Stress: Can You Handle It? - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 1999 Juniper Berry Magazine

Stress: Can You Handle It?

Stress is a fact of life. At one time or another we all face something that causes us stress. It's a natural reaction to changes in our lives, both happy and sad – family, jobs, school and the everyday tasks of running a household all lead to stress. A wedding or divorce, a birth or a death are all stress related factors. What's important is not what causes the stress, but how you react to it.

Sometimes stress can be harmful. Drastic changes or too many changes causes DISTRESS. Distress can be a factor in such illnesses as ulcers, migraine headaches, infections, allergies and even high blood pressure and heart disease.

Our bodies react in a predictable manner. No matter what causes the stress your body reacts in three ways.

First: the ALARM stage – when your mind recognizes a

problem and your body prepares you for action.

Second: the RESISTANCE stage – when your body resists or adapts and finally the EXHAUSTION stage – when your body rests.

The human body has a limited ability to cope with stress. You use up a little bit of this ability every time you face a stressful situation, so, it's important to develop ways to deal with this. Take it easy, spend time and energy on what makes you happy. There is no single, all purpose solution, but there ways to cope.

WORK IT OFF

Get into a physical activity that you enjoy. Even taking a wald can work wonders. Exercise relaxes your body and helps you deal with mental stress as well.

TALK ABOUT IT

When things build up, it helps to discuss your feelings. Talk with someone you trust and respect. Sometimes another person can help you see a new side to the problem.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

When you are tense and your head aches or your heart pounds, slow down! Your body is letting you know that you're pushing yourself too hard.

take a break

A change of pace, no matter how short, will give you a new look on your situation. It's on your busiest days that you should take a few minutes for yourself.

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

Most people need at least seven hours of sleep a night.

BALANCE WORK AND PLAY

You deserve a break. Constant work can mean constant stress. Balance your life with some recreation – such as running, bike riding, walking or reading. Then

go back to your work with a relaxed and open mind.

LEARN TO RELAX

There are lots of fun and easy ways to relax. Try a long not bath, reading for pleasure or

listening to soothing music.

AVOID SELF MEDICATION

Drugs don't usually help you to adjust to stress. Avoid using alcohol, cigarettes, sedatives and tranquilizers to cope with your problems. Your ability to handle stress has to come from within.

MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE

Enjoy yourself and others. When you're feeling bored or lonely, don't just sit there. Call a friend, write a long overdue letter or do something different, visit a museum, see a movie, go shopping or go out to lunch or dinner with a friend. Take advantage of the good things in life.

RELAX & ENJOY!!!