Stress is a response to an outside stimulus
that is usually out of our control.
Oftentimes stress is mistaken for a feeling
as it can make us feel tense, anxious, or
depressed. Stress is highly ranked among
causes of mental and physical illnesses.
These illnesses include fatigue, headaches,
tense muscles, stomach aches, ulcers,
rage, depression, cancer, strokes, and
suicidal ideations just to name a few.
The cause for these symptoms is due to
the fight or flight response. When we
become stressed our nervous system goes
into overdrive, trying to protect us from
physical harm. Imagine a deer in the woods
calmly eating his supper. Suddenly a mean
old hunter appears and the deer freezes,
his ears perk up, his eyes dilate, his
stomach muscles contract, his heart beats
faster, and he knows he has two options: to
run or to fight. Well unless Bambi is packing a "38"
he is going to run. We humans have the exact same
physiological response to stress; however,
if we get stressed at work, it is not
conducive to hit our boss or leave to run
around the building a few times, so what
happens to our stress if not released? It
stays in our bodies causing stress-related
illnesses. Ask yourself where in your body
you feel it when you get stressed and what
you do to relieve it.
One strategy you could employ while at
work is to deliberately tense all of your
muscles in your body, hold for 5–10
seconds, and release. Do this two or three
times until you feel your body completely
relax. Breathing is another effective
strategy. Ever notice how an infant
breathes, with his or her entire body
moving up and down? As adults we become
lazy and breathe from the chest or not at
all. Take several moments throughout your
day to breathe deeply from your diaphragm
until you feel more at peace.
For more information on stress management skills check out my book: Creating Your Own Fairytale Life on amazon.