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Medical Wellness Archives

Managing Stress, Managing Wellness

2004: Volume 1, Number 2

 

Christopher Breuleux, PhD, RMT

President, Medical Wellness Association

 

Each of us reacts differently to the stress in our lives. Stress can work to your advantage. For example, at work or home, when your team or family works cooperatively and competitively, the “let’s get it done” energy encourages performance and can stimulate new ideas. At other times, your stressors may build up until you feel that circumstances are spinning out of your control.


Chronic stress can raise blood sugar and blood pressure and constrict major arteries. Because unrelieved stress can threaten your health and well-being, it’s important to become more resilient (stress-hardy) by adapting and responding to stress in more favorable ways. Balancing daily hassles with uplifts creates an optimal level of hardiness. Strive to balance stress-provoking situations, manage your reactions, and use effective coping skills. Seek a positive stress balance for both home and work


The following suggestions may help balance stress:

  • Identify stress busters that work effectively for you, such as taking off your shoes and closing your eyes for a few moments, going for a walk, getting a massage, or talking it out with a friend.

  • Learn to recognize when you’re getting close to your breaking point. Don’t let stress turn into distress.

  • Organize and prioritize your work. Don’t try to be perfect.

  • Use a stress reduction strategy that you know works, such as deep breathing or meditation, before you begin to feel overwhelmed.

  • Share your stressors with a confidante.

  • Recruit someone you can call when times are tough.

  • Develop a coworker support network.

  • Optimize your health with good nutrition, exercise, and rest.

  • Find some time during the day to practice relaxation techniques.

Manage stress throughout the day at work and don’t let it build up. You’ll be more caring and supportive at home if you don’t carry the distractions of a stressful workday home with you.
 

 

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(C) 2006 The Medical Wellness Association