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    Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    challenge posed by Brenda Cobb 406 days 30 minutes ago

    Category: Education
    Challenge Forum

    Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Stress is one of the biggest health concerns we face today. It has been linked to heart problems, dementia, high blood pressure diabetes and many other health issues. Intense, sudden periods of stress or shock, like a breakup, or even winning the lottery, can trigger such a rush of adrenaline that the heart can’t function properly and could result in heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms. Too much stress can cause inflammation in the body, create insomnia and create skin breakouts. Stress could be our biggest health concern since it is linked to so many other complications. Stress can kill brain cells and even prevent the creation of new ones. Stress can exacerbate mood problems like depression or bipolar disorder. Relaxation can be very beneficial in lowering stress. Some people go to the gym when they are stressed. Others are more inclined to veg out in front of the TV. It could be helpful to try deep breathing or join a yoga or mediation class. Many people listen to music to reduce stress and others eat chocolate to unwind. Getting a massage or soaking in a hot tub can be relaxing and help relieve stress. Essential oils like lavender, neroli, or bergamot have been known to help a person relax and de-stress. With all of this in mind how stressed out are you and what do you do to relax and de-stress?

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hi Brenda Cobb,

    I have been VERY stressed out since this school hear started. I have many commitments and responsibilities to myself, other people, and to projects that are larger than myself. What is funny is that although this is the first time I've had this much on my plate at once, this is also the first time I've been so diligent, focused, and organized in my life.

    It's funny how people tend to step up when called upon.

    This is what I do when I need to relax:

    1. Call my best friends - Although it is counter intuitive to socialize for me when I have 2 midterms and deadlines for my startup business next week, calling either of my best friends is helpful because I feel a huge release of weight off my shoulders. Even when she doesn't do much in terms of lifting my workload, she helps me lift my emotional load that I tend to carry along.

    2. Nap - Taking a 90 minute nap when I feel like I need to is super helpful because some days I leave the house at 7:30am and come home at 10:30pm. It is important for me to get enough rest because many studies show that getting enough sleep can improve both memory and mood. Regardless of the science, I know naps help me release tension in both mind and body.

    3. Exercise - I love working out. It helps me de-stress because if something is upsetting me, I can "work" through it when I'm cycling or doing pilates. Also, I've noticed my tummy tends to hurt if I stop working out for extended periods of time. I think that is because my metabolism and circulation isn't as efficient. Also, my back hurts a lot. Oddly enough, exercising helps ease all my back pain. That may be due to the large amounts of sitting I do each day.

    4. Church time - I am not deeply religious, but I am deeply spiritual and tend to gravitate towards people and places with high vibration and energy. I love the church I go to (I've gone since I was little), because the community recognizes me as one of them (even though I'm not heavily involved), and the services are always well thought-out. The music is fantastic and the service always includes a 5 minute meditation. Although that isn't a long time, I always feel a "reset" every time I go there.

    5. Meditation - I love to meditate because I always feel whole and complete afterwards. I try to at least twice a week and would like to increase to daily.



    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a


    Yes, I have been very stressed out lately. I am stressed out right now. I have so many assignments due and we weren't provided the right information. It sucks a lot. I don't leave things to the last minute but there is so much going on in my life that I can't focus on anything. I start ahead to avoid all the stress but it's so much reading within the class. Nursing school is killing me right now.

    I try to take deep breaths, pray and eat healthy. I try my best and leave everything else to the hands of God.


    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hey Brenda!

    I can definitely tell how unhealthy it is when I am very stressed. A year ago, I was in a job and living situation so stressful that it really was harmful to my health. At the age of 25, I had high blood pressure, suffered from anxiety attacks, lost a lot of weight, and was overall just feeling horrible and sickly. It was all cause by stress. I made the choice to make some big changes in my life and ended up changing jobs and living somewhere new and it was the best decision. By eliminating those extremely stressful things in my life I feel like a whole new woman! I feel like the old me again, and I am feeling so much healthier without all of that negative stress pulling me down. It's like a huge weight has been lifted. I'm definitely one who likes to work out and release all the energy when I am super stressed. I started kickboxing last year and it has become one of my favorite pastimes. I am able to let it all out during a class, and not only am I leaving having had an amazing workout, but I also am able to destress and leave it all out on the bags. I also like taking a warm bath or sitting in a sauna when I am stressed, as the warmth helps me feel less tense and more relaxed. There's also chocolate :P


    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    I have definitely experienced the negative health effects of extreme stress levels. A few years ago, I went through a really bad breakup and I was constantly crying and beating myself up about it. I continued to hang on to those feelings for a year and a half afterwards, creating more and more stress for myself. I developed anxiety and started having panic attacks more and more, I also became really underweight. It came to a point where I was so anxious and stressed that I finally felt so fed up with it all that I decided to focus all my energy on changing my perspective. I turned to Vajrayana Buddhism and learned that stress is something that we create for ourselves, it is a matter of interpretation. I took a closer look at the things I had been telling myself and worrying about and I realized that I had been blowing things way out of proportion, was being too hard on myself, and was living my life stuck in the past. I made a conscious decision to change this perspective and within a month I stopped having panic attacks and I haven't had one since.

