How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Stress will Kill you!

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Did you know that the American Psychological Association has found all kinds of health related problems associated with poorly managed stress? Besides the hectic holiday season we are going through now, doctors are warning against abnormal levels of stress and anxiety.

To give you a little overview of stress and how it effects your overall health I want to give you a little history in why stress can be unhealthy for your body.

Our ancestors were blessed with a mechanism in their bodies in which gave them the ability to overcome immediate adversity. Our bodies today have this same mechanism, however today it is not used correctly.

When our ancestors were confronted with immediate danger their bodies were flooded with Cortizol, which is like a hormone that gave them extra power in their “Fight or Flight” mode. This mechanism was only meant for their survival and not intended to be long-lasting.

Fast forward to 2014 and we have an epidemic of stress related health problems. Our bodies were not meant to get a continual burst of Cortizol and Adrenalin over long periods of time. These hormones were only meant for periodic instant use but not for an all day continued support.

So what do these two hormones do and how do they wreck your good health? Over years of constant use these two hormones are responsible for part of the obesity and other more severe health problems we face today.

For more information on how bad stress can be for your body, please go check out my blog at

Managing stress is a skill you must learn if you want to avoid obesity, high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and a high risk for heart disease. Try some of these tips and strategies to control and manage stress levels.

How to Manage Anxiety and Stress

If your daily life is full of toxic stress and you just can’t seem to get it under control, you have to try different things to protect your health. There are many healthier ways to manage and keep stress under control, but they all require change.

You have to change how you react to stress, or you have to change the situation that forms the stress. Either change is sure to get stress under control.

Also remember that there is no solutions that “one size fits all” in managing stress. That is why experimenting with these different strategies is necessary to find out what best works for you.

When deciding which options to use for your benefit, try remembering the four “A’s” which are:

  1.  Avoid – avoid the stress
  2.  Alter – alter the stress
  3.  Adapt – adapt to the stress, and finally
  4.  Accept – accept the stress

It is understandable that not all stress can be avoided, like at work, but again its not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. There are a number of stressors in your life that CAN be avoided or eliminated:

1. Learn how to say “NO” – knowing your strengths and weaknesses is mandantory to know your limits. Whether it is in your personal or professional life, accepting more than you can handle is a for sure way of compromising your limits.

2. Avoid the people that stress you out – if someone is consistently causing you stress that you simply can not control, you have to do this: limit the time you spend with this individual, or stop and end the relationship entirely. If at work, try ignoring the individual as if they were never there.

3. Controlling the environment and situation –  Change your environment when you feel that stress signal beginning to ring. If you find that watching the evening news stressing you out, turn the TV off. If it may be the commute to or from work that makes you tense and on edge, take a different less traveled route, or try listening to some relaxing music. If it is grocery shopping, shop online instead. CHANGE Your Environment!

4. Avoid talking about uncomfortable things – If it is religion or politics that set you on fire, then cross them off your conversation lists. If you repeatedly argue with the same people about the same subject then never bring that subject up to them or simply excuse yourself from discussing that particular subject.

5. Adjust your TO-DO list – The best way to avoid running out of time to complete your list is to analyze and reduce your schedule. You must distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts”. Drop the tasks that can wait until tomorrow or simply delete them all together.

Alter the Situation

If you can’t avoid the stressful situation, try to alter it. Try to figure out what you can do to change things so the problem does not present itself in the future. More times than not this involves the way you communicate and operate your daily life.

The worse thing you can do is to hold back your feelings and bottle them in. It is very unhealthy to not let your feeling or resentment out.

If someone or something is bothering you, communicate your concerns to them in an open and respectful way. If you don’t do this, resentment will build, the situation will never get better, and your body will start showing signs of stress related health problems.

1. Compromise – Be willing to compromise with the person that is bringing on stress in your life. If they give a little as well as you giving a little, chances are you will find a happy middle ground that both of you can find.

2. Assertiveness – Be assertive in your life and face problems head on. Do your best to be anticipate and prevent them. If you have a roommate that is loud and long-winded, and you have to study for an exam, kindly tell them they have 5 minutes of your time then dismiss them from your presence.

3. Time Management – One of the hardest things to learn to use wisely. This one thing causes more stress than any other. By wisely choosing what to include on your To-Do lists, running out of time can be avoided. You are able to alter the situation to avoid the amount of stress.

Adapt To the Stress

If you can’t change the stress, then change yourself. By controlling your expectations and attitudes you can control the way you are effected by stress.

1. Change your perspective – You remember the old adage of looking at problems in a different light, viewing them not as a problem but as an opportunity. Re-framing problems in this different light will give you the positive energy to overcome the stress by finding alternatives in solving. If the traffic jam has you fuming, look at the extra time travel as a blessing, and not a curse. Listen to a new radio channel, regroup by thinking through a problem you had earlier, and let your imagination come up with a plan on how to solve the problem the next time it arrives.

2. Consider the Sources – How will this one problem look like next week, or even next year? Don’t fret over the little things that have nothing to do with your overall happiness. Focus your energy on the things that do matter.

3. Adjusting your perception – Perfectionism is an avoidable stressor, but you have to adjust your perception. Set reasonable standards on yourself and onto others. Don’t expect someone to be flawless if you are not perfect also.

