Organize Your Stress and Put it to Good Use
One thing is for certain, stress has real world consequences. In fact, one reason for its success in infiltrating our vocabularies was due to doctors, in the early 1950’s, contributing stress to what was viewed as an epidemic of heart disease among white, middle-class American men. By the 1970’s, stress became equivalent for tension and anxiety, ultimately defining affliction of modern life. But stress management began much earlier.
The Great Depression in the 1930’s taught many lessons of how to put stress to use such as communities coming together to share gardening techniques and barter what they grew and learning how to forage and find edible plants. Housewives were judged on how many jars they would “put up” during harvest season. Many discovered strengths through optimism and looked at their disadvantages as personal challenges that could be overcome with ingenuity and hard work.
Modern Lifestyle Syndrome
Unlike the stress earlier humans experienced
in today’s society, we can describe the stress most of us experience as part of a syndrome, or “MLS-Modern Lifestyle Syndrome”
where the body is exposed to 3 types of stressors on a regular basis (mental, physical, and chemical). Mental stress appears in the form or intensified workload, constant search for perfection, competition, difficulty balancing work, personal and family life and major changes in values and social standards. Physical stress, which comes in the form of injury, overuse, lack of use or sedentary living. Chemical stress- food additives, pesticides, pollution, drugs (prescription or other) and chemicals such a glucorticoids (inflammation fighting medicine), either naturally produced or medicinal hormones.
Stress touches all social groups and all age categories; no one can truly escape it no matter how hard we try. However, some people are more deeply affected by its consequences, depending on their personal, psychosocial, professional and health background. This is most evident in the fact that 90% of primary care visits are attributed to chronic stress according to the American Institute of Stress.
So how can we manage this stress, avoid it and put it to good use knowing that it is a part of the world we live in today?
Not All Stress Is Bad
It is not surprising that stress gets a bad rap. Brief, minor bouts of stress (eustress) are sometimes referred to as “good” stress because they can be motivating. This type of stress can focus a person’s attention and energies and thereby helping us stay focused and block out distraction.
All stress takes a toll that requires healing, and this fact begins to clarify what, exactly, is going on when we feel its effects. Put briefly, stress drives adaptation.
For example, with exercise: an intense run will tax the system (through oxidative stress and metabolic damage), causing cells to produce more mitochondria, among other responses that result in better endurance. With everyday work and we churn through our issues in our off hours or assign ourselves with personal deadlines, we induce stress that causes use to either adapt positively by coming up with creative solutions or adapt negatively by procrastinating and giving up.
Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage
Because we all react differently to stress, there is not one right way to manage it. Every one of us has to find the method that suits us best. Here are a few ways to use stress to your advantage:
1. Develop awareness of the types of events that cause you stress
2. Figure out the problem, identify it, delegate and act on priorities.
3. Find opportunities, recognize the challenge, change direction and rise-up to it
4. Develop a strategy and a positive mindset
5. Educate and increase your intelligence
6. Get creative and make time for your hobbies
7. Recognize when you need help and talk to someone
8. Don’t be so hard on yourself
9. Take supplements daily that support stress relief
10. Add regular acupuncture to your stress maintenance routine
Acupuncture for Stress Relief
Stress is a problem that infiltrates our society in countless ways. It manifests itself at work, at home and in our relationships with other and it can also affect our loved ones. We should all take time to re-evaluate our stress level for the well-being of our society and ourselves.
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural, stress relief solution and the leading provider of acupuncture in the U.S.
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