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    When Stress Attacks

    The official definition of stress is a condition that occurs in response to actual or anticipated difficulties in life. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But unfortunately there's no miracle pill or tonic that can cure your stress woes.

    People from all walks of life have their own definition of stress. What is stressful to one person, however, may be nothing more than a minor inconvenience to another. And sometimes an event may be stressful to you at one time, but not another. We all have our good days and our bad days. It's just life, and how we handle the multitude of decisions we must face each and everyday.

    The official definition of stress is a condition that occurs in response to actual or anticipated difficulties in life. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But unfortunately there's no miracle pill or tonic that can cure your stress woes.

    Common signs of stress include:
  • Increased heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Mental depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue

    Different people react to stress in different ways, but the most common reactions to stress include:

  • A short fuse that leads to frequent anger
  • Mood swings and sadness
  • An ailing sense of humor
  • A tendency to worry too much

    In order to combat stress, you need to find your stress balance. Your stress balance is the midpoint between something that makes you upset and something that calms you down. It can help you effectively manage the stress in your life. The next time you feel a stress attack coming on, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I lost perspective of this situation?
  • When faced with a situation I think I can't handle, do I make a mountain out of a molehill?
  • Why does this situation cause me stress?
  • Is my stress and worry worth the effort?
  • What can I do to alter my situation?
    There are some things you can do to help beat the stress in your life. Here are some ways to help you cope:
  • Learn how to relax. Take a deep breath and let go of the tension. Slowly count to ten. You should feel better immediately. If not, then repeat the process. There are plenty of books and magazine articles that teach you many different relaxation techniques.
  • Watch your diet and exercise regularly. Stop eating so much junk food. With proper nutrition and a regular form of exercise, you can manage your stress more easily. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates can increase levels of serotonin in your brain, which will make you feel better. So remember to eat your pasta, potatoes, brown rice and whole grain cereals. Eating a piece of fresh fruit is also a healthy way to fight off a stress attack.
  • Get a good night's sleep. You can handle your day more easily if you are well rested. Go to bed a little earlier instead of falling asleep in front of the television.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Learn what is important and let the insignificant problems fade away. When things are bothering you, list them by order of importance, and deal with the bigger problems first.
  • Control your anger. You won't be doing yourself any good if you are angry most of the time. Practice not losing your temper, and learn how to express yourself without slamming the door or kicking the dog.
  • Organize your life. Don't let clutter add to the stress in your life. Clean up your room, your desk, your locker and everything else in your life.
  • Learn time management skills. Find the best ways to make use of your time. Stop wasting your time on trivial items and spend more time on the things that are important to you.
  • Set goals. Know what it is you want to accomplish each day. Make a plan, and stick to that plan, but always remember to have some flexibility to deal with the speed bumps in life that are waiting for you around the next bend.

    Once you identify the stress in your life and take steps to alleviate it, you will feel better about yourself and be a better person.


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