    In addition, there are 5 things that I will do to relax & de-stress:

    1. Dance -- I love dancing!! I love to go tango dancing and swing dancing, and Zumba even though it is more of an exercise dance. Getting my blood pumping while having fun dancing to the music always gets my endorphins flowing.

    2. Hang out with my cat -- I love cats so much and by spending lots of time with my cat, I feel the stress melting away.

    3. Lucid Dreaming -- A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware in the dream while still inside the dream, and they can then interact with and influence the dream around them. I try to lucid dream at least once a week as part of my Tibetan Dream Yoga practice. The lucid dream state a very deep state of meditation and so by just becoming aware in the dream, I will automatically de-stress no matter what I do.

    4. Play the piano -- Piano music is so beautiful to me and so by creating it and being a part of it, I feel like all the stress and worries of the day are lifted off my shoulders and float away with the music.

    5. Long phone calls with my bestie -- The only person I really talk to on the phone is my best friend. I always feel better after our conversations because we can talk and laugh about anything and we can have philosophical conversations that pull my head out of my day-to-day world. She is also a great listener if I need to have a rant!

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    There are so many people with undiagnosed mental illness. They tell themselves that people will think of them differently if it is spoken of out loud.

    People need to be aware that stress can lead to self-doubt. The self -doubt leads to pity. Pity leads to anger. Anger leads to shame. Shame leads to depression. Depression leads to stress.

    Repetition of the cycle results in suicidal tendencies eventually resulting in success.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Brenda, you have definitely hit a key area in my life today. Last year was my Junior year in high school and I made a lot of changes to my life to try and put all my efforts into my very difficult academic schedule. I stopped all of my physical activity (I was a competitive dancer previously) and threw myself into school and acting. The acting took up so much time that my schoolwork started to suffer and the stress continued to mount up.

    I reacted with anxiety attacks, but the worst part was that I started pulling out my hair. It's kind of hard to talk about this here, but I've come so far since then and believe that going through all of that stress has made me much stronger and who I am today.

    Having said all that, I could not have gotten to this place alone. I think the keys to dealing with stress begin with having a support team you can count on. For me it was my family, my psychologist, my PCP, several of my teachers and my amazing boyfriend. It can really be any combination of people, but it's important to lean on them. If medication is being used to treat the stress, it's very important that you watch for other side effects that can ultimately be more detrimental.

    Lastly, I feel physical activity is super important. At any level that you can put into it. It's amazing the difference it can make when you release the stresses of the day through exercise.

    I am living proof that you can get through even the most difficult stressful times, but like my hair takes time and isn't always pretty. Thank you for this difficult question and allowing me to put this in writing today.

    - Kara

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Due to the fact that I have all four of my grandchildren living with me and my daughter, I'm approaching retirement but can't retire and the love of my life died in 2016, I am pretty stressed out although I don't show it. What I mostly do to relax is find a good book to read and I lose myself in the story.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Good Morning Brenda,
    Happy Thursday!!!!!! Short answer, to relax I read books, paint, complete puzzles, word search booklets, play tennis, and go swimming. All of these work for me and give me the balance I need. Thanks for the great forum!!!

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Good morning, Brenda!

    I don't have an extreme amount of stress, but this first semester of college has been pretty stressful in comparison to high school and what I thought. I think my family being so far away from me is a stress-er that I didn't consider. I honestly didn't think it would really affect me.

    One of the things I do to try to eliminate stress is I paint. I just got into painting about 5 months or so ago and I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. When I am painting, I have to drop my thoughts from everything else to concentrate at the task at hand and it allows me to relax before I have to think about what is stressing me. Another thing I do is hang out with some friends. By spending my time with them, I am yet again distracted. We will do something fun or go workout. Both seem to get my mindset in a more positive direction.

    Enjoy your day!

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    In my house, we recently had a new bathtub put in, and this one is actually capable of filling with water for a bath (the last one we had couldn't do that because the previous owners had a fear of drowning, so they took out the tub's ability for baths). After a good hot soak for about five minutes, I was more relaxed and not as stressed out as I was. I also find that sometimes just walking away from what's stressing me out for a little bit is also good, then I can come back to it with a clear head, and sometimes even an idea on how to solve the issue that is causing me stress.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Good morning Brenda,

    I was diagnosed with depression and bi-polar. I actually take medication for it. I do stress out when I feel like I'm running behind on my school work. One way I deal with it is to sit back and watch some tv shows also like you say, I sit in my hot tub. I also bought a rug hook to work on that. That is nice and relaxing. Before I was on any medication my blood pressure was sky high but now is leveled out. I try to sit back and not stress out on anything.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Jenelu Rose

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hey Brenda!

    I have a fairly stressful job and lots of school work as well. My life is hectic and ever changing. I don't get many moments in my life to sit and relax. However, I know the importance of keeping relaxed and remaining conscious of my stress levels. I find it very helpful to go for long walks. I love to see the foliage and feel the wind hit my face. It is nice to be able to breathe in the fresh air of outside. It helps to recharge and start over. If I had a hectic day or am working on a very challenging school assignment, I will go for a long walk around where I live. There is a very nice walking path with trees that leads to a large park. I take my frustrations out on that walk.

