Beat the Burnout!!!

The first step in removing stress for your life is to recognize the stressors.  Then you must decide if they are beyond your personal control.  Once you have identified and analyzed the stressors it now a matter of learning to cope with them and accept the things you cannot change.  If you can make changes to the stressors the solution is finding the help or support you need.

Training yourself to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress will enable you to make changes before stress damages your mental and physical health.  Common symptoms of stress include irritability, loss of concentration, difficulty sleeping, indigestion, hot flashes and headaches, a recurring issue such as chest pain, trouble sleeping, low sex drive are also signs of stress.  Excessive use of tobacco, caffeine and alcohol can also bring on the signs and symptoms of stress.

Once you determine how you respond to stress, you can manage it better and avoid the extreme cost of chronic health problems.  There are several simple ways of beating the burnout and stopping yourself from being consumed by stress.

Exercise: A regular exercise regime helps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and positive blood flow to the brain which keeps you mentally sharp.  Scientific studies have shown that exercise decreases the production of stress hormones and increases the body’s resistance to disease and stress.  An Iowa State University study showed that an aerobic exercise regime was associated with higher levels of antibodies and a decrease in patient’s depression levels.  Whether it’s an intense free weight workout, yoga, mountain biking or hiking, regular exercise has been shown to decrease the occurrence and severity of stress related diseases.

Laugh: Make sure you have FUN everyday.  Laughter and fun reduces your stress levels and makes you feel better naturally.

Avoid the news: Most news is bad news!  A continuous diet of depressing news will only make you feel worse and elevate your stress levels.  Take a break from the news on a regular basis, stop reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV.  Notice how there is never anything positive or happy on the news?  There is a reason for this, we are a society that loves drama and we feed off of negativity!  Stop the cycle today.

Silence: Silence is a luxury in our hectic and chaotic world.  Make a point to take a break every day from the information overload and endless noise.  Find a place where you can escape the noise and empty your mind.  This is a simple way to reconnect with you and to take a break from your stressful surroundings.

Focus: Get your priorities straight!  Procrastination and scrambling to finish last-minute task increases your stress levels.  Create a habit of planning. Leave yourself plenty of time in your schedule to handle unexpected events that will pop up from time to time.  This will help you manage your stress level when these events occur.  Proper planning will prepare you and help you avoid the stress pitfalls.

Connect with a friend: Talking to a close friend, family member or therapist can help you see things from a different perspective.  Talking openly with someone you trust is a great way of unwinding and getting things off your mind.

It’s Ok to say NO: We to often get in the habit of responding to everyone who asks for our help.  You have to think about your own personal time and health before you agree to give of yourself all the time.  Put you first, it’s ok to be selfish when you are talking about your health and wellbeing.

Follow your passion: Getting involved with activities that you love will help prevent the harmful effects of stress.  Engaging yourself mentally is a great way to avoid stressful situations in your life.

Rest your muscles: Stress causes tension in your muscles.  Passive stretching, hot showers/baths, and massage are great ways to ease the strain and help you relax.

Set attainable goals: You are not a superhero!  Don’t set unreasonable goals for yourself.  Set achievable goals and give yourself sufficient time to accomplish your objectives.  Understand the setback will occasionally happen.  When you run into a roadblock, regroup and push forward.  Never give up and you will achieve all your goals.