Dealing with Tension

Let’s face it. All of us deal with tension at various points in our lives. Our muscles might get out of whack or start aching; anxiety may cause headaches or multiple forms of pressure, albeit sinus or just plain stress. Depression may attack, and we struggle to comprehend the root of what’s causing us to feel tired, anxious, frustrated, and downright fed up. People test our nerves on every level sometimes, and we’d love to tell them where to stick it but know it isn’t our most intelligent move. So how do we deal with tension? If we’re smart, we listen to the doctors and gurus with self-help techniques and figure out ways to gain control over the pressure. We might get massages and take vacations. No matter what the remedy might be, it’s usually short-term solutions. So it made me think if everyone has been dealing with tension, what are some of the best coping mechanisms out there?

There are multiple resources available on the internet, and I went there to research this topic. I chose to go back to school and obtain a certification in Google Analytics. I passed the first course reasonably quickly and have started on the second one, but I recognized that the course work was stressing me, along with my job and other obligations. Some nights I wanted to go home from work and go straight to the liquor cabinet. That doesn’t solve anything, but I was so tense that I needed a release. I started to exercise and felt a little better, but I still had difficulty getting a routine under control. I knew I had to control my stress and tension or cause severe health problems in the future. Here are some of the tips I found off WebMD and other health resources that are helping me get back on track. I hope they help you as well.  

  1. Exercise.  This item is a universal tip that all of us need to keep at the forefront of our health. To quote the movie Legally Blonde, “Exercises release endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t kill people.” I love that line. It’s one of those lines that makes you think that maybe exercise isn’t always a bad thing.  
  2. Relax Your Muscles.  When we sleep, our body relaxes. Keeping our body relaxed helps us to stay calm. The calmer we are, the less our bodies tense up and agitate us. It’s one thing to have strong muscles that are firm and tight when produced by exercise, but it’s another thing to be so wound up with emotion that we can’t process happenings around us.  
  3. Deep Breathing.  There’s a reason that we all get told to take a deep breath to help calm us down. Taking those deep breaths helps us to reset our bodies. If we take the initiative to take control of our breathing, it’s easier to control our bodies because we think clearer. When our bodies are stressed, our brains work hard and often go into panic mode, but deep breathing helps us regain control and make more competent and confident decisions.  
  4. Eat Well.  I struggle with this item for two reasons. One, I’m a picky eater, and finding healthy foods that I like are a challenge. I’m getting better about this because I’ve begun to expand my palate, but I won’t say that it’s been an easy task. The second reason is that my appetite is all over the place. If I eat a big lunch, I’m not in the mood for a big dinner. My digestive system has taken a toll over the years, so I’ve had to find foods I like that aren’t high in acidity.  
  5. Slow Down. This item is challenging for many of us. We all have family and friend obligations. Work can be demanding when the bosses are implementing deadlines, and companies are trying to make profits during peak seasons. Those of you with children are doing everything you can to come through for your kids and significant others. Don’t forget to slow down some for yourself. If you are going a million miles a minute, you won’t see important things happening around you. Take the time to slow down a little and experience the things life offers.  
  6. Take a Break.  This item goes along with slow down, but it’s critical to take time for yourself to recharge your batteries. I didn’t realize how run down I’d gotten until I took a couple of days off. When I did that, my body collapsed. My brain and body needed the break. I had studied and worked so much that I was missing crucial moments around me. I have cousins who have had children, and their kids are growing, and I’ve never met them because I’ve been busy. It’s because of that knowledge that I’ve resigned myself to make time for my family and take a break to see them. I’ve also decided to head to the mountains in my next time away.  
  7. Make Time for Hobbies.  I have been a voracious reader since the time I learned to read. That skill has helped me well over the years, and it became a hobby that I craved. My dad introduced me to the world of latch-hooking and got me hooked on the kits as a way to deal with stress. I’ve hooked many different kits over the years and haven’t been as diligent the last few years, but I can attest taking on hobbies has helped me immensely. Volunteering has become another hobby. When you step out of your comfort zone, you find others struggling more than you are. It’s humbling and gratifying all at the same time.  
  8. Talk About Your Problems.  Communication is one barrier that keeps people from losing the tension because others think they’ve communicated information. They might have if you count ESP, but most of us are not in tune with cosmic psychic abilities. We need verbal or written communication to figure out what we need from those around us. If I had a dollar for every time people in my life tell me that they would do something and keep putting it off without telling me, I could have enough money to buy a brand new car. There’s one family I love with all my heart, but their communication skills are practically non-existent.  

The biggest thing to remember is, please take care of yourselves. No one else is going to take care of you for you. If you feel the anxiety creeping up, pay attention and address it. Try to prevent as much stress as you can, but if it’s impossible to avoid, take the steps necessary to live happy and healthy lives. There’s only one you. We’re all unique. The best part of being special is we all have various skills and talents to bring to the table. Taking care of ourselves is one of the best ways we can stay around for our loved ones. Have a great day, everyone.

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