‘My Head to Clearer Thinking:’ Managing Stress
“I pledge my head to clearer thinking” is part of the 4-H pledge. Clear thinking helps us to make wiser choices/decisions but when we are under a lot of stress our thinking can be cloudy and our bodies can experience short and long term negative effects.
Some consider me to be one of the most positive, inspiring people they know but I too have to deal with stress. Recently a lot of change has happened in my personal and professional life. Like many, I just pushed through with my daily routines. My body had been giving me clues, tension in shoulders, headaches, and the final kicker, elevated blood pressure. Gasp!
Stressed defined in “Fact Sheet on Stress” by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as the brain’s response to any demand. Yes, any demand can be a stress trigger. Often we see the word “stress” in a negative way but not all stress triggers are negative. For example, finding out you just landed your dream job and will have to move. What creates high stress in one person may not do the same in another person.
Prolonged unaddressed stress will have negative effects mentally, physically, or both. Know your personal stress thresholds and do not ignoring those signals. You don’t want to get the frowny face from your doctor like I did.
Though stress is a part of life, being prepared to deal with it is key to successful living. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to be more healthy, coping or reducing stress in your life and have many health benefits. There are several great publications from University of Florida IFAS Extension concerning recognizing and dealing with stress. Below are just a few.
To read more of the NIMH’s Fact Sheet on Stress go here: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
Here are a Few Stress Busters:
- Be creative (Have you tried the adult coloring books?)
- Laughter (Find your favorite funny movie/person and laugh out loud but not at work.)
- Have a good support network & get the help you need.