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Stress - How To Prevent and Identify This Crippling Condition


Controlling The Stress In Your Life

Stress is running rampant these days and it's time to learn how to prevent and identify this crippling condition.

If stress is part of your every day living, you're not alone. What if I told you that you can change your life and live with less stress? Well, you can. I'm going to show you some simple ways to kick this killer to the curb..

We all live with a certain amount of stress and anxiety. In fact, sometimes a little stress can be a good thing. Think about the times when being stressed out has caused you to act upon a project immediately instead of procrastinating.

As you've no doubt noticed, stress can come in various degrees and a variety of forms. A mild headache can become excruciating, irritability seems to arise from nowhere and a good nights sleep is a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. But it doesn't have to control your life. There are steps you can take to keep you strong, more relaxed, emotionally healthy and to feel better overall.

Reinforcements are here. Get ready to change your life with just a few simple tips.

That's right. Following these tips will help you to live stress-free and become more productive.

Reduce Stress With Music

Music releases tension in the body and mind.

Music releases tension in the body and mind.

Meditation To The Rescue

Meditation conjures up different images for each of us. Actually, to meditate, simply means being able to dwell on something to the point that you are oblivious to outside distractions and time. " To be at peace requires us to be intimate with our sorrows, anger, loss, struggles, desires, pleasures, joys and happiness" - Jack Kornfield

Sit silently and listen eagerly. Wait expectantly. Focus on God's (universe) goodness and majesty. Expect change. Breathe deeply and your heart is changed, and peace will follow.

How To Relieve Stress With These Tips

The following tips will only work if you use them daily whether you're at your desk pumping out a new article or sitting around worrying about things you have little control over.

Let's take a look at exactly what you can do to relieve old Mr. Stress:

  • You absolutely must take a break every so often throughout the day. Unless you want back problems, poor circulation and brain fog you'll make this a priority.
  • Leave your desk and either take a short brisk walk or lie down in a dark quiet room. Your body needs a few minutes of complete relaxation. Even 10-15 minutes will make a difference.
  • Breathe deeply. Empty your mind and allow every muscle to relax and let-go. Inhale deeply for the count of 1-2-3-4 and exhale slowly releasing every muscle in your body for the count of 1-2-3-4 (or longer.) Repeat several times.
  • Drink a full glass of refreshing water often.
  • Repeat 6 things that you are grateful for.
  • Stretch your body gently as you continue to breathe.
  • Exercise, dance or walk the dog.
  • Smile.
  • Meditate/Pray
  • Give yourself a hug (or get one from another person.)
  • Cut back on your commitments - learn to say no.
  • Play.
  • Laugh.
  • Enjoy a hot bubble bath.
  • Treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate (raises the endorphins.)

Try to use at least 2 or 3 of these tips each day. You must begin to form new habits. As these better habits become automatic, you will begin to feel more relaxed, both in body and mind.

Things that cause one person stress may not necessarily do so for another. Finding out what triggers yours is an important step to stopping it.

Identifying Symptoms of Stress

Stress is your body’s response to changes in your life. Because life involves constant change (ranging from changing locations from home to work each morning to adapting to major life changes like marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one), there is no avoiding stress. This is why our goal isn’t to eliminate all stress, but to eliminate unnecessary stress.

The following list of symptoms are not to be used as self-diagnosis, but as a guide to raise your awareness. Be sure to see your doctor to further identify something that could be serious.

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Loss of concentration
  • Muscle Pain
  • Tension
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Fatigue
  • Over or under-eating
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Withdrawing From Being Social
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Upset Stomach
  • Excessive crying

Most of us realize that stress lowers the immune system. It can even bring about heart problems.

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Most of us, do not even realize when we are stressed. Stress can affect our health and well-being. Every so often through-out the day, it's a good idea to do a self awareness body check.

Create a Place of Your Own

I love to be alone. I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Creating a place of your own can be done in an office, garden, deck, or a spare room. In the spring, summer and early fall, mine is on the large wooden deck. I have bright cushions on the furniture, a small fountain, potted plants and herbs in cheery colors. An ecco-friendly outdoor rug ties it all together.

Market umbrellas provide shade on bright sunny days. A stack of my favorite books and some fresh organic fruit and nuts are placed next to an ice-cold water pitcher. There's a CD player next to my favorite chair when I want to listen to music. My music is inspiring and uplifting.

I can daydream, laugh, cry or just sit peacefully. Wherever your sanctuary is, it is not a place for working. It's a happy, secure retreat where you can be alone ro ponder, think, get inspired, discover solutions or simply bask in silence.

What Causes Your Own Stress?

Some individuals get stressed easily while with others it takes several stressful events before they're affected. Let's take a look at some leading causes of stress and see just where you might fit in.

  • Financial Stress. This can be type of financial stress from buying a home or mounting credit cards to educational expenses or retirement for seniors. Include loss of work too.
  • Childhood Trauma. A difficult emotional childhood can cause physical stress throughout life.
  • Family Stress. Actions such as arguing, divorce, pregnancy and illness are major issues which cause stress.
  • Death of a Loved One. This rates as #1 in most surveys whether it be a child or a spouse.
  • Personal Health. This rates right up there also. When you suffer with chronic pain, extreme fatigue and life-threatening illness it's just about impossible to avoid stress.
  • Work. In these difficult financial times, you can consider yourself lucky if you have a job. Still, work related stress runs high. We worry about being replaced, downsized or the company closing down. Co workers can also add to our personal stress.
  • Dangerous Situations. Automobile accidents, fires, being a victim of a crime can cause physical and or emotional stress.

Taking Action To Reduce Stress

When we take action, we are on our way to completion of that project (paying a bill, confronting someone, finding a new job, practicing the piano, or finishing a new article). The action is usually followed by a feeling of “relief”.

To help avoid putting things off for another day (procrastination), start listing your priorities beginning with the most important first, followed by less important. Challenge yourself to tackle 1 or 2 of these priorities each day. This alone will begin to decrease your stress level. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment.

2 Proven Strategies For Reducing Stress

Here are 2 bonus stress-free relief techniques, which are proven strategies, for stress-proofing your life:

1. A very important note: Remember to breathe deeply by using your breathing muscle, the diaphragm, or belly breath." As you use diaphragmatic breathing instead of chest breathing your entire body will relax. Inhale deeply and quickly then release your air slowly while hissing.

2 The bodies nerve endings are found in the feet. At least once - a - week treat yourself to a foot massage. You can also do this yourself by kneading the bottom of your feet or place a small ball under the foot and roll it back and forth several times.

And learn to be yourself and not what anyone else expects you to be. Honor who you are by being true to yourself at all times. You are enough, just as you are. You are a diamond, unique and full of light.

As you begin to practice these tips you will:

  • Live a longer life.
  • Have a healthier heart.
  • Find that you sleep better
  • Improve your immune system.
  • Be able to focus and concentrate better.
  • Feel a sense of peace.

How stressed are you?


A Simple Solution - Count your blessings

My grandma rarely suffered from stress. I remember one summer morning, walking hand in hand with her, through the forest near her home. As we created our own path through the beautiful trees and babbling brooks, I listened to her stories about family and life. She once told me, "If you keep yourself busy, counting all your blessings, you won't find time to be sad." For someone who had little schooling, I found that statement to be profound.

I refer to counting my blessings as "instant pleasure". I use my morning walk as a time to count all my blessings. By starting with the simple things like eyes that see, nutritious food to eat, the personality of each tree which waves to me with happy branches, my legs that make my walk possible - I continue right up to the end of my walk counting each blessing.  What a great way to "kick-start" my day.

Have a Laugh or Two Each Day

Take a quick break and exercise your laughing muscles. Let your stress filled body completely relax.

Taking a laugh break at least once a day is guaranteed to help you get more done. Re-nourish your body, mind and soul with humor. Fill your "laugh bank" with these funny jokes and videos.

In Conclusion ~

Only you can release your stress. Worry and stress are damaging. Your very own candlelight which should be lighting your way, is snuffed out. Let the stress go. Give it wings and it will fly away. Your mind will be rejuvenated.

As an old Chinese proverb says “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

Thank You

Thank you for being here. I appreciate your leaving me a comment below. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.



Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 15, 2014:

ChitrangadaSharan - I believe we all are subjected to a certain amount of stress. The key is learning how to manage it as you do. Music is a marvelous way to reduce and prevent stress. Thank you so much.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 15, 2014:

It would be wrong to say that I never have stress in my life. But I am able to manage it quite effectively. I think music plays a major part in relieving stress.

You have provided some great advice and tips to identify and deal with stress.

Well presented hub, thanks and voted up!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on May 13, 2013:

teaches12345 - You are one of many who can say that stress is not a serious factor. I tend to feel this way too most of the time. :) What would you say is the main reason you don't get stressed out? Or are there several factors?

Thanks so much.

Dianna Mendez on May 12, 2013:

I am glad stress is not a serious factor in my life. Great tips on signs if stress and sources that cause it.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on May 11, 2013:

carol7777 ~ I sure hope some of these methods will help you feel better. You deserve a peaceful mind and body. We may not be able to change circumstances in our life, but we can change how they affect us. I had to learn this lesson when my beautiful son was taken from me. Not easy.

Sending you warm hugs dear Carol. Remember to breathe deep as you "let go" of stressful images. Replace those with calm, trusting thoughts. Thank you for pinning this and the vote up!

carol stanley from Arizona on May 11, 2013:

I just found this hub..and it is timely today as I am feeling stressed..just about somethings in my life I don't know how to change. I am going to try some of your methods..Great hub and so well written. Voting up and pinning.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on May 11, 2013:

Vinaya - Thank you for reading this and commenting. I've lived in cities most of my life except for Hawaii. I recently moved from city life to living in the forest and what a difference in my stress level. I believe the beautiful trees and clean pure air have "soaked up" most of my stress. :)

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 10, 2013:

Stress is a part of our life. Research shows stress level in people living in cities is greater than people living in rural areas. Thanks for the wonderful tips.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Louisa Rogers - You have made an excellent point here. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful advice! Appreciate your comments and the votes.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Dear Nell - You have helped to awaken this sleepy hub. You're a doll for taking time to do this. Thank you!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

teaches12345 - I really love your idea of creating a space of your own to relax.

I sure need that and make sure it happens. Thank you my friend and have a glorious day!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 02, 2013:

rcrumble - You are so kind. Thank you very much. Love your comment :)

Louisa Rogers from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico on December 02, 2012:

I like your suggestions to meditate and find some solitude. I also seek out exercise and being outside. For me, in a highly stressed state, "counting my blessings" doesn't really work, it feels like a "should." I usually instead try to name the source of my stress and acknowledge it. Just acknowledging it helps. And one small action to remedy it also helps. Gratitude will come later, but not at the moment of stress. Thanks vocalcoach. Voted up and useful.

Nell Rose from England on November 30, 2012:

Important info about stress, so woken up! lol! no zzzzs for you!

Dianna Mendez on November 28, 2012:

One of the best things I did for myself was to create space of my own to relax. It is amazing how much that helps to relieve stress. Great post and well done.

Rich from Kentucky on November 27, 2012:

Let's wake this one up! No need for ZZZ's on such an interesting hub!

Vanessa Johnsson from Washington DC on February 08, 2012:

I wish I could make my friend, Brian understand what you explained here. Wonderful and very useful article!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 25, 2011:

breakfastpop - Just learning to be aware of areas where we tend to hold tension is another step to loving our bodies. Like - right now. I am pausing to do a bit of deep breathing and stretching for my poor back. :) Then, off to read another great hub of yours. vocalcoach

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 19, 2011:

chspublish - I think I probably benefit the most when writing a hub like this. Puts me in the right frame of mind. :) Thank you. :)vocalcoach

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 11, 2011:

Denise - You are something else! With all you have on your hub-plate, you still take time to support me. You give a whole knew meaning to the word "loyalty". What a treasure you are. Now, get some rest. :)

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 10, 2011:

Hah!!! I've been looking for you on the forum thread and all this time you've been busy posting your work from the beginning. What a joke on me, LOL So glad you joined us. I'll check out your other hubs later this computer is funny right now and I am way over due for my sleep.

Love the hub, and the beautiful song. Now, I'm off to count my blessings-you are one of them. Take care.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 09, 2011:

carrie - It seems we can all use a few reminders on hor to relieve stress. Let's face it - it's a part of life. Glad you approved and I hope you are in good health. I send you healing energy each day. Stay close :) vocalcoach

carrie450 from Winnipeg, Canada on April 09, 2011:

Wonderful hub vocalcoach. Very good tips on relieving stress, thanks

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 08, 2011:

mdlawyer - Glad to see you. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)vocalcoach

Fay Paxton on April 07, 2011:

Got here as soon as I could.

