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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stress and anxiety busting

Anxiety disorders are frequently a product of stress. From general everyday anxiety right up to panic disorders, it is possible to start lowering the anxiety in your life simply by cutting back on stress. Stress is a part of modern daily life no matter who you are, but if stress is allowed to take charge of your life, serious personal problems will develop. Fortunately, ongoing stress can be overcome, but it is important you recognise ways of doing so.

Stress is an internal reaction triggered by outside factors, like pressure (time restraints etc.). One of the best ways to defeat these stress reactions is with lots of exercise. Regular exercise can assist you to physically deal with stress by improving your tolerance to stress during physical exercise. During a panic attack, almost all people experience shortness of breath and have a pounding heart. A vigorous workout generates similar experiences, except in a healthy way. As you exercise more and more regularly, your body will adjust naturally to these conditions without panicking. Your chances of long term physical damage from a panic or anxiety attack will be lessened accordingly.

Obtaining an excellent night’s sleep is likewise very important in reducing stress. Stress can physically fatigue a person’s body, and without sufficient sleep, you will experience the consequences of stress a good deal more. This can lead to anxiety disorders very easily. To get adequate sleep, be sure that you schedule at least 6 to 8 hours for sleeping (book it in your diary if you need to - tell your friends you have an appointment - with your bed - to sleep!). Don’t eat or drink loads of sugar, sweet foods or caffeine products before bedtime and make sure you do relaxing activities in the couple of hours prior to bedtime. If you feel it necessary, see your doctor for assistance with sleeping problems, but, remember, drugs may not cure the problem, only dumb it down. It's always best to fix things naturally if possible.

Another key to minimising stress is to schedule time for leisure related activities. Diarise holidays or at least days off in order to deliberately relax and have fun. Work is a great creator of stress, and with that stress, sometimes comes concern about money, health, and many extra things. By earmarking specific time to have a good time with loved ones or by yourself, you can physically and mentally put aside the stress for at least a few hours to give the mind and body time to recuperate. Try to have at least one or two hours to yourself daily and an entire long weekend every month to purely enjoy recreational activities.

Lastly, work to reduce stress by learning to change the way you think about life. Some of the most stressed-out people are perfectionists. While, in some circumstances, this can be a good trait, it can also go way too far. Know when to let something slide. Also, think positively about your life and give thanks often for what you have. When you worry that you aren’t good enough or are upset about all the little things, they really add together to stress you out. Supervising your thought processes is just a part of the battle, but if you work on cutting back stress, you can help yourself to avoid developing anxiety problems. Relaxed people tend to make better decisions and in this way automatically empower themselves for a better life.

Be kind to yourself.

Some quotes for you:

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of it's sorrows, but only empties today of it's strength." - Charles Spurgeon

"I remember being onstage once when I didn't have fear: I got so scared I didn't have fear that it brought on an anxiety attack." - Carly Simon

"If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it." - George Burns

Suggested reading: "Stress Reduction for Busy People" by Dawn Groves

Now listen up - stop fighting it - go up to the top of this page. Click on the little "free book" box and get your free copy of As A Man Thinketh - you'll be forever glad you did. Oh yes. READ IT.

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