Be aware of stress to manage it BY Christy Strawser SPECIAL TO THE Detroit FREE PRESS

Sandra Finkel has heard all the excuses for racing through life.  But she doesn’t buy them.

Finkel, who holds a master’s degree in public health and works as the manager of stress management services for the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, said one simple lesson can benefit nearly everyone: If you can’t control it, don’t get upset about it. “Shift focus, and be aware of how you’re reacting,” Finkel said. “Discern whether it is something within your control. That defuses a lot of stress.”

So, the first step toward conquering stress is awareness. Here are more tips: Set up a schedule. Create one that includes everything you need to do, but doesn’t leave time for anything unproductive. Include work, family time, whatever would lead to a more fulfilling life. Make it easier by putting weekly errands into one or two blocks of time and turning off the BlackBerry and television during set hours.

“A lot of superficial, time-wasting stuff doesn’t have room when your schedule is full of things you want to do,” Finkel said. Learn to say no. Make no excuses for being selfish with your time. Saying no to requests to organize a fund-raiser or bake five dozen cupcakes may seem selfish, but could pay off for your health.

“Stress has been shown to increase a lot of risk factors, cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation in the arteries, belly fat,” Finkel said. “What do people do behaviorally when they’re stressed? They overeat, drink or smoke.

” Quiet time. Diana Fletcher, a Pittsburgh author and life coach, advises that people spend 15 minutes a day sitting quietly. “The problem is that we never stop,” Fletcher said. “We are always so busy trying to keep up with this crazy world — but we just can’t.”

Be in the moment. Feeling scattered in different directions is one of the major reasons people feel stressed, so decide to focus on what’s in front of you. Finkel recommends meditation as a way to learn to live in the moment, which requires sitting still for a few moments and clearing your mind. Focusing on the present is an especially good tip for the legions of metro Detroiters who are out of work, Finkel said.

She said a recent study showed people experience more stress if they’re working and worried about losing their job than after they’ve been laid off, which means uncertainty is a bigger stress inducer than joblessness.

Exercise. When you feel overwhelmed, remember exercise is a wonderful stress reliever. Walking, riding a bike, swimming, dancing to the radio or skipping rope, even for just 15 minutes, releases feel-good endorphins. “It gives energy, it doesn’t sap it,” Finkel said.

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1 Response to “Be aware of stress to manage it BY Christy Strawser SPECIAL TO THE Detroit FREE PRESS”


  1. 1 GST Registration in Delhi December 28, 2016 at 3:55 am

    It is good to see posts that give truly quality information. Your tips are extremely valuable. Thanks a lot for writing this post.Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.


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I am a Certified Life Coach, Author and Speaker and am an expert at helping people reduce stress. I work with individual clients and facilitate workshops and coaching for groups in my coaching practice. I am the author of three books and as a speaker, author, and coach, I offer easy-to-incorporate strategies to help people reduce stress. We cannot always change things around us, but we can change what's inside of us.

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