Author Topic: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips  (Read 113114 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« on: August 31, 2007, 09:51:39 pm »
Hey Friends,

So, I'm starting this topic really to ask advice about how to relieve stress.  Lately, I've really felt a lot of stress at work to the point where I found my self crying (a tiny bit) in my office at work the other day (over nothing really... so I think it was largely a stress reaction).

Besides hanging out and having good times on BetterMost and/or watching BBM and/or reading fanfic, etc. all of which I employ often as stress-relief strategies...  ;D

What do you all recommend in terms of dealing with daily stress?

Actually, seriously, I've been spending a ridiculous amount of time logged on to BetterMost at work lately too, which is wonderful for my Brokie-self, but I recognize it too as being a sign of stress at work.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 01:03:34 am »
This is a great topic and I'm so glad you brought it up! But, where to begin!?!?!?

I guess something to recognize at first is that stress is omnipresent in our lives. We are hardly better than animals when it comes to the amount of stress we endure.

But, there is hope! You're right that BetterMost is a great stress reliever! And another good to yourself. Love yourself. You must not let that little voice in your head gain the upper hand. You know the voice I mean? yes, I think everyone does. The critical parent voice. The sooner you get rid of it, the better off you'll be!
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Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 01:57:38 am »

        Aww Amanda, I am so sorry you have been feeling down lately.  We all have those times
for whatever reasons.  Life is full of stress, and some lives more than others.
        I can tell you what i have learned to do that helps me, dont know if it will work for you,
but it will be worth a try.
        I dont know if you know but i used to play pool in tournaments a lot..locally and nationally.
I have also played a lot of Poker, and you have to deal with stess without showing it per a
poker face.  But I digress.  The reason why we usually have the feelings that we recognize as stress
related. Is  because we get into the fight or flight response...the protective mode.  We freeze up
like we are holding our breath to not be detected...Our adreneline is raised, and we start to tense up..We get shakey and weak from lack of oxygen.  That makes us more afraid...The cycle heightens.
        Then when we finally start to calm down and relax our adreneline drops making us feel sad and overwrought.  Thus the those are the common reasons for the feelings, now there is
a relatively simple routine to help with all of that...not every time, but most of the tme, and somewhat nearly every time...That is to breathe...long and slow deep enriching breaths...through your mouth....breathe in and hold it for the count of five, exhale every last ounce of air you can again thru your mouth.  then do it all again.. ten times minimum, and more if needed...however usually you will find ten will do the job...
         I am not a doctor, but I have used this method successfully and have taught it to a lot of others as well.
         And may I also recommend the "Inner Book of Tennis"  or other like books they have
some very helpful hints as well...
         You cannot evade stress in our modern world, but you can learn to help yourself handle it
more easily.                                                               Good luck.....

     Beautiful mind

Offline opinionista

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2007, 06:06:08 am »
Hi Amanda,

I am also under a lot of stress. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping and have surprised my self crying over nothing important. The way I manage stress is taking one or two hours a day to do some exercise or go for a walk. No matter how busy I am, I always take that time off. In my case, I run and swim, but you can also take a walk to a park or some pretty place. For example, walking (or running) where there are trees or do some window shopping has been helpful for me. When you do this, you have to take work and its problems off your mind. Another thing I do, when I have time, is take one Friday or Saturday night to go dancing. Or dance at home. Try to do these activities after work. I think it is important to relief some stress everyday after work, and go to bed as relaxed as you can be. 

I am still very stressed out but everytime I do some excersice I relax and sleep better. It helps me stay focused and more put together the next day.

I hope it helps!

You're right that BetterMost is a great stress reliever!

I agree but being in front of a computer when you are feeling stressful is not always a good idea. I guess it works for some people but IMHO it is better to go out for some fresh air, if it is possible of course. (I know sometimes work does not allow it).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 12:23:06 pm by opinionista »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2007, 11:05:59 am »
Hi Amanda and everybody, good topic!

I think BetterMost can be a stress reliever. I myself use it as an escape when RL gets too stressful. It immediately takes me to another world, in a way, so by the time I return to RL I feel better. Sometimes getting away for a while really is helpful.

I've also had a lot of luck with walks. Maybe for similar reasons. When I feel depressed or stressed, and I take a walk I almost always feel much better by the time I'm done.

