Here are some stress-relieving techniques that may be of great interest to the sufferer.
Image by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums via Flickr
USE YOUR JOURNAL TO TRACK YOUR PERSONAL STRESS TRIGGERS:
To help you gain control of your symptoms, you must first play detective. What exactly are the triggers that worsen your symptoms?
Record the time of day when a stressful event occurs, the cause of the stress. For example, such as being stuck in traffic when you were already running late for work, presenting the results of your research to an audience, or arguing with your spouse–as well as any digestive symptom that could be related to the stress, such as tightness in your stomach, indigestion, cramps, and bloating. Overtime your journal will help you become more aware of the stressful events in your day-to-day life that are likely to produce predictable symptoms.
BEGIN–AND STICK WITH–A REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE PROGRAM:
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress and relieve depression, both of which compromise gastrointestinal health in those with sensitive digestive systems. Because it helps relieve stress, exercise may decrease the pain associated with ulcers and the symptoms of experiencing stomachaches. The decrease in adrenaline production that occurs naturally after exercise may counteract the stress response.
LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER:
Do you always underestimate how long it will take to get to a destination? Do you always think a task will take less time than it does? If so, you may constantly be stressed over being late or not meeting deadlines and may benefit from learning a variety of time management techniques.
Here are some basic time-management techniques that will help you:
- Keep a time-management log.
- Prioritize your tasks.
- Set realistic goals and deadlines, and plan projects accordingly.
DELEGATE–OR “FARM-OUT” TO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE–SOME OF YOUR JOB-RELATED OR HOUSEHOLD PROJECTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Do you do mundane chores yourself–either at home or at work–that you could easily delegate to someone else? At time, it may be worth it for you and your health to pay a professional service to pick up and deliver your dry cleaning so you don’t have to make an extra stop, transcribe the taped proceedings of a meeting so you don’t have to type them up, or cater a party so you don’t have to cook.
At home, consider asking other members of the family to take on some of the responsibilities you mistakenly thought only you could do, such as shopping for groceries, packing school lunches, balancing the checkbook and paying the bills, etc …
LEARN TO ASSERT YOURSELF AND SO NO IN A FRIENDLY BUT FIRM MANNER:
When asked to take on additional responsibilities or chores, some people just can’t decline, even when they don’t have the extra time or energy.
By learning to set limits for yourself and to politely communicate those limits to colleagues, family, and friends, you can avoid unnecessary stress.
LEARN HOW TO LIVE WITHIN YOUR FINANCIAL MEANS:
Finances or money problems are often named as a major sources of stress among people, particularly for the breadwinners of the family. Too many people get themselves into credit card debt and fail to save for retirement. If you find yourself using one credit card to pay for the bill of another card, you are setting yourself up for major financial stress.
TAKE TIME OUT FOR HOBBIES OR ACTIVITIES YOU FIND CALMING:
I recommend that you observe a SABBATH DAY. That is, take one day off each week for rest and recreation–and that they take vacations. In fact, I recommend a FOUR-DAY WEEKEND EVERY EIGHT WEEKS and a TWO-WEEK VACATION EVERY SIX MONTHS for those people who can arrange it.