Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 13, 2017 11:29 PM

Today's fast-paced lifestyle has created more anxiety and stress than ever before. Jobs, traffic, relationships, children and moving all serve to enhance stress levels. Our bodies are designed for "fight or flight" to counteract threats, and we are under constant assault from pressures of this world; however, we can have more control over our lives by learning ways to combat stress.

Stress can manifest itself physically with a variety of health concerns, such as impaired memory, sleeplessness, overeating, digestive issues, and severe headaches. Stress management/chronic stress puts your health at risk. Fortunately, there are avenues open to us to reduce these problems.


Yoga teaches us to breathe properly and deeply. We can slow our heart rate by tightening the diaphragm. As we inhale deeply and exhale fully and slowly through a slightly opened mouth, oxygen is pulled into the body and its life force begins to rebuild cells and improve physical and psychological conditions. Shallow, superficial breathing compromises our immune system and allows illnesses to wreak havoc. To improve circulation, expand the lungs to take in more oxygen.


Activity helps calm us and change our disposition. Our perception of what we are feeling determines how well we accept or deny it; hence, the psychological component of exercise becomes a reality. 30 minutes of sustained activity each day helps to keep us physically and mentally fit. We are more content with our daily lives and the people with whom we come in contact. This blissful contentment gives us more confidence, and we are better able to perform.


Social interaction is very important to emotional well-being. Keep the mind active by learning new skills and creating new ideas. To raise our self-confidence is to see the world in a new light, allowing us to want to be of service to others through volunteering, giving to the needy, spending time with others who need companionship, and spending time with family. Actually, familial bonding may be one of the most significant roles we can foster in order to keep ourselves grounded and free from stress.


When we spend an inordinate amount of time concentrating on one part of our being instead of spreading our lives out across a healthy day, we make it difficult to have stable connections with others. Whether we are putting in long days at work and coming home with just enough time to go to bed or whether we are sitting all day and watching television, our lives are out of balance. We may notice stiff necks, muscle spasms in the back, coughs, poor concentration, or fatigue. Unless we can change our pattern and work to even out the different aspects of our lives, we will continue to have these manifestations. We can balance work with family time, social interaction with friends, giving of self to others or to worthy causes, or quiet time sitting in a sunny location reading or writing in a journal. Partition all these concepts like a healthy plate with divisions for proteins/fats, carbohydrates, and leafy greens. When we can segment the different parts of our lives, like a plate of healthy food, we may find they work together better to give us a more desirable lifestyle and a healthier outlook.


We cannot downplay the importance of a good night's sleep to reduce stress. Our sleep environment enhances or is detrimental to restful slumber. While soothing sounds, darkened room, and optimum temperature will certainly help us sleep better, the comfort of our beds can ease some of the physical problems, such as neck or back pain. Mattresses that contour to our bodies provide a kind of symbiotic relationship reminiscent of being cradled in our mother's arms. Of course, there are people who prefer the innerspring mattress. In either case, our individual needs and desires can be met by trying out the various types before we purchase.

Stress and anxiety are not natural occurrences. Just as we have allowed them to settle on us like a fog, we can rid ourselves of them by being proactive in how we handle situations in our lives, and it is imperative that we do so.

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