There was a time in my life when I rushed to do everything. From morning to night was a complete tear. I even walked fast. Then one day, I don't know what happened...I just stopped. I don't worry about anything, anymore and I'll see you when I get there. :)

Great hub and greatly needed.

Voted way up and useful

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 06, 2011:

Fossillady - Loved your opening comment. I laughed out loud! Thanks for asking how I am. Much better now. Not completely back to normal, but know that is happening as I breathe in positive healing energy during my meditation sessions. Thank you, my friend. Love, Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 05, 2011:

Genna - You are so on target. Speaking of which...I am going to take a much needed "hub" break right now. A few stretches, hot tea and playing with Clancey (shih ztu).

Thanks, Genna. :) vocalcoach

Kathy from California on April 05, 2011:

Perfect timing and I thank you for some great tips as needed desperately vocalcoach! Stress is the worst, and it is so helpful to find ways to cope! Great Hub!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 04, 2011:

Stress is our biggest enemy and does more damage than we can imagine. Excellent hub, thank you!

breakfastpop on April 04, 2011:

Wonderful common sense advice that makes me relax just upon reading it. Voted up and useful.

chspublish from Ireland on April 04, 2011:

Great ideas for relieveing stress.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 03, 2011:

"If you keep yourself busy, counting all your blessings, you won't find time to be sad." This is such a strong message, thanks for sharing. Great and useful Hub.

neeleshkulkarni from new delhi on April 03, 2011:

I am a atrong beleiver in the power of exercise. it peps you like nothing else.

also what i use often is alternative nostril breathing.inhale deep through the right exhale through the left then inhale through the left exhale through the rightand do at least ten rounds of thses which with practise can stretch to 10 minutes.

the slower and deeper you make it the better the destressing. all forms of pranayam help. the word cna be googled and loads of methods will come up.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 03, 2011:

marcoujor - I agree with you. Seeking clarity is indeed the key factor to reducing stress. So happy to see you! Thank you. :)vocalcoach

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on April 03, 2011:

Well, the first photograph certainly is! I have started meditating, but need to be more consistent! I'm glad you're feeling better Audrey! Good to have you back!

Betty Johansen on April 03, 2011:

Wonderful suggestions for a universal condition. As you said, we need some stress, but it quickly gets blown out of proportion. The gratitude journal struck me. The Lord is so gracious and generous we'll never be able to thank Him enough for all His blessings to us, but that doesn't need to keep us from trying!

(I wanted to read that funny hub by Habee, but it wasn't there.)

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 03, 2011:

Hi, Audrey. What great suggestions for relieving stress. Lily Tomlin once said, "For fast acting relief, (from stress), try slowing down." I think she was on to something there.

Another very smart lady is/was your grandma. Counting your blessings is both profound and healthful.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 03, 2011:

Excellent advice! Thanks once again Vocalcoach! I love the video and think the song is beautiful and very warm and relaxing! Up and beautiful!

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 03, 2011:

VocalCoach, you have done well here, I've so many blessing to count in lieu of any of my stresses and the triviality of then vs the stress that is mainly in the confines of my mind. Thanks for the message, and God Bless, Dusty

mdlawyer on April 03, 2011:

Great destressing ideas. Thanks for the share, vocalcoach

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on April 03, 2011:

vocalcoach~~ Lovely read filled with great suggestions... people need to pause and seek some clarity in it all... Voted UP & BEAUTIFUL~~ thank you!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 03, 2011:

Mentalist acer - You know that I was thinking about drinking plenty of nice, cold H20? But it only came to mind as I was ending the article around midnight. :) Yawn. I was just too tired to go back and edit. So, thank you, my friend for adding this great tip. :)vocalcoach

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 03, 2011:

amillar - Stress seems to be in the air, in our food, through-out our bodies. Everywhere! But we can take a "stress-break" if we put our mind to it. Thank you amillar. :)vocalcoach

amillar from Scotland, UK on April 03, 2011:

Invaluable advice for these stressful times.

Up and useful.

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on April 03, 2011:

Something I do to relieve stress is pour a great big Mug of simple ice-water and meditivly let it relax me,thanks for sharing vocalcoach!;)

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