Managing Stress

Stress is a natural part of life. Situations arise, things get overwhelming and feelings of stress is our body’s natural reaction as we try to wade through it. How do you manage stress? That’s the million dollar question. Stress can be overwhelming. There are various ways to manage and help quell stress. Stress can also be a factor in the treatment of the invisible wounds our military heroes sustain while serving their country. Here are a few suggestions to help manage stress:

It sounds simple, and it is. Since our breathing is something we have control over, we can harness that control to regulate our mind to be clearer and relaxed. There’s some technique to breathing for stress-relief (depending on the exercise), but it begins with sitting comfortably, and relaxing the body. Among the breathing exercises to try out are The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8, and Breath Counting.

It’s common knowledge that exercise impacts and improves our physical health. But exercise also helps your mind. Exercising, along with other physical activities produce endorphins (which are brain chemicals that essentially act as painkiller). These endorphins also have a positive impact on sleep, which in turn can help reduce stress. In addition, it’s been shown that exercising causes a focus on the activities being performed. This acts as a distraction away from the stresses of the day. Furthermore, research shows that a 20-minute walk, run, or swim can have an immediate effect during a stressful time.

Being busy is a side effect of a productive life. It is to be expected. However it is also possible to be taking on more than you can reasonably handle. We need to learn how to set reasonable expectations in our day-to-day lives. Learning to say no and setting limits are crucial to a balanced and healthy life.

Reframing Stress
There’s also a unique approach to managing and handling stress: reframe the mindset. Imagine thinking of stress as a positive instead of a negative. Take a common stress symptom as an example: The rapid heartbeat. Instead of interpreting the rapid heartbeat as panic, frame it as the body revving up for the task at hand. Think about how the body reacts to a rollercoaster ride: a rapid heartbeat. It’s the same reaction. This technique is about attempting to reframe the mindset around the unpleasant feelings.

Stress in many forms is a common factor in the aftermath of the invisible wounds of war: traumatic brain injury & post-traumatic stress. Managing the impact these injuries have on mental health can be a challenging aspect of these injuries. However, it’s all about the management. Techniques like the ones listed above can help to diminish feelings of stress. Read about more ways to relieve stress here.

Posted on October 29 2018 in Blog

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