Stress Management

relax Feeling like there are too many pressures and demands on you?  Are you losing sleep because you’re worrying about issues in your life?  You’re not alone, everyone experiences stress at times.  Unfortunately stress is a fact of life.  Stress can be helpful at certain times, but also at the same time to much stress can damage your health.   Here are some fun facts where stress is helpful.

  • When you feel threatened, upset or in danger the body’s defenses kick into high gear to fight for your life or freeze and not move;
  • It helps you stay focused, energetic and alert;
  • It gives you extra strength to defend yourself;
  • It helps you to rise to challenges;
  • It sharpens your concentration; and
  • It makes you happy.

Now here are some facts where stress can damage your health.

  • Cognitive Symptoms (memory problems, poor judgment, constant worrying, anxious or racing thoughts).
  • Emotional Symptoms (moodiness, irritability, agitation, depression, and isolation).
  • Physical Symptoms (aches, diarrhea, nausea, chest pain, rapid heart beat, loss of sex drive).
  • Behavioral Symptoms (eating to much or not at all, sleeping to much or not at all, procrastination, mail biting, pacing).

Common causes of stress:

  • Life changes;
  • Work or school;
  • Relationships;
  • Financial issues;
  • Family;
  • Worrying or negativity;

Situations and pressures of our daily life can cause stress.  Stress can be brought on by our exhausting work schedule, kid’s activities, family or everyday demands.  We think of stress as being negative, but it can also be positive things that cause stress such as planning a wedding, buying a house going to school, anything that puts a lot of demands on you.

We are all different and “too much” stress differs from person to person.  Your ability to handle stress depends on many factors, your health, exercise, attitude and outlook, ability to deal with emotions.  Because of the widespread damage stress can cause to your overall health, it’s important to know how much you can handle.  Some people are able to roll with the punches, while others crumble on far smaller frustrations.  Some people seem to thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.

To manage your stress you have to start identifying the source of stress in your life.  Sometimes that is not as easy as it sounds.  Your true sources of stress aren’t always that obvious and easy to overlook.  You may think that your stress is caused by your job deadlines when in reality it might be caused by your procrastination to meet the deadline.

Smoking, drinking, overeating, pills, procrastinating, withdrawing from people, physical violence, constantly doing things to keep you busy are temporary coping mechanisms that temporarily reduce stress but cause more damage than good.

If these are your methods for coping with stress you are just contributing to your health and emotions.  It’s time to make a change and find healthier options.  There are many ways to manage stress, but they all require change.  Until you accept responsibility for the role you are creating your stress level will remain outside your control.  You can either change the situation or change your reaction.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies.  Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.  Try positive self-talk every day.  You can do this while in the car, at your desk, or before you go to bed.  Need some help try these positive statements:

  • “I’ve got this.”
  • “I can get help if I need it.”
  • “We can work it out.”
  • “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
  • “Things could be worse.”
  • “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
  • “Someday I’ll laugh about this.”
  • “I can deal with this situation.”

Remember positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that is causing you stress.  When stress makes you feel bad, try doing something that gives you pleasure, even if it is only for a short period of time.  Joy is a natural way to fight off stress.  Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if it is only for a short period of time.

For more information about how to handle stress visit my website here.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:


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