Isn’t almost everyone feeling stressed, overwhelmed or worn out at times? It could be a business issue, or something in your personal life, but sometimes life just tosses or throws you one too many stress balls.
Last year when I learned my cholesterol had gone extremely high; I knew the road ahead would be stressful. My internist, Dr, K for our purposes, immediately wrote a prescription for one of the statins. If she had taken my blood pressure after the visit rather than before I bet it would have broken a high reading record.
Rather than get all stressed, worried or depressed, I took some steps to stop the stress.
Don’t delay. Rather than fill the prescription medication at the pharmacy, I took it to my naturopath, Dr. M, who is also a medical doctor. Because medications are my last resort, I rely on Dr. M who knows more about supplements and medications than any doctor I know. She took me in for an appointment right away and my level of anxiousness plummeted. Sure enough, there were just 2 supplements I wasn’t already taking that she felt sure would help.
Acceptance. Knowing that there was another way other than what I had already tried – 3 months of eating vegan style, gave me a little more peace with the situation. And if the supplements ended up not working, then the medication would likely be a sure cure. It also helped that we were ordering a complete cholesterol test, one that goes beyond cholesterol, HDL, LDL that let me know I could accept either direction.
Express gratitude. Now Dr. M knows I feel blessed to have her in my life because she is one of few doctors who let me ask what I believe to be those hard questions. Questions like, isn’t there any other alternative? Or, I read on the Mayo Clinic website …, and she just acknowledges with what she knows. Being grateful gives me space to breath.
Breathing. In my loves, rants and raves personal blog, https://lovesrantsandraves.blogspot.com, I referred to my current love of a new meditation for me. If you stop and take inventory, when you are stressed, your breathing can be barely there. Sometimes it might become so stressful, you might feel you cannot breathe. Years ago, in an online Tai Chi course I learned that – if you do nothing else in the moment of stress, breathe. Can you see me going from Dr. K to Dr. M’s office and taking those slow, deep inhales and exhales? It helps.
Assess your progress. In many cases when we are stressed, we vow to ourselves we’re going to do something about the stressor. What I tend to do is a little check in with myself if the cycle starts again. Am I doing the things I know I committed to? Am I seeing any better results? If I can see even just a glimmer of hope, then I remind myself – to breathe – and pat myself on the back to march on for even better things.
I think what also helps me maintain my sanity and energy regardless of the stressor, is that I exercise and meditate regularly, two of the healthiest things that I can do for myself.
photo credit: Kokotron via photopin, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
As we close out National Stress Awareness Month, what key points about you closing the door more often on stress? What kind of actions or thoughts do you take to keep it in check?
Susan Cooper says
I laughed when I read this. It was as if you were talking about me and what I need to do. It wasn’t long ago when I felt overwhelmed and in need of a serious break. That was partly due to my attitude and party due to the times. The breathing part is something we don’t think about until we make a conscious effort to do so. It really is amazing what happens when we take a moment to do just that, breath deeply. Breath in breath out… now I feel so much better. 🙂
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Geek Girl says
Like Susan this post reads like it’s about me. I also have issues with cholesterol. Unfortunately it’s genetic and alternatives do not appear to help. I am sentenced to a lifetime of statins. Better that than the alternative. 🙂
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Yeah Susan. If it speaks to you reminding you it is you, woo ha!
Oh Cheryl, it IS better than the alternative for certain. No stress there.
Have to agree with Susan and Cheryl. Whenever something happens to me I try to find alternative ways of curing myself. However recently I got cystitis and that unfortunately you need to take antibiotics to get rid of.
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Thanks Catarina. Yes; some things like your cystitis or other issues just need – acceptance. To less stress.
Jeannette Paladino says
Pat — Stress is part of our lives. There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress is preparing for a big event in your life — like your wedding — and trying to remember everything you need to get done. Then there is the bad stress — worrying about money and relationships. It’s important to distinguish between the two. Ask why you’re feeling stressed. Then figure out what you can do about it. Is it temporary — I’ll study for the exam and know I’ll be stressed but it’s only for now — or long-term stress which made need some kind of intervention, a medication, talk therapy,or sharing with a friend. We have to recognize stress as a factor of life and don’t get stressed even more when we’re feeling stressed! It’s natural.
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Yes ma’am Jeannette, there is both good and bad stress and with either, it’s likely we can take care of it with recognition early on. Thanks.
Great article, Patricia! I have to agree that meditation and breathing are huge- I struggled with anxiety for some time and saw multiple psychologists and these are the two things they consistently recommended. I find it hard to just sit and meditate, so what I like to do is go for early morning walks and focus on my breathing. I love being out in nature with no distractions, it’s so relaxing to me!
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Matt sounds like you have mastered – walking meditation. Outstanding. Thanks.