Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Managing Stress

By: Lorie Howell

The high paced, fast lane lifestyles of today have individuals claiming the phrase “I’m so stressed out” as their mantra. Stress has become a leading cause of disease in developed countries with no end in sight. Everyone appears to be a victim of the ugly, sometimes debilitating condition of being under too much stress.

We are taught to believe that our bodies and minds are two separate entities and that one functions individually and separately from the other. This could not be farther from the truth. We are indeed one being, with our thoughts and feelings influencing our physical bodies and the health of our physical bodies influencing our mental health.

When a stressful event occurs the body sends out signals in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters. These chemicals are part of a defense mechanism that is installed in the body to ensure survival. The body prepares to physically defend itself. In modern society, however, the stressors that occur are not physically threatening, but are mentally challenging and the duration of the stress is much longer than what the body is designed to handle. This makes the chemical messengers more harmful than good and can lead to chronic diseased conditions.

Some examples of modern day physical stressors are poor diet and nutrition and environmental toxins. These physical stressors can and will affect your mood and mental health and lead to a decline in overall health.

The best way to combat stress is to find an outlet. One should find an interest that is relaxing to them and incorporate it into the busy lifestyle. It could only be for 30min or an hour. It should be practiced every day. Choose something that will fit into your life easily like performing some deep breathing techniques paired with visualization to enhance relaxation.

The hardest part about controlling stress levels is that most people have to change their minds. They are so convinced that they cannot find the time for themselves that they have turned themselves into a victim of themselves!!!

Make positive choices. There are many things in life that we have no control over. Taking control of your stress management is a choice that you can make. For some it requires a few minor changes. For others, there may be major life changes in order. Only you can decide if you are living the way you really would like. Take the time to really think about it.

Taking a little time for yourself everyday is not selfish. The loved ones around you will also benefit because you will be a happier individual. They may resist at first because it is a break in the normal routine, but if you are persistent others will notice the positive changes and will want to know what you are doing so they can do it too!!

Many people notice changes after taking the first small step. They realize that life does not have to be like a keg of dynamite ready to explode. As they experience more and more positive changes to their lifestyle they become happier and more balanced.

Is there stress in your workplace???? Could your group or organization benefit from an on-site stress management workshop?

Lorie Howell is a licensed massaged therapist that has been working at the Clermont Herb Shoppe and Day Spa since 2001. Lorie loves teaching easy techniques for stress management to individuals and groups. All information is provided for educational purposes only.

For more information about on site stress workshops please contact:
Lorie Howell
Cell 407-342-3906
Clermont Herb Shoppe 352-243-3588