To Stress or not to Stress?

We all know we can easily get stressed out when it comes to school, work, or our love lives, and so forth, or a combination of everything altogether. However, some deal with this stress far better than others, and it definitely with the help of specific techniques that most can de-stress. This blog post with examine three different websites that provide stress management tips. These three websites will all have a different audience in mind, so there’s something for everyone!

  1. https://stressfreekids.com/13654/reducing-stress-in-kids/

This website is specifically aimed at children who experience stress for various reasons whether it be school, friends, or home life. This website gives advice like, “Be aware that change, be it positive or negative, creates stress for most kids. Make time to relax and schedule downtime for your children. Do not over-schedule. Show your child how to maintain a positive outlook, stop the chatter and lists in their heads, and take their mind off of their worries.”  It goes on to provide techniques to do so. They say to make visualizations and help them tap into their own happy places or to use their imaginations to create stories. They offer A Boy and a Turtle as a story that introduces visualizing. This is one technique we learned about in class to calm down for a few minutes and to center ourselves. It only takes a few minutes to do and is free, and actually works! They also suggest the use of practicing controlled breathing. Taking slow deep breaths can help lower a child’s anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves. Children can use breathing when they feel over-stimulated or on a verge of a temper tantrum. Remind your child to use their breathing tool. Breathe in 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. In 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. For added fun encourage your child to show one of their dolls or stuffed animals this technique. They suggest Sea Otter Cove as a story that introduces breathing techniques. This is a very useful technique for anyone who feels they are worked up or angry or getting to that point. It effectively calms our nervous system and stops the release of adrenalin and norepinepherin.

2. https://www.umh.org/assisted-independent-living-blog/bid/306253/6-stress-management-tips-for-seniors

This website and tips are specifically for seniors and the elderly who live in a senior care facility. Even though retirement is supposed to be relaxing and stress-free, it can be for many people. Along with aging comes new concerns, such as managing your health, how to fund retirement, and a general sense of “loss.” These new challenges can be worrisome and keep you up at night. This website offers tips on how to live a healthy life. They suggest meditation and being thankful first. They say to start with choosing a comfortable area and try practicing some deep breathing. Eliminate distractions around you and take several deep breaths until you find yourself becoming calm; it’s easier to do when you think about things in your life you are most thankful for. Allow yourself to relax and find a quiet inner place of peace, where you can feel content and at rest. We know from class that meditation and mindfulness have serious calming effects. We know from the previous website that controlled breathing works. Controlled breathing and meditation usually go hand in hand, so it’s no wonder why this works. They also suggest playing with a pet. Even though it doesn’t deal with source of the stress directly, it can help take you mind off of the situation and to feel better. Therapy or service pets are a great tool for people with various health concerns; they can create a warmer and happier environment, warn them about an upcoming episode, and bring them company. Overall, the techniques listed here are great for seniors and everyone actually although most of them don’t deal with the stressor, just the stress itself.

3. https://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

It’s no secret that college students face some of the highest stress levels among populations. There are financial, social, existential, and academic worries and concerns at all times and it’s easy to let everything overcome you, but this website provides useful tips for students. They suggest getting the recommended 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep because it is also a fact that many teens and young adults do not get the correct amount of sleep. Too little or too much sleep can be detrimental to your health and mental stability as we learned in class. Many executive functions can be compromised if we’re continually lacking sleep. Our brain needs REM and the four sleep cycles in order to repair our brain and help keep us healthy so if we’re pulling all nighters or depriving our brains of sleep, it’s much easier to get stressed out. Another tip they give is to exercise frequently. Exercising releases endorphins into our body and helps keep our mood in check and also keep our bodies healthy. If you’re overweight then it’s much easier to fall into cycles of depression and anxiety. Exercising 20-30 minutes a day can reduce anxiety levels almost immediately. Although they say to do something you love, and not to force yourself to run or do something you hate, that can give you the opposite effects.

 

Overall, everything mentioned in these articles are good tips for reducing stress in our lives. Nearly every tip they gave was something we had covered in part or in full during our classes so they all seem to be very successful. Of course though your success at de-stressing depends on you and everyone is different. Not every tip will work for everyone, but regardless, they all have real effects in the brain.

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