By: Kimberly Made
Living in a fast paced world where sometimes it’s hard to even catch our breath, it’s easy to see why so many people seem to be overwhelmed by stress.
Many are shocked to learn that stress is actually your body’s way of protecting you. When your body senses danger, it releases hormones meant to prepare you to take action. For example, in a stressful situation, adrenaline is produced and pumped through your body. The tone in your muscles increases, preparing you to jump into action at any moment. Your heart rate speeds up so blood can flow more rapidly through your tissues. You might realize that when you’re under stress your breathing speeds up. This is because your body is trying to make more oxygen readily available to you in the event of a crisis. Even your thinking speeds up during stressful times to prepare you to plan your way out of any situation that may arise.
As helpful as these changes might be when danger is lurking, they might not be as useful otherwise. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your stress under control:
- Take some time to do something that you find relaxing. Whether it’s reading a book, watching a movie, or just spending time with your friends, it is important to take time away from daily hassles and focus on yourself.
- Take a deep breath. This sounds easy enough, right? Taking a deep breath can help you to put everything on pause for a moment and become calm.
- Exercise. Whether it’s going out for a daily jog, taking up yoga, or riding a bike, exercise can help decrease your stress level.
- Meditate. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and try to go to your “happy place”. Try to envision all the scenery, smells, and sounds of your favorite place.
- Think positively. You know what they say: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Finding the humor in a nerve-racking situation can not only take your mind off of the situation, but it gives you the opportunity to step back and put things into perspective. This can often help find a solution to whatever may be the stressor at the time.
If you are following these steps and still find yourself struggling to regulate your stress, feel free to contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation.
Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920
More detailed information can be found at http://www.acenterfortherapy.com
Bressert, S. (2006). Stress Management Basics. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/stress-management-basics/000756
Ponton, L. (2006). 20 Tips to Tame Your Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/20-tips-to-tame-your-stress/000102
Tartakovsky, M. (2011). 6 Ways to Stress Less at Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/6-ways-to-stress-less-at-work/0007478