Updated: 11/07/2016 4:03 PM | Print Story |  Email

Dealing with Stress

Stress is a part of life and something that everyone deals with at some point.  Did you know that if managed well, it can actually be a good thing?  Life & Business Strategist Jasna Burza explains how stress affects us and what you can do to ease it. 

Click here to take her Stress Quiz.

What is stress by definition?

By definition, stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress is a natural reaction to things happening in our environment and a little bit of it is good. The problem arises when stress is overwhelming and it impairs our health and performance.

What are major causes of stress?

We all have different causes of stress depending on where we are in our lives but some majors causes of stress are family issues, your health, relationship issues, and traumatic events.

What are different levels of stress? When does good stress become bad stress?

There is a very scientific scale that talks about how we really need a little bit of stress to get us going and help us optimize and then past that point, we move to burnout.

The ways to deal with stress immediately:

Write few sentences about what is happening

When we experience a stressful event or major life transition, it’s easy to ruminate over that experience; thinking about it can keep us up at night, distract us from work, and make us feel less connected to others. Expressive writing allows us to step back for a moment and evaluate our lives. Through writing, we can become active creators of our own life stories—rather than passive bystanders—and as a result feel more empowered to cope with challenges.

Compared with a control group that wrote about superficial topics, participants who wrote about traumatic experiences for four consecutive days reported greater happiness three months later, visited the doctor less than usual during a six-week period following the writing exercise, and seemed to have a healthier immune system.

Self -care

These tips are very simple: nourishing foods, relaxation techniques such as yoga, massage or working out and the best – quality time spend with loved ones. One particularly good practice is to write yourself a self compassionate note (You got this, this too shall pass, you are doing the best you can, Be kind to yourself). Ask yourself: how would you treat a loved one experiencing this kind of stress?

Mediate or just be quiet and breathe.

You may try meditation or yoga, both if which are meant to quiet the mind but often, when is state of panic and overwhelm – they seem inaccessible. Try just closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Get still and get away from everything even for a few minutes will lower the heart rate and bring you into center. Deep diaphragmatic breathing (I can demonstrate on the show) brings more oxygen into our bodies, accessing the parasympathetic part of our brain (responsible for calm, rest) and what that part is active – the other one has to settle down. It’s the kind of breathing practiced both in yoga and meditation but you don’t have to do either just to breathe – you can do this anywhere.