Stress

By: Megan Tidwell and Emma Byggeth

Physical/Mental causes

Physical:

  • Major life changes
  • Work or school
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Children and family

Mental:

  • Chronic worry
  • Pessimism
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations/Perfectionism
  • Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
  • All-or-nothing attitude

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Although it may seem that the stress in our lives is out of our control, there are many ways we can manage our stress, such as taking care of ourselves and setting aside time for rest.

Ten Techniques to Reduce Stress -According to WebMD's Michael W. Smith

1. Meditate

Meditation is used to help ease anxiety. Just sit up straight with both feet on the floor, and let any distracting thoughts pass by.

2. Breathe Deeply

“Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She's a certified life coach in Rome, GA.

3. Be Present

When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.

4. Reach Out

You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection by simply talking to someone about your stressful situation.

5. Tune In to Your Body

Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day.

6. Decompress

Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes and just relax to release tension.

7. Laugh out Loud

Lighten the mood by watching funny videos or by talking to someone who makes you smile.

8. Crank up the Tunes

Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety.

9. Get Moving

All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress.

10. Be Grateful

Keep a journal to remind you of all the good things that have occurred throughout your life.

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Obama's Interview with HuffingtonPost: How He Deals With Stress

HUFFPOST: Last question. In your seventh year in office, what have you learned about pacing yourself and managing the stress of the job?

OBAMA: You know, the truth is that I'm lucky to, by inclination and temperament, be fairly steady.

HUFFPOST: Your Hawaiian roots, basically?

OBAMA: Yeah, exactly. I think that's probably what it is. Good weather and beaches.

HUFFPOST: Just like today. (Laughter)

OBAMA: So I don't get too high, don't get too low.

I've been very consistent about exercising in the morning. That helps.

But I think the most important -- I'm very consistent about spending time with family. And when you have dinner with your daughters -- particularly teenage daughters -- they'll keep you in your place and they'll teach you something about perspective.

But I think the most important thing is to take the long view on things. We live in such a 24/7, Twitter-fed, constant news cycle, and everything's a crisis, and everything's --

HUFFPOST: You're not on Twitter. (Laughter)

OBAMA: Well, I'm not. But everything's a crisis, everything is terrible, everything is doomsday, everything is -- if it doesn't get solved tomorrow, you know, your presidency is going off the rails.

There must have been what, 15, 20 things that over the last seven years folks have said, "This is it. It's over."

You know, we had the Gulf oil spill, worst environmental disaster in history. Everybody said, "Ah, he's handling this terribly." A year later, nobody was talking about it, and in retrospect, it turns out that we handled that as well as any environmental crisis has been handled.

Ebola -- remember that?

HUFFPOST: I do.

OBAMA: Obviously it's still a serious problem and we've got to get down to zero. But that was probably one of the most effective international public health responses in history, and that was led by us. If we hadn't acted, it would still be raging and everybody else would be at risk.

And so those experiences, I think, remind you that my job is to keep my eye on the ball and to stay focused on what can we get done every single day to advance the vision and values that brought me here. What can I do to make sure that middle-class families are feeling more secure, that more young people are able to access opportunity, that we are safe, that we are working with our international partners to try to create more order at a time when there's a lot of chaos? How do we deal with terrorism in a way that's consistent with our values?

As long as I stay focused on those north stars, then I tend not to get too rattled.

Stress Infographic

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Citations

1. Retrieved from http://www.zenspotmbs.com/uploads/posts/image/93.png

2. How to Reduce Stress: 10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress on the Spot. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot

3. Retrieved from http://www.jkfitness.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/stress-on-performance-14.jpg

4. Stein, Sam. "Here's The Full Transcript Of Obama's Interview With HuffPost." Web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/21/obama-huffpost-interview-transcript_n_6905450.html.

5. Smith, Melinda, Robert Segal, and Jeanne Segal. "Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes." N.p., Feb. 2015. Web. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm.