Heading Off Stress & Anxiety Before They Make You Sick
 
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP 
 
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coach
 
 
bar uninstalling with text:  Anxiety
 
 
 
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, you want to avoid triggering events as much as you can. The fact is that some stress in your life is inevitable. It's a natural part of everyone's life. Without some stress, we would be bored to tears! So stress isn't always a bad thing.
 
 
If you suffer from debilitating stress and anxiety, however, you want to learn to identify and cope more effectively with the events that cause you the most distress. It may be that you need to make some significant life changes to help minimize your stress and anxiety to the extent that that is possible.
 
 
Here are some tips for heading off stress and anxiety before they catch up with you and make you sick.

1.  Proper Nutrition

 
Proper nutrition is listed as the first recommendation for a reason. Proper nutrition is one of the most important and effective means you can use for coping with stress. Certain nutrients are especially helpful in dealing with day-to-day stress. For example, the following nutrients have proven benefits:
 
 
  • Essential Fatty Acids   

        You can find these in olive oil, salmon, flax seeds, and other unrefined vegetable oils. Seek them out and deliberately include them in your diet.

 
 
  • Vitamin D
        Vitamin D plays a significant role in mood regulation. It has been used to treat people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
 
 
 
 
 
 Vitamine D on sand

 

 

For more about the effect of your diet on stress, check out this article from WebMD, "Foods that Help Tame Stress."

 

And you may find this article useful, too: "Eat Right, Drink Well, Stress Less: Stress-Reducing Foods, Herbal Supplements, and Tea."

 

2. Regular Exercise

 
Exercise is also essential for avoiding the adverse effects of stress and anxiety. Don't wait until you feel stressed or anxious, however. Like making proper nutrition a daily habit, make exercise a part of your routine.
 
 
Exercise increases circulation. It also induces the body to produce endorphins. Endorphins have a profound effect on your mood and response to stress.
 
 
Exercising with realistic goals is also essential. You don't want to bring on anxious feelings by "failing" at an enormous exercise goal.
 
 
Don't think that you need to start by running a marathon right away when you've never run before. Keep your goals realistic.
 
 
Maybe you start by running around a quarter-mile track once and walking another three laps. That kind of activity can boost your confidence. And it will give you a sense of accomplishment. These are great weapons against stress and anxiety.
 
 

3. Positive Self-Talk

 
You may need help in learning how to break negative self-talk patterns. Too many of us succumb to the toxic nature of negative self-talk.
 
 
Have you developed habits of thought that automatically involve self-abasement? For example, if you make a mistake on a piece of paperwork, does your mind may automatically begin "beating you up?"
 
Do you tell yourself that you can't do anything, right? 
 
 

Learn to recognize this pattern.

 
And learn to redirect your thoughts. Adopt mantras and positive affirmations that can help.
 
 
By talking to yourself with a more positive outlook, you can better manage your stress and anxiety.
 
 
 
positive affirmation label on file cabinet
 

4. Practice Deep Breathing

 
Everyone knows how to breathe, right? But few people know how to breathe correctly.
 
 
Deep breathing is the deliberate intake of breaths that help focus your thoughts and energy.
 
 
It also promotes the circulation of much-needed oxygen throughout the body. Exhaling deeply and fully is also essential, as this more thoroughly eliminates toxins from the body.
 

5. Get the Rest You Need to Help You Cope

 
Getting adequate sleep is essential for helping your body cope with stress. Everything seems bigger, scarier, and more worrisome when you are exhausted.
 
 
If you aren't going to bed at a time that will allow you to get the number of hours you need to feel rested the next day, you need to adjust that. Everyone functions better after a good night's sleep.
 
 
A lack of adequate rest leads to irritability, and when we are irritable, it is easier to blow things up out of proportion. If you find you are having temper tantrums or emotional meltdowns regularly because of stress and anxiety, consider that perhaps you need to pay more attention to getting the rest you need.
 
 

6. Know the Symptoms and Recognize What Triggers Your Emotional Responses 

Know Yourself

 
Learn to recognize your body's cues. While it varies from person to person, it is generally a good idea to pay attention to things like feelings of restlessness, fatigue, anxious thoughts, and muscle tension.
 
 
Once you learn to recognize the stressful trend, you can take measures to stop it before it takes hold.
 
 
You are the only one who is responsible for your self-care and your efforts to head off stress and anxiety before they get the best of you.
 
 
If this is an area you are currently dealing with, perhaps it would be useful for you to do some work on yourself in a proactive manner.
 
 
I offer a stress assessment that you may find useful. If you haven't already taken the stress assessment, you can download it from here:  Document: 11700-11700-Self-Assessment_ Stress_Proof2.pdf
 
 
If you find that you answer more than ten questions with a "yes," you are definitely "over-stressed," and it is time to do what you can to address it.
 
 
Download this free eBook on stress management if you don't already have it:  Document: 11700-Stressed, Stretched, and Just Plain Overwhelmed.pdf
 
 
Or you may find this cheat sheet on stress management practices useful:  Document: 11700-Cheat Sheet on Stress Management.pdf.
 
 
Finally, I offer a stress management course that you might want to check out. To learn more about it, click here:  https://boitnottcoach.samcart.com/products/nip-your-stress-in-the-bud
 
 
 
stress meter

 

What You'll Find Inside This Mini-Course

 

  • Stress is a fact of life, but it doesn't have to run your life. You get to choose how to manage (or don't manage) your work, relationships, health, finances, and even your spiritual life.

 

  • Many people feel that stress has taken over their lives. They have lost control. They become disconnected from family members and close relationships. They may begin abusing alcohol or drugs. That only makes matters worse!

 

  • This course will help you learn how to manage your stress more proactively and effectively. You want to love your life. And you can, but you have to know how to take control of the chaos that surrounds you.

NIP YOUR STRESS IN THE BUD!

  • Mind your mindset: attitude is everything.

 

  • Healthy habits are a must during stressful times.

 

  • Control your environment. Take charge of your surroundings.

 

  • Manage your workload.

 

  • Up your game with Mel Robbins' Five-Second Rule.

 

  • Set better boundaries with family, friends, and colleagues...even your boss.

 

  • Learn that it is okay to ask for help.

 

Want to learn more before you buy? Contact me for more information. I would be happy to offer whether or not I think this mini-course is what you need or not.

 

Until next time.


Kitty Boitnott
Boitnott Coaching, LLC

Glen Allen, VA 23060
United States of America