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Stress: An Introduction
Our bodies deal with stress in many different ways. Whenever we are faced with challenges, pressures and demands in life our bodies respond, readying us to take on those circumstances. This is commonly referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response.
The fight-or-flight response is fuelled by the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream. These stress hormones increase the heart and breathing rate, blood pressure and the rate at which our body uses nutrients and food we’ve eaten. It also opens blood vessels further to allow more blood to reach large muscle groups.
And these are just a few of the things that happens when our bodies are trying to deal with stress.
The stressor -- the event that triggers the fight-or-flight response -- isn’t always something really obvious, and an individual’s response is always the same as someone else’s. However, regardless of what and how we’re reacting to, studies have shown a direct link between ongoing, long-term stressful events and conditions like heart disease, ulcers and decreased immune function.
How to Deal with Stress Tips
Most any doctor will tell you that it is important to learn how to deal with stress and, since no two people deal with stress the same way, it is also important for each person to find their own method of combination of methods to relieve stress.
The Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, lists 101 ways to cope with stressful situations, including:
1) Get up 15 minutes earlier
2) Get everything needed for the morning ready the night before
3) Write things down (don’t rely on your memory)
4) Say “no” more often
5) Avoid negative people
6) Repair anything that doesn’t work properly
7) If one problem is too big to solve, solve a smaller problem first
9) Strive for excellence NOT perfection
10) Remember that stress is an attitude
11) Remember that you always have options
12) Stop trying to fix other people
13) Talk less and listen more
14) Take each day one at a time
15) Surround yourself with supportive people, places and things