TOO much stress?    5 Simple Ways to Let Go of Stress. 

Glance through popular magazines and you're likely to see an article on stress or advertisements about drugs to help you handle stress.  There's lots of information about stress, but that doesn't mean that we're paying attention.  When you're in a balanced state with a healthy, body and spirit the damaging effects of stress are limited and manageable.  This is because you're aware of the stress and taking active steps to manage or reduce it.

Excitement? Anticipation? When you're managing stress you're likely to think of it as being in an energized state.  This is regarded as good stress and is called ‘eustress.’  Do you remember that feeling you have as you're about to ski down a mountain with confidence and skill?  Your heart's beating a little faster, your muscles are tensed, and your mind is razor sharp focusing on the run ahead of you. Or, what about the first time you hopped on the scariest ride at the summer fair? Maybe you were terrified but you couldn't wait for the ride to start? When it was over it felt like a rush and you wanted to do it again?

This is what stress is like when it's fun!  It's high energy and lasts for a limited time.  You feel incredibly vibrant and alive.  This kind of energy lets you get things done with efficiency and pride.  You feel great! The darker side of stress emerges when you have too much of it and are unable to cope with day-to-day living in a positive manner.  Everything becomes overwhelming.  You feel off balanced and begin overreacting.  As stress accumulates you become anxious, irritable, unable to focus, and generally unpleasant to be around.

When you're stressed, your body reacts.  When you can't discharge the stress, it's effects accumulate in your body.  Your heart beats too fast, your blood pressure rises, and your attention is scrambled.  It's exhausting.  Healthy sleep patterns may be disrupted.  Stress drains all your healthy energy as your body shifts in and out of a fight or flight state. If you are living with an auto-immune disorder like arthritis or lupus, or a COPD like asthma, your symptoms can worsen as stress attacks your body.

So, what can you do to handles stress in a healthy way?  Plenty! Learning to manage stress well allows all areas of your life to improve.  Good things bring us stress too: getting ready for weddings, booking vacations, moving to a new home, starting the dream job, can all be stressful events.  How do you handle these situations? Relax. If you want it, there's help.  Here are some easy and practical ideas to get you started:
1.  Get organized: Yes, you can take better control of the ways you use your energy and your time
2.  Be a Friend:  Stay in touch with people you like and who like and respect you.
3. Laugh:  At least twice a day, laugh at something!
4. Be Healthier: eat well, sleep well, exercise by doing something you enjoy (walks, workouts, swimming, you know the stuff).
5. Relax: Take time at lunch or during breaks, or when the kids are at school to sit down and do nothing except sip on a cup of tea, or put your feet up for just 10 minutes.

There are places in your community that can help you as well.  For example, a healthy diet with the right vitamins and minerals help your body cope with the physical effects of stress.  Start a hobby - draw, train for a marathon, sing, design a garden, cut wood, ride horses, write...let your mind, body and spirit enjoy activities that give you pleasure.

Author's Bio: 

Cheryl Charron, MA, BA Adv. is a certfied life coach, recovery coach, and wellness coach.