As Janice says, breathing can be helpful for quick relief. The breath counts I've seen recommended before are slightly different (Dr. Andrew Weil has one that's something like 4 counts in through nose, hold for four, out for seven -- or something like that, anyway), but that probably isn't a big deal. The main point is to stop, breathe, concentrate on your breathing. Part of the benefit is just pausing to relax, but breathing itself seems to have some kind of magical quality. The explanation I've heard is that it's the doorway between our conscious actions (things we do deliberately, like walking or typing) and our unconscious actions (things we do on autopilot, like digesting or our heart beating) -- breathing can be either one.

Offline Shasta542

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 11:41:14 am »
You probably all already do these, but this is my stress buster advice:

Take a walk and think about what you are seeing, not about work or whatever it is that is stressful to you. Think about the scenery, good memories, blessings, etc. Course-ya gotta have time to do that. But it doesn't have to be a long walk every time.

Pet your pet. Sometimes in the mornings when I let the dogs out, one of my old dogs sits on the steps with me. I rub his chest and kiss his face and he nuzzles my ear and shakes my hand, and we have a little chat. It's so nice. Or I sit in the floor and they gather around and sit all over me--that lowers the blood pressure. If you don't have a pet, you could volunteer at the Humane Society or foster a pet for a rescue organization.

Do something for someone else. It takes my mind off my own problems. This takes time, too, but when you have time it's great therapy. I collect things from the Marine's list and make boxes to send to soldiers in Iraq, and I enjoy doing that immensely. But it could be a neighbor or a friend. Whoever or whatever it is--you benefit as much or more than the recipient.
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 12:25:30 pm »
Sorry to hear you have a hard time at work Amanda  :-*.

A favorite stress-reducing activity of my friend is taking a bath in the evening. Soak up real good in the bathtub.

A simple tip for people who have difficulties getting to sleep at night, becaue their heads spin with things they have to do the next day(s): put a pen and a sheet of paper on your nightstand. When you keep thinking: oh, I HAVE to do this or that tomorrow, MUST remember to phone my mother-in-law, may not forget to email the inscurance company, etc, etc - write it down. When you've written it down you can be sure to remember it the next day and are able to let it go for now and get your head free.

For short time stress reducing when you're at work, I think Janice's tip is good. I personally have another method which I can only half recomment: I go out for a smoke. While I don't want you to start smoking, the other part of the deal may be helpful: get out of the stressful situation for a few minutes (if you are allowed to). Get out of your office and out of the building if possible. For me it helps a great deal to gain a bodily distance, to leave the room, for just five minutes.

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 12:42:21 pm »
I find if I am stressed at work because of the work (like I have too much to do) I make a list of everything I have to do--then start crossing the things off as I do them. That feeling of "okay, yes, I am making progress" can do a lot to relieve that overwhelmed stressful feeling.

If the stress is coming from co-workers (friction, not getting along, etc) that is a little harder to deal with. Fortunately, in my tiny 1.5 person office, this is not much of a problem for me anymore. Even so, if I have people issues (irate emails or whatever) I always wait 24 hours before responding. I find that time is a great healer and gives me perspective to deal with the issue.

My best stress buster is laughter and thank goodness for the Internet for that! I can usually find some sort of funny video, article, movie review or something else that will give me a chuckle and help to take my mind off the stress problem.

And if I am feeling depressed and down from stress, I take a page from Scarlett O'Hara's book: "Tomorrow is another day." After a good night's sleep, I always feel better--and I just remind myself of that.

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Offline shortfiction

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 02:42:23 pm »
Walking is a great stress reliever and mind-clarifier.  If it's too hot outside, try walking inside the mall.

If you can afford it once in a while, try a day spa.  Just a thereapeutic scalp massage, reflexology session or something similar can really help.    Guys, too!

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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Dealing with Stress and Stress-Relief Tips
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 04:28:18 pm »
Wow! Hi Buds!  Thanks for all your concern and advice.  I agree that exercise is one major key in dealing with stress.  So, I've been making an effort to be better about developing an exercise routine.  I don't have a gym in Pittsburgh, because I haven't found one that I like here yet.  I used to have a really fun gym in Philly when I was in grad school.  But, now I'm having to invent my own exercise like walks, etc.

I think my feelings of stress lately have to do with feeling like I'm in a rut right now in my life combined with the fact that work is the most significant thing in my real life at the moment.  I devote way too much energy to work and it's making me nuts.  I don't think I gave myself enough of a break between grad school and work either, so I'm growing really concerned that I'm burning myself out.
Work is busy at the moment, but nothing is really wrong... there's no crisis, etc.  But, I'm feeling the urge to behave more and more like a slacker, which is not a good thing at all.

Grrrr...  Anyway, thank you all again for your support.

p.s. I'm so excited this weekend is a 3 day weekend!  Yeehaw!  This definitely is a welcome break.
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie