Understanding the nature of stress, identifying the source of it and having the tools to successfully make changes are important in preventing the negative health consequences that stress will have on you.
Remember to deal with the cause of stress, not just the consequences. While there are many different kinds of stress and many tools or techniques available to help resolve it, outside assistance is usually required to bring about the needed change. Reading the right book may be all that it takes.
Following is a list of books that are either best-sellers or highly recommended:
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis – a practical stress-management workbook filled with insightful self-assessment tests and stress reduction techniques.
The Book of Stress Survival by Alix Kirsta – although older, this is one of the best books on stress management. It is clearly laid out, practical, comprehensive and a pleasure to read.
Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern – she emphasizes that the most important thing readers should do is create a time management system that fits one's personal style, be it either spontaneous and easily distracted from, or highly regimented and efficient. "Just as everyone's living room looks different, reflecting the individual's or family's values and priorities, everyone's time management system will look different, reflecting what's important to him or her", she explains.
The Book of Stress Survival – How to Relax and Live Positively by Alix Kirsta – a well-presented, sensible approach to stress management. It covers many important areas that are completely ignored by most other books.
Getting Things Done by David Allen – a guide to staying on top of it all in a world where communication and responsibilities are increasing exponentially. Part I describes the game, Part II coaches you through implementing the system, and Part III explores the subtler and more profound benefits that you will experience when you incorporate these core principles and proven tricks into your work and your life.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff – and it's all small stuff by Richard Carlson – offers 100 meditations designed to make you appreciate being alive, keep your emotions (especially anger and dissatisfaction) in proper perspective, and cherish other people.
Both Eastern and Western medicine recognize that stress can affect the adrenal glands and accelerate the aging process.
Stress aggravates Parkinson's disease and relaxation therapy has been found useful in the treatment of the disease. A well thought-out program of rest, exercise and physiotherapy can also significantly ameliorate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Emotional stress, excessive heat and cold, fever, and exposure to infections can worsen symptoms and should be avoided whenever possible.
Stress should be decreased by using stress management techniques such as progressive relaxation or guided imagery.
Cardiovascular risk factors that most highly predicted carotid artery wall thickness scores were holding anger in, being self-aware and having hostile attitudes.
People who live in a chronically stressed-out condition are more likely to take up smoking, frequently overeat, and be far less likely to exercise. All of these stress-related behaviors have a direct effect on the development of coronary artery disease.
It is also known that the surge in adrenaline caused by severe emotional stress causes the blood to clot more readily (a major factor in heart attacks) and that the stress of performing difficult arithmetic problems can constrict the coronary arteries in such a way that blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced. Stress increases homocysteine levels, a known risk factor for coronary artery disease.
Treatment may include stress reduction and creating a positive home environment. Psychological stress is considered a significant cause.
There is an emerging link between stress and people's desire to eat fatty foods. People under pressure often tend to reach for the fatty foods – they are "comfort foods". In order to combat this we need to manage our stress levels better and practice pausing before reacting to stress triggers.
Decrease your stress level.
Stress stimulates colonic spasm in people with IBS. Stress reduction (relaxation) training or counseling and support help relieve IBS symptoms in some people.
Mental and emotional stress can impact fertility. Try to eliminate the stress in your life as much as possible. Infertility itself can be extremely stressful.
It was recently found that periods of stress increase serum homocysteine, an amino acid known to be a significant risk factor for coronary artery disease.
A calm environment can influence memory dramatically. A poor memory is often related to doing too many things at once. Try to avoid a hectic lifestyle. Turn off the television and radio when doing something else. Free the mind daily with a walk. Get sufficient rest and sleep. Use pen and paper to write things down, preferably in a book you can always keep with you.
Emotional stress can precipitate a carcinoid attack and should be avoided where possible.