Two Types Of Stress
Stress is part of life. Psychologists tell us that some stress is good for you and some stress is bad for you. There are two types of stress:
The kind of stress that is good for you may be experienced as anticipation or excitement. Good stress can motivate you to focus and work hard, such as when you’re studying for an exam or playing on a sports team, or even watching your favorite team play on TV.
Yet much of the stress we experience in our daily lives is not fun, for example, getting stuck in traffic when we want to get home, being upset with the boss, or visiting unfriendly relatives. And there are worse kinds of stress, for example, illness and divorce and carrying too much debt, going bankrupt, relocating or getting fired. It is easy to tell what type of stress someone is experiencing: good stress is pleasurable and bad stress is miserable.
Ways To Manage Stress
Take deep breaths: It is quite remarkable how effective it can be to take ten deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose then breathe out through your mouth, slowly, but do not hold your breath. You can count while breathing in – from 4 to 8 as best suits you – and then out to the same count, varying the count to best suit your own rhythm. Deep breathing synchronizes your heart and your brain gets oxygen into the blood and restores a sense of calm even if done for a short time. And of course, you can take five or ten deep breaths at any time during the day.
Nap: If you can, take a 10 or 20-minute nap when you feel stressed. That is what we do with our kids; when they get whiny and fractious, we put them down for a nap and they wake up relaxed and happy. Most of the time.
Reduce Sugar: Sugar will stress you out more than it relaxes you. If you are going to eat something, try to eat a balanced snack with some protein and leafy green vegetable with only a small amount of carbohydrate. Such a snack will not cause a sugar spike in your blood.
Walking: Take a walk or any other form of exercise. Exercise on a regular basis is a great aid to longevity and will make you feel better. You do not have to exercise to exhaustion, in fact, it is better to exercise moderately. But even a 10 or 15-minute walk can do wonders for your mood.
Engage In Something Different: Take up a new hobby and have some fun.
Giving: Do something nice for someone else by giving of yourself.
Be Good To Yourself: Do something nice for yourself, but try to do it in a way that does not cause an increase in your credit card debt! Shopping therapy can be fun, but it does not help to buy more stuff if you are at the same time increasing your debt.
Keep Things In Perspective: One good mantra to keep in mind is: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” Your life is not about the mundane details of your life. Yes, you have to take care of the boring stuff too, but at the same time, keep in mind that in the great scheme of your life, these little things are simply not that important.
We cannot take the stress out of life, but on a personal basis, we can take the stress out of stress through the power of perspective. We can change our experience by changing our perspective towards stressful situations.