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July 2nd, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

I’m feeling a little out of control this week, so I thought I’d explore the topic of stress.

Thirteen Things about Stress

1. Stress is your bodies natural response to danger or threats.

2. Your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper.

3. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.

4. Modern living can be so fast-paced and full-on that stress becomes part of the everyday life.

5. In small doses, stress is good. When stress is a constant factor, your body and mind pay the price.

6. Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

7. Stress can cause a lot of damage so it’s important to know your own limit.

8. A network of supportive friends and family members buffers against life’s stressors. The more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.

9. Managing stress is about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.

10. Spend time with the people you love and don’t let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life.

11. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response.

12. Physical symptoms can include: Aches and pains, Diarrhea or constipation, Nausea, dizziness, Chest pain, rapid heartbeat, Loss of sex drive, Frequent colds.

13. Top Ten Stressful Life Events – Source: Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory

Spouse’s death, Divorce, Marriage separation, Jail term, Death of a close relative, Injury or illness, Marriage,
Fired from job, Marriage reconciliation, Retirement

Source: Understanding Stress

My favorite things to do to destress are spending time with my hubby, because he makes me laugh, and exercising – either walking or cycling or boxing on the Wii or walking the dog. I also like to bake cakes and listen to my iPod. :grin:

What is your favorite way to destress?

34 comments to “Stress!”

  1. Great list!

    I’m going to have to say my favorite/easiest ways to destress (generally), are writing, web designing, drawing and/or listening to music. Of course, watching Supernatural helps, too. :mrgreen:

  2. I love watching Supernatural too. I can’t quite decide which brother I prefer. :grin:

  3. Writing definitely helps me destress, or music, cranked. lol Happy T13!

  4. ….and some of us have paid a high price for stress…in the ER and heart surgery…ME!!!

    Mine is 13 odd towns in Texas this week. Come join me if you can.

  5. No.9 – taking charge, controlling your thoughts and as much of the situation as possible, got me through a professional career of working eighteen hour days.
    No.14 – realize what you can’t change.

  6. Sometimes coming up with 13 items can be stressful too :)
    Nice list

  7. It’s amazing how your body responds to constant stress. For me it’s headaches. Running never fails to destress!

    My T13 is here

  8. I write, read or sleep. I feel this list so much this week!!

  9. Even though I spend my work day on the computer, de-stressing to me is sitting in front of my computer at home, listening to my YouTube playlists or CD’s, and playing around with photos, or looking at art. Really does the trick for me.

  10. My writing and listening to music are my favorite ways to relax. I do need to walk and exercise more.
    Happy T13 :)

  11. :cry: :sad: Good blog for me, I have been suffering from stress, anviety & post-tramatic stress syndrom so hoidays are hard.

  12. My favorite ways to destress are to read and listen to music.
    I love to go to the river, though it stresses me to get everything ready to go.

  13. Oh yes … I would definitely say those were the top ten stressful events. Happy Thursday! *hugs*

  14. Reading about stress, stresses me out! lol Happy TT

  15. destressing? meditating. definitely. and just listening to music.

    Also, I don’t think it’s just being fired from a job that will do it – being laid off is just as stressful, even though there is nothing you can do to avoid it. So many people are going through that now, too.

  16. nice list.

    Happy TT.

    Here’s mine.

  17. destressing to me is blogging at times,reading,listening to music,Spending time with my dog she’s the best girlfriend to have. I try to meditate lol.Has anyone heard of the Release Technique?

  18. Taking control or changing a situation isn’t always possible or easy to do. Reading, walking, or listening to music are methods that sometimes work for me.

  19. Stree, something I must get rid of…..I love to listen to music to remove stress….

  20. Lately, I’ve been destressing by working my way through all of the episodes of Bones.

  21. Hi Shelley! Stress is my middle name sometimes. A brisk walk helps, as does curling up with a good book. As long as I’m not obsessing about what I should be doing :lol:

  22. I dislike exercise, but it is a very good destressor. So is a massage, or a hug, or sex. Skin-on-skin touching is critical for physiological well-being.

    I have a fairly extroverted job involving lots of meetings, mediation, consensus-building, etc. and while I am close to the middle on the spectrum, overall I lean more toward introvert. So it helps me destress to have some alone time, whether it’s with a book or in front of the internet in some way shape or form. Mindless solitaire games seem to help too.

  23. Great list! To destress, I put on a favorite movie, curl up on the couch, and pet a cat while I watch.

  24. De-stress? LOUD music, of course. Always best when accompanied with a stationary bike (preferably either a spin bike or a bicycle on a trainer).

    There’s nothing like it in the world.

    I do NOT, however, recommend the loud music once the bicycle has been removed from the trainer and is now rolling across an actual road with cars. Gotta be alert, then.

    Which is its own kind of stress.

  25. Favorite destressing method–sitting down with a good book and a big bowl of ice cream and/or potato chips ;p It’s a time tested method, really! ;)

  26. I can destress by just relaxing and reading a good book. You wipe out whatever is causing the stress. Another way is to recline and just close your eyes a few minutes and think NICE THOUGHTS> susan Leech

  27. thanks for allowing me to join you and have a little say..hope it helps. susan Leech

  28. I de-stress usually by reading. However lately it hasn’t been working. I’ve had a constant eye twitch for a couple of weeks.

  29. Ah, I’m not the only one who suffers from stress at times. With me it’s coming out as sleepless nights. Last night I tossed and turned for what seemed like most of the night. And I had a nightmare about vampires of all things. That’s a new one for me!

    With me, it’s often the writing that contributes to my stress. That’s definitely what’s on my mind at the moment.

    Exercise works every time with me, although my mind doesn’t always switch off. Like a lot of you I love music and reading.

  30. Susan L – here’s a big virtual hug. Take some time for yourself and do some of your favorite things. I always find a walk near water soothes me – either the beach or a river or lake. It’s the sound of the water that is relaxing.

  31. Amy – quite true. We often stress about things that we can’t change and that just makes things worse!

    Susan L – welcome! I’m so glad you found me. Reading always works for me too. :grin:

  32. My favorite way to de-stress is to sit back and read. What I should do is go fora good long walk. That does it too.

  33. I can certainly attest to #s 5 & 6. I know this, yet I still haven’t done much to counter how unhealthily I deal with stress. Good points!

    Happy T13!

  34. It’s amazing how much stress is a “regular” part of our lives. All our technology hasn’t made our lives easier, but more stressful.

    I like to take a walk or read to help reduce stress.