Stress Recognition and Elimination
Dealing with stress can be a struggle between light and dark, between hope and despair, and between what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes we are provoked by an event or a situation that creates an upsetting condition called stress. Stress is when we feel tension or pressure, as if in a dilemma. This condition can be easily remedied, however it does take practice to be able to fully overcome the stress.
Recognizing stress is the first step, and this skill can be developed over time. Often it can be developed simply by saying out loud, “I am stressed out right now”. Being able to recognize your emotional state allows you to see your condition more objectively and to take a step back so that you may help yourself. There are always solutions to stress, and being able to pull yourself out of it is one key way of ensuring your overall happiness and well being. As we age, this skill of overcoming stress comes more naturally. However, it often does have to come from a devoted effort at recognizing and understanding how simple stress is to overcome.
In extreme cases, there are conditions of stress that result in a psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety. This is often the result of an imbalanced brain chemistry, severe family tensions or severe anxiety-provoking situations like having been in a war. This condition is impressively frequent, with one in four Canadians having an anxiety disorder over their lifetime (anxietycanada.ca, 2013).
In most cases, anxiety can easily be relieved by becoming conscious of when one is anxious or stressed and focusing how you can overcome the condition. Some people are soothed and made at ease by familiar things, familiar people, and familiar foods. Other people need to practice certain routines that put them back into a good head space. It is very important for people to identify things that make them feel good and to know that stress can be relieved by simply utilizing those de-stressing things, people, foods or routines. Sometimes, however, people can abuse this formula by resorting to things or foods that, as a by-product of their de-stressing effect, create secondary effects that are undesirable. This situation is commonly found among people who resort to drugs, alcohol or gambling to relieve their stress. This is called maladaptive coping because, instead of creating a relief from stress, it a major secondary effect like addiction or becoming overweight.
It is important, when creating a stress-relieving formula, to choose a solution to stress that has positive side effects! Positive options for stress relief can include lighting candles and taking a warm bubble bath, exercising, taking a nap, talking to a friend or family member, making a healthy and nutritious meal, relaxing with friends, writing, reading, watching a favorite show or movie, and so much more. There are many ways to positively eliminate stress, so start practicing ways that work for you!