Do you feel tired? Do you feel like you’re about to fall asleep - knowing you have the whole day ahead of you? Maybe you’re irritated, angry, lazy, frustrated or stuck and ready to scream? Whether you fall into any of these categories, had a bad experience or are just in a mood, it’s important to deal with your own personal stressors. One way that ALWAYS works for me exercise. Heading outside for 15 -20 minutes, getting a workout in at the gym, going for a short run or even stretching are a few effective ways I have dealt with my personal stressors.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to remember the next time you’re ready to pull you hair out!
DO – Regain Calm & Clarity
Clear your head by stepping away from the situation - even if it is only for a few minutes. By taking a walk outside and breathing fresh air, you can clear your head to get some blood flowing freely through your system - into those tense muscles. Take a few deep breaths - and come back to work as a new person.
DON’T – Punch a co-worker
Why do you feel like you want to punch something when you’re angry? When we’re in a stressful situation, our adrenal glands release epinephrine (adrenaline); the hormone that gets you all fired up and ready to go. Instead of punching your co-worker and getting fired, I suggest you head over to a boxing class.
DO – Talk
Talk about it! Tell someone your situation, even if you’re a guy. You may be surprised how much better you feel after expressing your frustrations. People who have a high level of social support (I am not talking about Facebook either) may even experience less stress and are able to cope more effectively (1).
DON’T – Eat the Junk Food
Avoid all the junk food that you want to eat during a stressful time. Spiking your blood sugar with doughnuts and clogging your arteries with fast food will NOT make you feel better! Instead of driving around searching for food, pack a healthy lunch filled with protein and veggies.
DO – Stay positive
Remain optimistic about your situation! An interesting fact is that people with an upbeat and optimistic explanatory style tend to live longer and healthier lives than their gloomy counterparts (2). Your explanatory style is your ability to deal with stress. Optimism may even help with maintaining your immune system under stress. (1)
What are some of the things YOU do to deal with stress? Let us know!
Straub, O Richard. Health Psychology Biopsychosocial Approach, Second Edition. 2007 Worth Publishers. 41 Madison Avenue. New York, NY 10010.
Peterson C, Bossio L.M. Health and Optimism. 1991.New York: Free Press