May 13, 2013

7 Ways to Survive Stress

Extreme stress.  Have you experienced it?  You feel so stressed out you feel like you're going to explode or have a nervous breakdown.  You can't sleep.  Your stomach is upset and you don't have much of an appetite.  You are moody.

This type of stress is usually situational.  You may have an intense deadline, lost a job, are going through a break-up or divorce, or have lost a loved one.

The following 7 tools can help you get through your most stressful days:

Keep a strict schedule.  Follow a routine: Get up at the same time, eat at the same time, go to bed at the same time.  Do yourself a favor and take the guesswork out of the equation.

Be gentle with yourself.  Take a hot bath, enjoy a leisurely glass of wine, read a good book, get involved in a hobby.  Do anything you can to take your mind off the stress.

Get plenty of sleep.  Aim for at least 7 hours.  Our bodies secrete cortisol, the stress hormone, when sleep deprived.  This is the kiss of death if you're already feeling stressed.

Eat right.  Eat a balanced diet and avoid excessive caffeine or sugar.

Exercise regularly. Burn off that extra adrenaline!  If stress is keeping you awake at night, do an intense workout before bed.  This helps me tremendously.

Try herbs & supplements for calming and restoring mental balance. Try St. John's Wort, Rescue Remedy, extra magnesium.

Meditate. I downloaded a free app on my phone called "Learn to Meditate" so I could learn how to do it.  It takes a lot of patience to teach your mind to calm itself on demand but it's worth the effort.  I'm still learning but it's a fun journey.

Keep your focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.  If the above methods don't provide relief and you're still feeling overwhelmed, consult your doctor.

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