Importance of coping with stress

The long-term effects of stress are not to be taken lightly. Stress can cause serious physical and mental health problems. Managing our stress levels is very important if we want to stay happy and healthy.

Common symptoms of stress include irritability, muscle tension, inability to concentrate, and a wide variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and increased blood pressure and heart rate. Long-term stress can also weaken our immune systems, consequently increasing our chances of contracting illness and disease. Many experts even believe that this can lead to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

A person suffering from stress can start using the more emotional parts of the brain, turning off the more logical side of the brain. This has the effect of lowering her intelligence while in this state and impairing our judgment. It can affect performance at work and our personal relationships.

We all have an Ultradian Rhythm, which is a 90-120 minute cycle of stress and relaxation. The relaxation baths are usually separated by about 90 minutes. This is when your mind and body tell you to slow down and relax. You can usually find yourself daydreaming, which is a natural form of meditation and self-hypnosis. Some people, instead, choose to carry out addictive behaviors, such as drinking, using drugs and smoking.

This is not healthy because in addition to the physical damage that such addictions present, there are also psychological problems that this can cause. A person cannot learn to deal naturally with stress if they always turn to their addictions to break free. They do not adequately learn how to deal with the blows that life inevitably presents. Instead, they become increasingly dependent on their addictions as a means of coping, often creating many other long-term problems.

There are several ways that can help you manage your stress levels. Relaxation techniques taught in disciplines such as yoga and meditation are very effective. They give you valuable “time out” to slow down and just “be” for a while. Remember that we are human ‘beings’ and not human ‘doings’. If a person does not wish to engage in these disciplines, they can at least learn simple breathing exercises, such as slowly inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Doing this slowly while counting your breaths to 50 or 100 is a great quick relaxation tool that you can do pretty much anywhere.

People often get stressed due to the excessive demands of life. Learning time management skills, as well as learning to say ‘no’, can really benefit these people.

Take a close look at yourself and ask yourself if you are too stressed. If so, take action now. While you are living in this state, you are wasting your time here on earth. We are meant to be happy and healthy. You cannot make up this time, so you must act now. Look at areas in life where you can make small but important changes. It could be cutting down on overtime at work, taking adequate breaks throughout the day, avoiding certain people or situations, or even picking up a new hobby. See the importance in your own stress management and take action. Your long-term happiness and health depend on it.

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