Stress skills are as varied as your stressors, but so far we’ve only talked about mental ways to combat stress. What about physical symptoms of stress? Shouldn’t they have physical stress skills to go with them? Yes! One of the key aspects of physical stress skills is exercise.
Exercise skills are an important part of taking care of yourself. They increase your strength, stamina, and energy. Your body works best when it is used regularly, just like a car. If it sits too long, it begins to rust. However, be sure you’re willing to exercise consistently or you can do more harm than good. It’s easy to get over-zealous and hurt yourself. Instead of starting off by running five miles, start with one and work your way up. If you feel exhausted an hour after exercising rather than energized, you’re going too hard. Spend at least five to ten minutes warming up before you start and an equal amount cooling down afterwards. If you don’t think regular exercise is something that you can schedule in, then at least try to stretch your muscles every day. If you need motivation, try exercising with a friend or two. If you use exercise as a de-stressor, you may get more out of it if you do it alone to burn off some steam. If you’re using it as an energizer, then spending time with friends will help.
- What kinds of exercise for you want to do?
- What kinds would be healthiest for you?
Signs of Stress
From Kicking Your Stress Habits
By Donald A. Tubesing, PhD, MDiv
You’re already very familiar with some stress symptoms, but distress can cause a wide range of conditions. Maybe you have some that you didn’t know are stress related. There are five categories the common warning signs of stress can take; physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and relational signs.
||Loss of meaning
||Searching for miracles/magic
||Intolerance to other’s feelings
||Loss of direction
||No new ideas
||Lowered sex drive
||Intolerance to others’ faith
||Lack of intimacy
|Restlessness (eye twitching, foot-tapping, finger-drumming)
||Feeling like no one cares
||Needing to prove self
||Less contact with friends
|Increased drug, alcohol, tobacco use
||Feeling happiness is just out of reach
||Challenging a higher power
||Fear of betrayal
- What stress symptoms have you experienced that you didn’t know were stress related?
- What are you experiencing now?
- Is there a category (emotional, relational, etc) that you have more symptoms in than the others?