    I also get plenty of sleep. I know when I have reached my limit for activity in one day. At points, I know when I can no longer get productive work done anymore. At that point, I will immediately stop and get ready for bed. Sleep is so important. It helps you to not only recharge for the next day, but it is essential for functioning.

    I also like to talk to my fiance. She knows how to make me happy. I take her opinions and advice to heart every time we talk. Even just cuddling and hanging out with her helps me to unwind.

    Thank you for taking the time to listen!


    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hey Brenda!

    I get stressed often, but I am less stressed then I was a couple of months ago. I had five high intensity courses to juggle with assignment due dates always ending up at the same time as all the other classes. My Character animation course was both my favorite class, but at the same time my most stressful class. We would be assigned a project to make a character walk, or a run and jump. Since this is fast-paced program, we would get as little as a couple of days to finish that assignment.

    Thankfully this quarter I only have three classes. What I do to de-stress are: getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water (dehydration increases cortisol levels), eating enough (I eat like a bird, so I have to make myself eat), reading, listening to music, working on projects, and laughing (funny videos). I also spend time with friends and family, and I try to help them with whatever they need. That really helps me because it takes my focus away from myself so I can make someone else's life a little easier. And most of all, prayer helps me a LOT. My spirituality is what keeps me stable in this hectic place called earth.

    Man, I wrote a lot... But I hope this helps!

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    I think I would be pretty stressed out if I didn't have support from my family and friends regarding certain matters in my life, as well as having a sense of prioritizing and time management. How I cope with stress is I often try to trace back to the root of my stress and work out ways to avoid building up stress next time around. When I'm really stressed out though if I can I would look to somebody else to have a conversation and talk things out, just to release some of the things on my mind that are bothering me. If that's not a problem I would just try to best to stand up and face my problems, face my stress instead of letting it to build up and completely take over me. If worse comes to worse I would just tell myself to just let myself go and do it to the best of my ability, not everything has to be perfect, that I'm willing to accept this failure and just use it as a learning experience and improve myself for the better next time; so basically I try to lower my standards a bit to alleviate some of that stress..
    But other than that what I do to relief everyday life stress is just the regular eating good food to take my minds off things, listening to music and singing/roaring my heart out, or watching movies and dramas and completely avoid myself of thinking of my source of stress x)

    Thanks for sharing the topic, have a good one!

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hi Brenda,

    Yes, stress can cause a lot of health problems. It took me a long time to realize just how dangerous it can be. I remember having a lot of headaches, chest pains, and body aches because of stress with work and personal things. I didn't look good, and I didn't take care of myself. But I realized that it wasn't worth it to allow other people to get me sick and have to waste money on medications that don't help. So I make the time to exercise every morning (mostly yoga), I sleep more, I read, I watch Youtube videos, I spend time with my mom, I do my skincare routine, I pray, I write in my journal, I try new things. What all of these have in common is that I have prioritized self-care and self-love, and have stopped wasting time and energy on the things I can't control.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hello Brenda!

    I am extremely stressed around this time of year! School and work are really getting to me.

    To destress, I like to do stretches! I need to do them for muscle soreness anyway, and they're very effective!

    Thank you for the topic!

    - Anna

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hey Brenda ,
    I’m semi stressed out right now, trying to find the right college for me along with trying to do my best In school whole balancing family life and my normal life in general. I strongly believe that stress is a huge cause of negative health conditions that affect someone’s body. When I’m stressed I like to listen music that would definitely soothe me and lead me to taking a nap if it’s that severe. I would also watch movies, go for a walk, or even call a friend if I’m stessed because there’s many things you can do to keep your mind off of it.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hey Brenda,
    Since this school year started I have been so busy doing alot of assignment, family commitments, and applying for college.
    But i still find a little time to relax by taking a nap, playing games ,listen to music or watch a movie.

    Re: Are you stressed out and what do you do to relax a

    Hi Brenda,

    Thank you for discussing the negative effects that stress can have on a person. I can definitely tell how out of whack I am when I am stressed. I'm irritable, cranky, my skin breaks out, I binge eat, and sometimes I'll cry or yell into my pillow if it is that bad.

    About a year ago, I suffered some awful stressors in my life. I had a job that I disliked, my family was experiencing a hardship, and I was planning my wedding. My husband (fiancé at the time) took the brunt of it, and it caused quite a rift. I knew that what I was experiencing was extremely unhealthy, so I cut stressors out of my life and turned to yoga to help calm me down.

    Now, I work at a new job that I love, I'm officially married so there is nothing to plan, and my family is getting better one step at a time. If I feel stress coming on, I get on my mat and breathe. Sometimes I don't have much time to dedicate to yoga, but even five minutes of mindful meditation and focusing on my breath can make a huge difference. I also like to escape by reading. My nose in a book is a great way for me to imagine other worlds and learn about others' problems, and in turn, I forget about my own problems.