4. Focus on the positive. When you start to feel stress kicking in change your immediate thoughts to the positive. Think about the qualities that ARE good, reflect on the things that are going smoothly and let this positive energy grow so you can channel this energy toward reducing the stress. This simple strategy helps keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

The way you think can have a profound effect on your health and your body. Each time you have a negetive thought your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation.

This was discovered not too long ago by doctors doing different studies on the electrical energies and impulses of the human body.

These doctors discovered that smiling had the greatest impact of positive electrical impulses in the body.

They discovered that even when you were sad, if you forced a smile, that the energies actually produced endorphin that made you happy.

The muscles that are used to make a smile also trigger electrical impulses and snypes in the body. These then trigger a long line of electrical energies that eventually have an affect over the brain where the sadness is overcome by happiness.

1. Don’t try to control what is uncontrollable – many things are totally out of our control – especially the behavior of people. So instead of stressing over how they react try to focus on the things that you can control like how you choose to handle problems.

2. Look at the bright side – Learn from your mistakes. Don’t dwell on your mistake, but let your imagination think of the proper sequences of doing it right the next time. This simple technique teaches your brain how to handle the challenge if it happens again. You know that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

3. Share your feelings with someone else – try talking to a trusted friend or even a ttherapist It is surely going to open some old wounds by getting it out into the open, but many friends will be flattered that you confided in them, as well as providing them an opportunity to help you.

4. Forgive – learn to forgive. Accept the things that are out of your control and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentment. Free up your emotions by allowing positive energy to flow. Likes attract likes, and more positve energy makes you stronger and more resilient. (In AAA this is one of their most cherished of expressions, The Serenity Prayer: “Lord grant me the Ability to Accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference).

Make Time for Fun and Relaxation

By taking control of your life by creating positive energy, you are reducing stress by nurturing yourself. If you take regular time off to meditate, in your relaxation you renew your energies to be better prepared for tomorrows stress.

The Law of Attraction in Quantum Physics describes this  phenomenon as an energy of likes attracting likes. When you meditate, you are actually resetting your  body so that all stress is stopped.

Your positive energy will grow and become stronger which will help you to  adapt to stressful situations and alter these circumstances.

Healthy way to Meditate

  • Find a quiet place to sit down
  • Close your eyes and try to empty your mind of everything.
  • Try reciting to yourself silently or out loud, something positive, like I am in control, or I am feeling happy.
  • Start by inhaling slowly, fill your lungs to capacity
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Now exhale slowly blowing air with your mouth, forcing air out. Empty your lungs.
  • Repeat these steps for about five minutes. This will relax your body and relieve stress.
  • Do this several times a day, if necessary to stop stress and anxiety.

Alternatives to Relax and Reset your Body

  •  Go for a walk
  •  Call a good friend
  •  Work in your garden
  •  Read a good book
  •  Get a massage
  •  Listen to music
  •  Take a long hot bath
  •  Light scented candles
  •  sweat out tension in a good workout
  •  Spend some time in nature

Remember that nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. Don’t get caught up in the busy way of life and forget to take care of yourself. This is where disease, inflammation and sickness gets started.

This would be a great time to reset your clock with a more healthier lifestyle approach to managing your energies.

1. Set aside time to relax – this is necessary; the more stress in your life the more breaks are needed. You counter stress with relax and meditation time, even if it is only a five minute “time-out”. Do this on a regular basis, several times a day if necessary to reduce stress for a healthier lifestyle.

2. Get more sleep at night – One of the biggest things of reducing stress is to get more sleep. Your body is riddled with cortizol every time you get stressed. This is known to age your body and without getting sleep your hormones stay out of balance.

3. Reduce alcohol consumption – Too much of anything is bad for you, whether it is food or alcohol. Too much alcohol interferes with your liver in detoxification of toxins in the body. You won’t reach a deep sleep state if you drank too much.

4. Exercise regularly – This is the best remover of stress and the hormone cortizol. If all you can do is walk, then a two mile walk daily will do wonders for your stress reduction.

5. Eat good foods – eating fast foods repeatedly is not a good idea. You consume too much bad fried oils with foods and way too many calories and never nourish your body with good vitamins and minerals.

I hope that you find practicing these few techniques will greatly reduce your stress levels. The strategies discussed here will insure your body becoming healthier, and living a happier life.

If you find these strategies helpful, please share them with your friends.

I look forward to hearing from you and any comments or suggestions you may have.

To Your Health

2 thoughts on “How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety”

  1. Wow Ken, what a great article.
    I don’t carry a lot of stress personally, but it’s so important to understand and prepare for, that I’m slowly becoming an expert.
    I exercise regularly (several times a day). I have practiced stretching, yoga and deep breathing to help alleviate and avoid lower back pain.
    I was recently introduced to Meditation, almost exactly what you advise above. I’ve only been doing 5 minutes sessions, and only for a couple of days. But, it is going to become a part of my daily routine.
    Thank you for the wonderful article and the beautiful website. I will be back often.

    1. The best part of that whole article is about the newly discovered working of the human body – how smiling can actually make you happy, regardless if you were happy beforehand. Thank you Phil for your sincerity and I welcome you and your opinions any time.

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