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JimTurner's avatar

How do you manage stress in your life?

Asked by JimTurner (1370points) December 2nd, 2013

Stress can be one of the main causes of deteriorating health. It can lead to depression, high blood pressure and in some cases obesity or weight loss.

What are some of the activities you do when you feel you are carrying a large anvil on your back?

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20 Answers

Mariah's avatar

I play the piano really, really loud, and sing really, really loud.

thorninmud's avatar

There was a recent TED talk that presented some interesting research on stress. First, there was a large-scale study that asked subjects to rate the amount of stress in their lives. It also asked them whether or not they believed stress to be harmful. Then it observed mortality rates among the group over a few years. It found that the highest mortality rate (+47%) was among those with high stress and who believed stress to be harmful. No big surprise there. But the lowest mortality was not among those with low stress; it was among those with high stress, but who did not think that stress was harmful.

This is hard to understand, but a Harvard study sheds some light on why that may be. It exposed subjects to artificially stress-inducing scenarios, but only after priming them to view stress in one of two ways: Some were told that stress is physically harmful; others were told that the physiological manifestations of stress (increased heartbeat, rapid respiration, sweating, etc.) are simply the body’s way of preparing you to meet a challenge, and that it is a good thing. The “stress is bad” group experienced vascular constriction during stress, which is a dangerous condition. The “stress is good” group experienced all of the usual stress responses, but without the vascular constriction.

The upshot of the talk was that, ironically, what makes stress harmful is believing that stress is harmful. Viewing stress as an ally rather than an enemy makes sense to me.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Like most normal people do, I drink.

blueiiznh's avatar

You can add to your list that it can kill you.
Activities are one thing. The biggest thing is to not burden yourself with things you have no control over.
I am a big believer in dealing effectively with the thing in my control or things I can influence. Things out of my control are exactly that.
Stephen Covey goes into detail on this in the 7 habits for highly effective people.

Activities that help those stress times:
Take action on what is causing the stress. Do not ignore it.
Long bike ride
Hot Bubble Bath
Meditation Daily

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I remove the source. Often it is people I don’t want around me, so I avoid these types like the plague. Rarely do I take work from people I distrust and don’t like. I stopped watching TV years ago and this not only relieved a lot of unexplained background stress and allowed a sea change in attitude and creativity, but I now have a much more positive view of the world and its future. I used to go to the gym 3 – 4 days a week. Now I just remain active. I sail, swim, dive, hike, bike, kayak. I meditate and do a little yoga. And when I socialize, I surround myself with good, interesting people.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I like doing a yoga/Pilates blend routine I found awhile back on It’s only 15 minutes, but the stretching and breathing really help. I actually just finished doing it after a 30 minute cardio kickboxing workout found on the same site. I feel much better now. :)

I probably sound like I’m trying to sell what’s on that site, but I’m not. It’s all free – I’m just a big fan of them.

Lying in a dark room and listening to music for awhile also helps.

blueiiznh's avatar

p.s. Don’t sweat the small stuff. most everything is small stuff.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I take it out on others, particularly if they’re better off than myself.

JLeslie's avatar

Not well lately. I just decided yesterday I don’t care what my husband wants for something we are struggling with regarding our new house, and it has set me free. I will get my way on this one thing, and the stress is going down already. It isn’t that he won’t support what I want, it is that I spent too much time worrying about his opinion regarding something that matters to me a lot.

Trying to make everyone happy has been the reason for a lot of stress in my life, a lot of pointless stress. As of yesterday, when I feel stress, I am always going to ask myself if I am giving up my own opinion for someone else’s, and hope the answer will lead me to less stress.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have developed a lot more patience over the years, so it happens less and less often. However, in the heat of a moment, I will often take a walk around the block or two or three. Sometimes I take a hot shower after a long visit with my DIL, and that helps.

When something threatens to come up and ruin a conversation, I try to keep my mouth shut and set my mind on something that is more pleasant, like a future plan or a happy past event.

khajuria's avatar

I do web-surf or play a video game or read a great book .

JimTurner's avatar

Thank you everyone for your response.

I had to come to the conclusion that there is way too much stress in my life. So I decided to only allow people in my life who I enjoy being around. I also listen to music and pray.

There are a few television shows I enjoy and I will turn on a ballgame every now and then. When I am in the mood. I also enjoy reading yet at times it puts me to sleep.

Thanks again for answering my question.

Pachy's avatar

I watch old movies.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I read a lot, play with my dogs, take naps or take a walk, or just sit on the patio enjoying the breeze and sun.

gailcalled's avatar

For me one one of the huge advantages of getting older was the ability to eliminate most stress. Making the right decisions about family,friends, money management, volunteer work, and R & R helps a lot. For times that are not so much fun, like my recent knee replacement and the rehab, I found that I could weather the bad stuff by my attitude. Doing the yoga diaphramatic breathing 1000/daily also helped. Knowing that I would eventually mend did also (although I did have my moments at 3:00 AM while trying to turn over.)

Example; It really hurt. Boo. I lost 15 lbs. Yay.

I find it much easier to remind myself what matters for me now than I did when I was younger. Having Milo around to make me laugh is also a gift as are the antics of my new friend, Frodo.

I am no longer a prisoner of my stuff either. The fewer things I own, the better life is.

And this; Memento mori.

Smitha's avatar

When stressed, I either listen to music or go for a walk alone. I always try to keep myself busy, I either do some cooking or indulge in some creative activities, watch funny movies, read books etc. At times I talk to my best friend and that really helps.

Valerie111's avatar

I take a long hot bath.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

I have to practice my breathing. Breathe in, I calm my body. Breathe out, I smile.
Mindful breathing helps calm my body down. Once my body calms down, my thought process becomes clear. Talking things out with someone also helps. When I am able to go running that clears my head. Taking time for myself is truly what I need to do when I feel stressed.

mattbrowne's avatar

Applied positive psychology, in particular mindfulness.

meenasky's avatar

3 S: Sex, Sugar and Sport

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