Stress: Reducing Stress
Being a mom can be stressful. The carpooling, the budgeting, the scheduling. But did you know that even happy events in your life can add to your stress level? Any major change can lead to stress, and any stress not dealt with properly can lead to physical or emotional illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can take on many signs and symptoms, including physical, psychological and behavioral.
Examples of physical symptoms include headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, pounding heart, muscle aches, indigestion, fatigue, insomnia, frequent illness and grinding teeth. Examples of psychological signs include anxiety, irritability, depression, slowed thinking, anger, hypersensitivity and apathy. Behavioral signs of stress include overeating or loss of appetite, impatience, procrastination, poor job performance, burnout, and changes in religious practices or personal relationships.
The Mayo Clinic suggests the following ways to attempt to reduce stress:
Learn Relaxation Techniques. Talk to your doctor about proper relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, visual imagery, relaxed breathing, etc.
Talk it Out. Discuss your stressors with friends or a professional counselor to relieve stress and to put things in perspective.
Conquer Your Tasks. Tackle your problems and tasks step-by-step. If you need help with time management, check out some books from your local library on strategies for making the most of your time.
Learn Anger Management Skills. Confront your problems, but do so in a healthy manner. If you feel your anger is out of control, consider talking with a counselor.
Take a Break. If you can't get away for a vacation or weekend getaway, take the time to just do something different and at a slower pace. Go to the park, the lake or even a walk around your neighborhood. Enlist the help of your husband or friends to watch the kids while you take a bath or a nap.
Be Realistic. Prioritize what is important and set goals that are realistic. Don't overwhelm yourself with too many goals or trying to set up unrealistic goals -- they will only lead to frustration and stress.
Avoid Self-Medication. Don't mask your problems with pain medications or alcohol. Focus on dealing with your problems rather than avoiding the stress.
Strive for Good Health. It is imperative to get plenty of sleep, exercise and to eat nutritional food. And while you may feel too busy to find the time to sleep or exercise or cook a healthy meal, these are all key steps to fighting stress. Sleep will keep you refreshed and mentally alert to handle stress. Exercise has a stress-reducing effect and helps burn off excess nervous energy due to anxiety or frustration. And eating properly will help give you beneficial energy and stay healthy.
Seek Professional Help. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to consult your physician or mental health professional if you find yourself overwhelmed by stress or you continue to have the physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms mentioned above.
Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.
This article was based on information from the Mayo Clinic.
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