|Stress Management Suggestions
Stress is the pressure we encounter in life. Stress can come from positive as well as painful events. For example, planning a wedding can be as much stress as dealing with a divorce. Please feel free to pass on these few general suggestions for healthy stress management:
*Deep breathing. Get into a relaxed position. Breathe in through your nose as deeply and slowly as possible. Breathe out through your mouth. Imagine that you are breathing in peacefulness/relaxation and breathing out stress/tension. Try this three times.
*Progressive relaxation. Start at your head and work your way down to your toes. Tighten a muscle group, hold the tension for 5 seconds, and then release the muscle group. This helps each muscle group relax as you progress down the body.
*Exercise. A walk on your lunch break, swimming at the YMCA, or taking up a sport helps release physical tension and can clear your mind/thinking. Consult your doctor first before starting an exercise program.
*Eat healthy. Although it's tempting to binge on junk food, maintaining a nutritious diet is important to have energy and to feel better physically and psychologically over a lifetime.
*Communicate assertively. Assertiveness is speaking up appropriately for oneself. It includes setting boundaries ("rules") for oneself. For example, "I will not tolerate verbal abuse/name calling." It is not being aggressive (verbally or physically or sexually forceful) nor is it being passive (not taking action when I need to do so).
*Learn healthy conflict resolution. Set fair-fighting rules as a family. Discover what triggers your anger and find healthy means to effectively deal with these triggers. Express feelings in a constructive and honest manner with the goal of problem solving. If your anger is out of control, seek professional help.
*Get organized. Have a filing system in place both at home and the office to avoid the stress of missing papers "somewhere around here." Always put keys or purse/wallet in the same place to avoid a frustrating hunt every morning. Keep an appointment book or calendar to remember appointments and important dates.
*Avoid excessive alcohol and all illegal drugs. These may temporarily avoid stress or pain but quickly bring consequences legally, professionally, and relationally. Address issues of abuse or dependence immediately!
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