress has one cause— our perceptions of and reactions to thesituations that occur in our lives. Stress can be caused by something as simple as
 
breaking a fingernail or by something as serious as losing a finger. In addition, the positiveevents in our lives can be as stressful as the negative ones.For example, the birth of a child can be stressful both in positive and negative ways.“It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It has all of its fingers and toes! It’s healthy! It’s wonderful!”First of all, adrenaline flows and we beam with pride as our hearts fill with jubilation andoverwhelming emotion! However, often anxiety follows.“Will I be a good parent? Can I provide for my newborn? Will I wake up at 2:00 a.m. whenhe begins to cry?”In the above example, the first reaction is called
eustress
, or positive stress. The second isthe all too familiar 
distress
, or negative stress. While coping with eustress is easier thandealing with distress, the truth is that whether positive or negative, stress is stress!Moreover, what may be a stress reliever to one person may be a stressor to another. For instance, a divorce may be relief for one party and a calamity for the other or anemployment lay-off may give one individual a much-needed vacation while spelling onlyfinancial disaster for another.While anything that causes stress is called a stressor, generally the stress we worry aboutmost is distress. This negative stress can be caused by either processive stressors or systemic stressors.
Processive stressors
are those that elicit what is called the “fight or flight” reaction. Whenwe believe we are in danger, the pituitary gland automatically sounds an alarm byreleasing a burst of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which in turn signals the adrenalglands to release the “stress hormones” adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones areactually a safeguard that help us focus on the situation at hand, speed up reaction times,and temporarily boost our physical strength and agility while we decide whether to retreator stand firm.
Systemic stressors
are our bodies’ automatic physiological responses to stress, such asthe loss of equilibrium (dizziness) that you feel before you faint or the release of acid thatturns and churns your stomach during a stressful situation. Systemic stressors may bereleased simultaneously along with processive stressors and can cause even more stressas they create a greater sensation of danger to your well-being.Although everyone suffers from stress at one time or another, research indicates thatchildren who live in a stressful home environment are at greater risk to become stressedby life’s challenges. In addition, some research suggests that both the events that we findstressful and our ability to manage the stress caused by those events may be partlygenetic, governed by the genes that control our endorphin levels. (Endorphins are thehormones that regulate our moods and also act as a natural “pain killer”).Though events may seem stressful, it is important to remember that stress is created byour reactions to situations, rather than the events themselves. In reality, stress is “all in our heads”. Putting life’s ups and downs into proper perspective is the key to coping withstress and the effects that it has on both our health and our lives.
 
Stress Symptoms
The symptoms of stress are our physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions tolife’s situations.
The pounding of our hearts as the home team scores the winning point
The feeling of frustration when the other team scores the winning point
The boisterous hooray when we win and the angry curse when we loseLevels of stress are categorized as acute, episodic acute, and chronic. Stress symptomsare often indicative of our level of stress.
Acute stress is the temporary type of stress we feel when we step back to the curbout of the path of an oncoming vehicle or when the home team wins (or loses).This type of stress is the most manageable. Our heart rates jump, blood pressuresraise, tension headaches may ensue, we become momentarily angry, elated,boisterous, or resentful. We cry in joy, in relief, in frustration. The moment passesand we go on about or business.
Episodic acute stress occurs when life’s situations get the best of us, whenMurphy’s Law seems to be the rule of the day. One example is when we believe wedeserve a raise or promotion, but don’t act on our feelings. Another example iswhen life spins out of control with one disaster after another— an illness, a divorce,and loss of employment within a short time span.Symptoms like recurring headaches, indigestion, fatigue, and insomnia are vividwarning signs of episodic acute stress. We can avoid episodic acute stress byrecognizing its warning signs and coping with stressful situations as they occur.Without attention, this level of stress can lead to chronic stress.
Chronic stress is that which literally wears us out, grinding us down until our bodiesand minds react with serious long-term physical and/or mental disorders. Chronicstress occurs when situations become impossible to deal with, when there’s “noway out” and we give up trying to overcome adversity.Unfortunately, once stress becomes chronic, long ignored symptoms becomeinvisible. Grinding teeth, tremors, confusion, forgetfulness, over-eating, andalcoholism are just some of the symptoms that appear to be habits that are asunbreakable as the situations that caused them.Stress warning signs can help us gauge our level of stress. However, stress symptomsoften overlap from one level to another. More importantly, many signs of stress can becaused by physical illness or mental disorders. Recognizing stress symptoms can help uskeep stress from snowballing from acute to chronic, prompt us to seek medical help whenwe need it, and keep us from suffering the debilitating effects of stress.
Effects of Stress

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