Shelly Barnes: Are you stressing out? Here’s some helpful tips

Shelly Barnes • Updated Aug 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Editor’s note: This is a revised version of a column previously published in the Democrat. 

Stress is an automatic inner system by which your mind and body mobilize energy. Sometimes we think of stress as how our mind and body cope with change and challenge. Stress is with us all the time. It causes us to take the next breath; it makes our whole life exist. What is a person without stress? Learn to cope with life’s challenges by understanding the two types of stress, how to handle stress and choosing ‘safety valves’ that should help ease stress.

Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand placed on it. Stress is different from nervous tension. Distress is the damaging or unpleasant form of stress. Eustress is the type of stress that makes our life go on. This is the good type of stress.

What to do? Get a handle on stress by considering the following:

• Learn to plan.

• Recognize and adapt your limits.

• Balance work and recreation.

• Develop a sense of humor.

• Be empathic and forgiving.

• Be positive and optimistic.

• Exercise.

• Learn to be flexible.

• Accept what you cannot change.

• Develop friendships.

• Learn to relax.

• Develop support structures.

Consider these stress safety valves the next time you are about to stress out:

• Take a walk.

• Do something for somebody else.

• Listen to music.

• Work in the yard or garden.

• Pamper yourself.

• Be playful with yourself.

• Play a musical instrument.

• Bake something special.

• Jog, dance or exercise.

• Sing, alone or with a group.

• Breathe deeply.

• Talk to someone.

• Tackle one task at a time.

• Watch the sunrise.

• Talk or play with children.

• Take a nap.

• Scream or shout.

• Listen to someone else.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.  UT Extension and TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences-related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at [email protected] or 615-444-9584.

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