Looking for Regional Information?

Strategy to reduce stress

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Health

The best way to combat stress is to draw up a stress management plan. The plan should deal with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of stress and the disorders they cause. Since the stress symptoms vary from individual to individual, the plan should be drawn up according to your specific needs.

A point that you must note is that the plan can treat stress symptoms only; it cannot make you immune to stress. Mild stress symptoms like headaches, anxiety or mood swings can be treated with medication. Even mild gastrointestinal ailments can be treated with the help of medicines. You can consult a physician to resolve the physical problems. However, symptoms like depression and sleep disorders need proper medical supervision.

Counseling and therapy are a must for people who are suffering from chronic stress. Most often a person suffering from chronic stress is not aware of his ailment. He accepts the signs and symptoms of stress as part of his personality. This conception has to be broken gently with the aid of a counselor or a psychiatrist.

People who have suffered from abusive stress -- physical or emotional -- in their early life need emotional support to counterattack the stress problems. There are several clinics that offer this kind of support. You need to find out which is best suited for you before enrolling in a support program.

Do not aim for a stress free environment since this can be detrimental. Stress can be both positive and negative. Positive stress increases the productivity of a person. Hence control your stress signs; do not try to eliminate them.

Stress management only reduces psychological distress. It does not cure your physical ailments. For that you need a separate health check up and help from a regular physician. Studies show that proper stress management can cut down the chances of a heart attack by almost 50 per cent. People suffering from Type-II diabetes who show an increased level of blood glucose also benefit from stress management. It boosts their immune levels and improves their overall health.

No stress management can be complete without a positive frame of mind. You need to drive the ghosts away if you want to benefit from stress management. If need be, you should look at alternative therapies like Yoga and Acupressure.

Yoga, in particular, is very helpful in freeing the body of stress. Practitioners of Yoga are required to do regular exercises, known as asanas. These exercises tone up their muscles and improve their digestive system. The breathing exercises, known as Pranyama,  are especially useful in removing the accumulated toxins from the body, improving blood circulation and pumping more oxygen into the system.

Meditation is another good way to release stress. It relaxes your mind and body, and allows you to drive away negative thoughts. You feel healthy and rejuvenated. The advantage of these therapies is that they need no medication. Therefore there is no fear of side effects. You only stand to gain by adopting them.