So you’re not the type to sit in a field and meditate for two hours when you feel stressed. Instead, to minimize stress, you prefer to throw things, scream at anyone who’s closest to you, and basically provide the people around you with a feeling of secondhand embarrassment (you know, when someone else genuinely feels embarrassed for you). It doesn’t sound so pretty, does it? Bottom line, you need to calm the heck down. Not just because it’s hurting the people around you, it’s hurting you more than you may know; stressing over even the most miniscule thing can take years off of your life!
Homeostasis is a term used to define the physiological and emotional limits in which the body functions efficiently and comfortably. Stress disturbs this state of being and in turn creates an imbalance, which can lead to a decline in your health. Here are 4 reasons why managing the stress response is crucial to living a longer, happier life (and tips to minimize stress).
4 Reasons to Minimize Stress (and tips to help)
1. Stay Relatively Organized
When you’re unorganized, you’re more likely to freak out in certain situations. It’s kind of like a lack of control issue; picture yourself rummaging through your briefcase looking for that proposal when 50 of your coworkers are anxiously waiting, the sweat dripping down your face, only to realize 20 minutes later that you left the proposal at home. It’s stress you don’t need! To minimize stress, take at least 10 minutes out of your day to organize what you may need the next day and you can avoid those unnecessary problems. When your “stuff” is organized, your brain is organized. It’s a beautiful thing.
2. You’re Not Really in Danger
People who are overly familiar with stress will eventually develop some less than desirable effects from it. Muscle tension and pain, headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, bruxism, cold or sore throat are just some effects that chronic stress can have on a person. In order to activate the stress response, you only need to think you are in danger. When the feeling of danger is constant and the stress response is always on, the effects of chronic stress begin to wear down on the body. Those who stay calm in situations can receive an overall better quality of life.
3. Laugh More
Ask anyone involved in medical assistant programs, and they’ll tell you that laughter is the best way to minimize stress. Why? The pleasant feelings associated with laughter may assist in modifying some of the neuroendocrine elements of the stress response. In other words, laughing lifts your mood by increasing your body’s amount of endorphins- the mood-elevating, pain-relieving chemicals that your brain produces naturally. Chuckling has consistently been shown to improve mood and minimize stress. The more you laugh, the happier you are, and the more resistance your body has to infection and other health problems.
4. The Power of the Mind
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so, “ said William Shakespeare. Stress affects your body, your physiology, and your mind. The stress response begins with a single thought. You may not realize it, but your thoughts, feelings, and emotions have an intense impact on your quality of life. Just by thinking positively, your whole outlook on life can change. Psychologically healthy people are able to develop awareness and gain power over their thoughts and feelings; this leads to a healthy and satisfying quality of life. Anyone can change how he or she thinks; it won’t always be easy, but the best things in life aren’t usually so.
How do you minimize stress – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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About Author: Julie Lee is a writer on health and medical programs. She has written about medical assistant schools in Phoenix, Arizona as well as other college related medical programs.
Picture: Amelia Speed