HIV Longevity Still Fighting…

21Jan/12Off

Stress (fancy word for life)

After all of the posts in the secret article thread, I figured it was time to tackle stress. It’s also a very good time to bring it up, considering our last post was about living longer. One thing we didn’t discuss during that article was managing your stress levels. The main reason for this, is because I believe that stress deserved an entire article of its own.

Did you know that a certain amount of stress is actually healthy? And, it can inspire you to achieve new levels. For this reason, you shouldn’t try to utterly avoid it … Often I find that stress in small doses is actually welcomed! It keeps me on my toes and motivates me to take action.

Obviously everyone responds to stress differently. What seems impossibly stressful to one person might appear easily handled by another. And, we are each stressed at different levels for different things.

Regardless of whether you call it the fight-or-flight response, a stress response, simply a reaction, or something entirely different, it all boils down to the same thing. In a nutshell, we have physical and mental reactions to things that happen to us in life.

Common Causes for Stress
As I said, there are many levels of stress and tons of things that cause stress. Here is a list of a few of the more common ones:

  • Greater Responsibility and Demands at Work
  • Having Children
  • Going Through a Divorce
  • Losing Your Job
  • Financial Responsibilities
  • Changing Your Job
  • Changes in Family Relations
  • Changes with Your Social Life
  • Preparing for a Life Change

Recognizing Stress
Stress received because of a threat is easy to identify. Your nervous system instantly responds by releasing hormones (e.g. adrenaline and cortisol). These hormones energize you and prepare your body for emergency action! This kind of stress can be a life-saving instinct.

However, not all stress comes from a life threatening event and therefore can be harder to notice. With bodily awareness, you may notice things like: quickened breath, faster heart rate, muscles tightening, elevated blood pressure, and even enhanced senses.

Realizing that you are feeling stress will often lead to discovering the stressful source and battling it. Remember that some forms of stress can actually be motivational. Embrace your stress, control it, and use it to improve the situation.

Ways to Combat Stress
The best possible thing you can do is pay attention to your stress and empower yourself to control it. With careful awareness and focus, you can become the master over your stress.

I have found that some of the best deterrents of damaging stress are:

  • Routine Exercise
  • Healthy Diet
  • Sleep and Proper Rest
  • Tracking Your Goals
  • Focusing on Family and Friends
  • Owning and Caring For a Pet (don’t laugh)
  • Reading
  • Hobbies and Extracurricular Sports

Use your own ideas and thoughts to come up with your list of stress deterrents.

Note: When I say sleep, you must understand that excessive sleep can lead to additional stress and in some cases depression. You need to find a healthy balance. I have found that at my age (45 years young) that 7.5 hours of sleep is precisely what I need.

Resources to get You Through the Tough Times
If your stress has become overbearing, you might need to seek outside counsel. Here are a few ideas to help you with this:

  • Medical Physician
  • Life Coach or Mentor
  • Health Insurance Services
  • Family and Friends
  • Online Social Media Friends and Groups
  • Religious or Spiritual Leaders
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Local and Regional Crisis Center or Hotlines
  • Books and Web Sites

Obviously this is only a partial list. Your options are limitless.

If you feel that life is dragging you down and you are losing hope, you must realize that you may have a deeper level of depression and might need to seek help.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, or is depressed, please call the suicide hotline at: 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK) or visit them online at:
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Hopefully this post was beneficial!

Written with love,
V

p.s. This post is a chapter in my blog-book, The Secret to Longevity. Checkout my similar posts here: http://hivlongevity.com/the-secret. Or, follow the goodie trail:
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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (1) Trackbacks (2)
  1. Vaughn, thanks for inviting me to the HIV Longevity blog. The articles are refreshing, and real about life and everyone. In managing “Stress: fancy word for life,” I have been bringing more of my awareness to how my own thought habits and beliefs/attitudes color my experience and perception of what’s happening in Life. Habits of thought and beliefs from the past are often contributors to “Stress.” Choosing awareness of my busy mind, old beliefs and habits of making meaning/attitudes, I find a golden opportunity to choose and transform my experience and how I handle Life. It’s all one big relationship!