How To Say No To Stress | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 14 June 2012 12:09

BY MARK UNDERWOOD

Special to the Times

Stress affects people in many different ways. It often creeps up when we feel overwhelmed or feel pressured to accomplish something in a short amount of time.

Stress triggers an alarm in the brain, telling our bodies that something is wrong. The “fight or flight” response calls in the nervous system to respond and hormones to be released, jolting the body into action. Muscles become tense, breathing increases and pulse quickens.

Heightening the senses during a crisis is essential to survival. This is a natural and important biological response. The body is designed for short bursts of activity in response to stress or danger, but the ongoing nature of daily stress often means that the system is left “on” to respond.

Recognize that you can learn how to lead a less stressful life. Recognize, too, that when you alleviate the stress, it can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Stress Signals

Stress reactions vary from person to person, and can involve mental, physical or behavioral changes. Headaches and fatigue are common signals that the body is over-worked.

Change the Choices You Make

Did you realize the choices you make can lead to more or less stress? Try to pinpoint what you’re anxious about. Are you feeling stressed because you don’t have time to finish a project before its deadline? Are you worried that a friend may have misinterpreted something you said? Or maybe everything you think about seems to have a worry attached.

Now is the time to use your brain power to tackle these types of stressors. Try adjusting your thinking by asking yourself if your worries are small, medium or big problems. How upset do you want to get over it and for how long? Look at the possibilities around you, not the restrictions.

Tips for Success

Try not to worry about things out of your control. When feeling overwhelmed by a task, ask yourself: Is this something you enjoy or is it just something you think you’re supposed to do?

Eat nutritional food, maintain a regular exercise program and rest. Try to get eight hours of sleep a night. A good night’s sleep rejuvenates the mind as well as the body.

Mark Underwood is a neuroscience researcher, president and co-founder of Quincy Bioscience, a biotech company located in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.TheGoodNewsAboutAging.com.

 

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