The Clock Is Ticking . . . .

According to the World Health Organization,
by the year 2020 depression will be the
number two cause of premature death worldwide.

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Stress prevention Print E-mail

Stress. We are all under it in different ways. Learning to prevent more stress and deal with the stress we currently have is more than relaxing. It's essential to your well-being, too!

Whether its your boss, your partner, your family, or a friend, we are all under stress. And thank goodness! Stress keeps us on the move, thriving and yes, surviving!

But if your stress levels seem out of whack and you're getting that "I just can't deal with this anymore!" feeling, then it's time to think about how stress can be prevented and minimized in your life.

So how do you know that stress is getting to an unhealthy level? There are a few ways to determine if you need some stress management.

First, if you're feeling fatigued, tired, and cranky, you are not taking good care of yourself. In addition to this, constant feelings of being on the go can contribute to high stress levels. As far as extremes, if you start to experience anxiety attacks, you need to slow down. Regardless of your stress level now, each of us should make time for "R&R" (rest and relaxation).

So, how does one slow down? The first thing to remember is that you must slow down. You do have the time in your schedule somewhere to rejuvenate yourself. If you do not, you will soon be burned out.

Relaxing is really uncomfortable at first! After spending an hour reading you may experience feelings of guilt. Or you may reread a paragraph over and over, attempting to comprehend it. Sometimes the everyday worries seem to creep into your head and distract you. "Relaxation is just not for me!" you assume. Wrong. It is, it just takes time.

Relaxation does not mean you need to sit in meditation position humming "Ooommm," all day. Although, meditation is a great way of relaxation and there are so many methods available to us today. Other activities that keep your mind off work, the kids, or other stressors will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Some activities to try are reading, walking, playing moderate sports, laying out, meditation or spending time with a loved one where tension will not arise.

The above-mentioned activities will help you deal with managing the stress you currently have, but what about preventing more stress from piling up?

Assessment, assessment, assessment! In order to prevent stress from affecting you, you must assess what stresses you out. You cannot rid yourself of all of the stress, but you can choose how you will react to it. The best way to prevent stress is to practice saying the word, 'no.' It sounds so simple but once you realize how many commitments you make a day that are unnecessary, you'll see why saying no is imperative.

Do not be shocked when you see it is a hard habit to break, either! Prioritize what needs to be done the most, and slowly choose the rest of your committments. Other ways to prevent stress are to assess living and working situations. If they are too stressful, think about altering these environments.

The world needs you at your best. And you can be that way. But please, take time for yourself. It may not seem necessary, but in today's crazed world, it is the best thing you can do for yourself. And it's fun, too.

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SAMHSA's Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health