Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Exercise Keeps Me From Killing People and Other Stress Management Strategies I Find Useful.

 Nice title huh? Ha Ha!

Recently my stress level has sky rocketed because of some things occurring at work. Some of it is just the normal increase because the semester is about to be over, but there are a couple of other things happening that are adding to it. I wish I could vent on here about it all, but for the sake of professionalism and for the fact I want to stay employed I’ll just have to keep it to myself. Check out the quote of the day and it might give you a clue as to the core issue I am in an uproar over right now.

A few years ago, when I wasn’t so healthy, this level of stress probably would have had me head right into a huge eating binge that would last for weeks and I would have gone on a stress fueled rage rampage that would have left people crying in its wake. Yeah I tended to be quite a force to be reckoned with when I was not managing my stress well.  Now that I’m on a healthy path, stress management has become one of the many things I focus on. Good thing because making people cry and abusing myself with food were not doing anything for my image. Ha Ha!

So what strategies do I find helpful in managing stress? 

Like the title mentioned working out is one that I use quite frequently to manage stress. Not only is this one that helps me by preventing the effects of everyday stress, but it is a HUGE help when my stress levels rise drastically. Seriously, there is nothing better then getting a good sweat on when I feel like punching people. (I swear I’m not violent at all, but seriously there are times that my mind tries to convince me that punching people would solve the problem LOL!) I’m not the only one that has found that exercise helps with stress. Check out the links below for more references to exercise helping stress.

Exercise: Rev up your routine to reduce stress
Managing Stress With Regular Exercise
Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious

Talking it Out
Pre-healthy journey I was one of those people who held everything in. I never wanted to talk about how I felt or wanted to reach out to other people. No wonder I would go on rage rampages! Now I open up a lot more and talk things out. I reach out to my partner, close friends, and sometimes family when I’m feeling stressed out. Sometimes just having someone listening can take the stress level down several levels. When it is work related, I open up to my supervisor and talk to him about how I’m feeling about the situation. Luckily, I have a supervisor who is very open to hearing me out. Even if he doesn’t have the power to change the situation, just knowing he is willing to listen is helpful.

Eating Healthy
Even though when my stress levels rise I want to say hell with healthy eating, I know that doing so is just going to add additional stress on my body. Prior to this journey, I never really had any idea of just how much food can affect my mood. I have become much more in tune with this and keep it in mind when I am feeling stressed out. Sure, I want to reach for a bunch of junk but now I reach for healthy foods knowing it won’t make me feel worse.  Check out the sites below if you are interested in learning more about nutrition and its connection to mood and stress reduction.

Good Nutrition: How to Combat Stress with Good Nutrition
Nutrition and Stress
Stress Nutrition

Get Out and Play
This one is pretty important for me when my work stress is pretty high. I have the unique situation where I live where I work. Although there are a lot of benefits to that, when work is stressing me out it can feel like I live in a prison. To help feeling like that I make it a point to get away and go out and something fun. Even if it is only for a couple hours, getting out of my apartment and participating in an event helps take my mind off of what is stressing me. For example, this weekend I went to a local festival and enjoyed doing some fun activities. 

At the festival getting my fortune: " Misfortune does not daunt you."
How fitting? 

And how can you be stressed when everyone is dressed like this?

Questions for You:
What things do you do when you are stressed to help manage it?
What is your favorite workout to do when stressed out?
What fun activities do you like to do when you just need a break?

Quote of the Day: "The golden rule for every business man is this: 'Put yourself in your customer's place.' "~Orison Swett Marden


  1. Ugh, I feel you on this one... Its a daily struggle to close the fridge door or to drive past the drive through.

    ~Mama Twana

  2. Thanks for this post! Much appreciated! Your blog rocks, by the way!!! I have a long way to go to get to your level!!!

  3. I agree exercise is a great stress buster, it is also great to keep stress low by keeping exercise consistent. A few days without and I'm a really bitchy person (well moreso than usual).

  4. Yes, a fantastic title and a great post! Exercise is a stress reliever, for sure. I work a little harder and burn off more steam when I am angry. It doesn't matter what kind of exercise it is, I just work at it extra hard.

  5. I totally agree with your title and the stress cat comic you posted as well. My morning exercise routines at the gym are what keep me calm through out my days and I definitely notice shall we say a bit of edginess when I don't get morning jolt to start my day. I like hitting the gym early in the morning because it sets the tone for the rest of my day and I also find that the 'energy' level of the early risers is more on the positive side in comparison to hitting the gym after work when people tend to drag all their stress and angst to get worked out. Thanks for the extra links to all that good info as well!

  6. Great post. When I was working in a high stress job I used food to numb the pain and frustration of not being able to quit. I felt like I barely had the energy to make it through the day so I hardly ever went to the gym or worked out much. I've been out of work since November and I'm hoping by the time I have to go back to work I'll have all the tools I need to use exercise as my way to relieve stress instead of heading to the refrigerator.

  7. This may not seen like it's related to your post, but bare with me. When I'm stressed, I try to remember what Mayor Guiliani said about 911. He said that with all the chaos going on, he knew that he needed to remain calm and take action. Telling himself that helped him to keep chugging along. Sometimes I think we need to do just that, step outside of the situation and look at it rationally.

    I hope whatever your issues are at work that you can find a way to manage your stress. Clearly you have some great strategies in place already.