Dr. Angela Hasty
Self discovery that improves your life
Psychological Services
Psychological Services
 
Stress

Stress

You experience stress when the level of pressure you feel exceeds your ability to cope. What is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another.

People are often unaware of the causes of stress in their lives. In our fast paced world, people often think that feeling stressed and overwhelmed is just a normal part of life.

Stress can have internal causes, such as expecting perfection from yourself and others, or external causes, such as overwhelming family and work demands.

Evaluating the causes of stress in your life is the first step to decreasing it; keeping a stress journal may be helpful. For example, write down:

  1. What you think caused the stress

  2. How you felt physically and emotionally

  3. How you responded to the situation 

  4. Ideas for how to improve your response in the future


Unhealthy reactions to stress include:

  1. Procrastinating

  2. Anger/irritability

  3. Overeating or not eating enough

  4. Sleeping too much or too little

  5. Smoking (stress is the leading cause of smoking relapse)

  6. Excessive drinking or taking drugs

  7. “Road rage”

Tips to Decrease Your Stress Immediately:


  1. Learn to say “no” and mean it!

  2. Avoid stressful situations and people whenever possible

  3. Limit the amount of news you watch or read

  4. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

  5. Shorten your to-do list

  6. Express your feelings

  7. Practice gratitude



Practice Self-Care Basics:


  1. Eat healthy meals (limit junk foods and sugar - increase protein intake)

  2. Limit caffeine (caffeine is like a shot of adrenaline to the body)

  3. Get plenty of rest and sleep

  4. Connect with supportive people or readings

  5. Practice deep breathing or meditation for 10 minutes per day

  6. Get 30 minutes of exercise per day

  7. Spend time in nature daily - even if just stepping outside for fresh air

  8. Express your feelings regularly

  9. Do not tolerate abuse of any kind!

  10. Minimize stress (see Stress Management section)



Stress Myth Quiz:


http://stress.about.com/library/myths/bl_stress_myth_quiz.htm

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