How to Alleviate Stress and Anxiety

I wanted to study stress management. It sounds simple enough…and stress free. But please be aware of that it is much more sotisphicated than it sounds.


Where do I start? My rule of thumb in researching…when on internet start with Google, of course! That was easy. But now comes the hard part. Here are the entries to choose from: stress management activities and tips; stress medications; stress strategies; stress training; stress management at work and last, but not least, the stress meter. Stress meter? I’m stressed just wondering where to start!


I would like to start with the stress meter. What is it? Really, it is quite simple. It is a series of questions designed to determine your stress level. I, for one, do not need anyone to tell me that with the downturn of the economy, unemployment rates soaring, and record rates in foreclosures that there is a need for stress level tests! A high stress level is determined to be 300 points on most tests. I think that most peoples stress registers closer to 500 or 600 points!


I do not mean to diminish the effects of stress. It is prevalent, and it is potentially dangerous. But what should we do to alleviate the effects of stress on the body before it causes serious damage?


There are several really good ideas, which I will only highlight here. For one thing, we all (collectively) should be getting more exercise. This is a GREAT way to release those endorphins that naturally reduce stress. Another way is through diet. Certain natural foods work well to minimize, or reverse the ill effects that have been caused by our worries.


Here are two things that I do. I surround myself with things that are funny and uplifting. In the book of Proverbs, it says that “a joyful heart is good medicine”. I have found this to be true. There is only one other thing that makes me feel better than a good laugh, or whatever it takes to lighten my mood. What kind of things do I do to laugh? A good sit-com, a joke book, a comic book all work. I get together with friends that are fun to be around. I even purchase “Joy” dishwashing soap because of the name! I do not condone the use of anti-depressants, though I know that there are certain times they can be used appropriately (preferably on a temporary basis). I also don’t recommend eating your way through your stress. That just leads to other problems.


We ALL deal with levels of stress that are way off the charts. And our stress does need to be dealt with. Take my non-professional advice, and lighten up your mood. Don’t be so solemn. Play with kids, volunteer where others are in a worse position than you (in other words, take your eyes off of your own problems, take a break from them!). Get away from the computer (when you are finished reading this) and bake cookies for your neighbor who just had some severe setbacks of his own.


The other way I deal with stress? I know I said not to bury yourself in food, but chocolate usually works for me! Then I go for a walk. Don’t take life SO seriously. Everything really does work out in the end. Most of the things that are happening in your life WILL NOT kill you. Stress will. Remember, the key is too lighten up your life.