Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action.
The challenge is when our body goes into a state of stress at inappropriate situations. It's also an issue when the body stays in a constant state of stress over long periods of time. For example, when blood flow is going only to the most important muscles needed to fight or flee, brain function is minimized.
This can lead to an inability to ‘think straight’; a state that is a great hindrance in both our work and home lives. If we are kept in a state of stress for long periods, it can be detrimental to our health.
So as you can see, if you're living in a panicked state, stressed out and confused, you're not in a good position to make the best decisions. Decisions about which direction to take or how to improve will take a focused approach. Once you're able to focus, you'll be able to take steps to improve over the long term and move in the direction you want.
The goal of this blog is to help you find solutions to common everyday lifestyle challenges (like needing more money, making healthy food and exercise choices, finding ways to think positively even when things look bleak, finding a purpose outside of yourself etc.) that will help you and your family move forward in the right direction.
No matter where you're at today, you can improve your life in ways that matter. But first you have to find a way to manage the stress and worry. These two things never contribute to the solution other than to make you uncomfortable and in many cases, unhealthy.
The best way to beat stress and worry is to incorporate all or some of these into your daily activity: exercise, eating healthier, practicing yoga, journaling and meditation. Exercise helps your body and mind in so many different ways, and it's always a good thing whether you are under stress or not. There are foods that help to build your immune system so that you can combat things like illness, depression and weight gain that sometimes occurs when you're under constant stress.
Yoga and meditation help you relax and clear your mind so that you can make better decisions. Journaling helps you to get those negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It's a great stress reliever because sometimes seeing the issues on paper helps you think through critical decisions and provides clarity. You can say things in your journal that you can't say in person for example, so it helps you really get things off your chest.
Another great way of relieving stress is to find a way to focus your energy on something positive. Find a project or work on something that will help others and take the focus off the thing(s) that have you stressed. Moving your energy away from stressful things and thinking of positive things will give you a different perspective.
If you're stressed over finances, find a way to give yourself a raise. If you're having problems finding a job, think of creative solutions that will enable you to work from the comfort of your home.
If you're working a job that doesn't pay enough, don't wait for your boss to give you a raise, make it happen for yourself! There are many online job opportunities available for a variety of needs. Check our opportunities page for information on ways you can make extra money (or totally replace your 9 to 5 job) from the comfort of home.
The next thing that will help you beat stress is to lose the feeling of hopelessness. You're never hopeless no matter how bleak things may appear. There is always some action you can take to make things better, even if it requires baby steps. Whether it's taking action to find resources, obtaining information to help you make informed decisions, eliminating a bad habit or changing something that is not working for your benefit you can always do "something". If you're not able to make changes yourself, you may be able to find resources in the form of friends, relatives and community resources to help you.
The last thing that I want to suggest to eliminate or reduce stress is living with a sense of gratitude. Think of all the things you have to be grateful for and stay focused on that.
No matter what your situation may be, there is always someone who is in a similar or worse situation than you. Depending on the problem, living with a sense of gratitude might be all that is needed to put things into perspective.
Once you are able to identify the "real" problem, you can begin to come up with solutions and options to move you from where you are now to where you want to be. There's no need to stay stuck.