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Keep Your Cool When Stress Hits

by June Kaminski, MSN

Stress is a common feature in our modern lives. People from all walks of life feel stress in numerous ways. The most common reaction to stress is the "fight or flight" response. It's automatic. Yet, you can learn how to control your reaction to stressful situations. A clear mind will help you to make the best choices during stress, without anxiety or frustration.

Stress is a fact of modern life. Think back and recall the events of your day thus far. How many times did you feel the effects of stress? None? You are a rare bird! At least three or four? You're right in there with the rest of us. Every day, in countless situations we all deal with stressful events and situations. So, how do you avoid getting tied in knots over and over? The answer is simple. Use your head.

"How?" you ask. Think about what happens in your body when you are feeling stressed out. What do you feel? Dry mouth and tense shoulders? Butterflies or knots in your stomach? The urge to scream? Moods that swing from anger to depression? These are common. They can also be dealt with in a step by step way. After all, you are in control of the way you react to things.

Okay, say your boss is glaring at you after you deliver a report on the work you stayed up all night revising. You feel a whopper stress reaction coming on. It's so big that you could swoon any minute. What should you do? Run and hide? Try to explain? It's best to take it in three easy steps!

Breathe Intentionally

The first step in dealing with stress is oxygen. Often, our automatic reaction in a stress situation is to hold our breath or to breathe shallowly. You can learn to control your breathing. Make it deep, slow and rich. Exhale twice as long as you inhale. The extra oxygen will help resolve the effects of the disruptive hormones that surge through your system when you feel stressed out.

Wax Philosophical

The second thing to is to wax philosophical. Huh? You read that right - get philosophical. See the stressful situation from a "bigger picture" view. In the wider scheme of things is this event that is tying you up in knots important? Is it worth sweating over? Probably not! So, why let it wear on you so badly?

Where's Your Sense of Humor?

The third thing comes out of the second - see the humor in it all. You may surprisingly feel like chuckling, even laughing to yourself about the absurdity of it all. If you can get to this point, your stress symptoms will go away quickly. You'd be amazed at how a little humor can heal your anxious mind and body. The fright hormones taper off, and the "feel-good" endorphins begin to flow. You start to feel good - to feel clear. You can cope without discomfort or anxiety.

Remember the formula the next time you feel stress in your life. Breathe deep - Stand back and detach - find the funny side of the situation. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Simple it is, but powerfully effective. Apply it, and life will seem much lighter, more sane. You will feel more in control and focused. Not a bad payoff for a little bit of effort. Try it. It feels good! You become the calm within the storm.

More Links to Visit!

Stress Free Net offers resources and psychologist support for taking control of your reactions to stress.

Stress Assessment is an online tool for examining your life stress.

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June Kaminski, MSN - 2001 - 2005 -Healing Intent.com - All rights reserved.
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