Stress Management

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Stress management is one of the requirements of those looking for long, productive careers, successful relationships, and longevity. The crippling effect that stress can have on people of all backgrounds, ages, and professions is hardly a secret. Across the board, one of the most consistent responses from workers polled about their greatest challenges is stress management. People are, on the whole, working longer hours and taking on tasks that were once divvied up among two or more employees.

One of the keys to longlasting health is understanding the physical effect that stress has on the human body. For years, the misconception has persisted that the source of stress is the mind and that stress management was a matter of changing one's thinking. While there are mental exercises and techniques that can help dissipate stress, it's equally true that its effects are felt somatically.

The Physical Symptoms of Poor Stress Management

Most everyone is familiar with the symptoms of too much stress. The pulse quickens, blood pressure rises, breathing becomes labored. Some people find their shoulder muscles up around their ears or discover their jaws are tightly set. A lot of sufferers develop headaches, especially sharp migraines, that incapacitate them. It makes sense then that stress management take the form of physical exertion such as exercise or progressive muscle relaxation, among other choices.

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the proven remedies for excessive stress. Not only does it give the body an outlet for its pent-up energy, it also helps calm the mind by giving it a focus aside from daily tasks or chores. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), on the other hand, involves the systematic tensing and releasing of muscles, a technique that better helps them relax so that the body can once again function properly.

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