5 Ways to Manage Stress: The Silent Killer) 4/11/2017 <p> Living in today’s society requires living with stress. Our jobs are more demanding, our http://www.argosy.edu/our-community/blog/5-ways-to-manage-stress-the-silent-killer1

5 Ways to Manage Stress: The Silent Killer

Living in today’s society requires living with stress. Our jobs are more demanding, our roads are overcrowded, our entertainment is faster paced, and even the label of multitasking has become desirable.

We are all prewired to respond to anxiety with a rush of the stress hormone, cortisol. Moderate amounts of cortisol over brief periods can help us properly handle life’s manageable, stressful events. While this flight or fight type of response is certainly appropriate and useful in some situations, it has little value in helping us deal with the kind of stressors we experience in our lives today. The release of too much cortisol tends to leave us with overwhelmed brains, tense muscles, digestive issues, overtaxed cardiovascular systems, depression, and etc.

Reducing stress in today's world is a necessity. Sensible people take care of themselves physically and mentally. Adding stress management to your daily routine may possibly save your life, help reduce the intensity and duration of physical illnesses, or at the very least, improve the quality of your current life.

Below are 5 stress management strategies that can greatly help to relieve the anxiety in your life, thus reducing the chance for the above mentioned problems:

1. Minimal consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars. These items can be replaced by clean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

2. Regular physical exercise at a slightly beyond comfortable level. Anything more than twice per week has shown to provide benefits as a stress reducer.

3. Systematic deep breathing. Anything more than three times per day of taking a couple full lung capacity breaths has shown to provide benefits as a stress reducer. Perhaps once at wake up, again around lunch time, again in the late afternoon, and again in the later evening may be a system to follow.

4. Frequent positive visual imagery and relaxation techniques. The body responds in essentially the same way to made-up images as it does to real experiences. Positive, relaxing images can be an effective tool for relieving stress.

5. Searching for the silver lining. Nearly every circumstance in life can be viewed from at least two points of view. A negative attitude can only render a stressful consequence, while a positive one has the chance of actually acting as a stress reliever.

Written by Michael J. Maxwell, Ph.D., LPCS, NCC, CSC | Associate Professor | Argosy University, Dallas 

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