Commentary

June 8, 2012

Chaplain's Corner

Stressed Out Lately?

by Staff Sgt. Stacy Irvin
452 AMW, chaplain assistant

Life can really throw zingers at our game plan, huh? We are so eager to excel in our lives by hoping that certain events will occur, which catapult us to the next and better level. Yet, when a myriad of changes occur simultaneously, we can easily become stressed or overwhelmed. I speak from experience because this has happened to me on more than one occasion, but there is a solution to the madness. Let us take a backseat to life’s crazy situations to remember those all-important stress relieving tactics.

First, self-talk is essential in reminding one that the end-result is not always as bad as it seems, while all along, creating optimism and perseverance (assuming it’s a blessing). If there is an obstacle in your path, self-talk can help you maneuver around it by applying the “worst case scenario” versus “most likely case scenario.” This can instill a sense of relief, and “it can’t get any worse” type of outlook.

Another tactic to practice while in stress-mode is simply taking frequent breaks. Breaks can be any action that takes your mind away from stress, such as a walk, a warm bath, listening to music, playing a game or journaling. Deep, slow breathing is another exercise that provides convenient and simple stress relief. Laughter can physically release tension and bring one back to a more positive presence.

Time management aids in accomplishing ones goals through prioritizing, but also provides stress relief. Knowing that you have a solid plan in place allows for confidence in what you are doing and overrides scatter-brained style of behavior, which in itself is a stress enhancer. Regular exercise is another terrific stress reliever both mentally and physically. A poor diet can actually exacerbate stress, whereas, a healthy and balanced diet can increase greater physical and emotional wellness.

The last tactic to mention is the application of assertive communication. Relationships of all sorts can be vital in relieving stress in our lives. Keeping relationships healthy through effective communication is very important in preventing unnecessary stress buildup. After all, how many times can you count where venting to a friend or family member helped relieve a stressful situation?

Having open communication, regular self-talk, taking care of yourself, utilizing breaks and time management skills are all extremely effective measures for relieving stress. Good enough reason for me to take a walk or munch on a healthy snack right now! Here is to hoping you all breathe easy and keep the stress under control!

God Bless.




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