Redwood Therapy 

How to Deal with Stress


By Bruno Logreco

The best way to assess how to deal with stress is to identify the source of it. Start by asking yourself questions and providing honest answers. Keep a journal to help identify stress triggers. Jot down each time you are stressed, and include the time, the situation and your feelings. Over a period of time, you can pinpoint repeated stressors in order to successfully deal with them.

How you experience stress varies from how others experience it. What pushes you to the brink of an anxiety attack may stimulate or challenge another person, and vice versa. Generally, stressors fall into the following categories:

Emotional/internal - fear, anxiety and certain personality traits that distort perceptions.

Family - coping as a new parent or a troubled adolescent, dealing with the empty-nest syndrome, relationship changes and financial difficulties.

Social - interaction with others in social or public settings, such as dating or a public speaking engagement.

Change - changes to important aspects of your life, including any change in your living situation, starting or leaving a job and having a baby.

Chemical - the abuse of any substance, including prescription medication or other drugs, alcohol, caffeine or nicotine.

Physical - situations that overwork your body, such as sleep deprivation, hunger and too much physical exertion.

Environmental - temperatures that are too hot or too cold, cramped spaces and noise and air pollution.

Pain - stress as a contributor to increased pain, especially when it is acute or chronic.

Disease - those associated with short- and long-term health problems.

Work - taking on heavy workloads, dealing with superiors and meeting deadlines.

It is important that you can identify the way your body feels both physically and emotionally in response to stress, so you can recognize when your stress is spiraling out of control. Some stress responses are a protective mechanism and can actually save your life in emergency situations. However, at a certain point, stress can cause damage and lessen your quality of life. Feelings of emotional stress are linked to moodiness, agitation, irritability and depression. Under these stresses, it is easy to isolate yourself from others and start to neglect responsibilities.

How can you react to situations? Do you have control to change the outcome of situations? Why do you try to control situations where you clearly are not in control? What options can you choose to exercise the next time you feel stressed? What if you are not equipped to deal with the stress? Learning to answer these questions and to identify the stressors in your life or having a life coach who guides you, teaches you how to deal with stress when the pressure builds. Understanding the challenges of stress and how to deal with them help you

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