You just swore at the guy who cut you off on the way to work. Your children have taken to calling you the Wicked Witch. You start daydreaming about cocktail hour shortly after lunch. Your mind is always in a whirl and you feel like your life is out of control. What is your problem? In a word STRESS !!!

You are not alone. Nearly half of all Americans are concerned about levels of stress in their lives. Chalk it up to “our overscheduled, harried 21st century lifestyle”. In the most basic form, the stress response is known as “fight or flight” and it kicks into action when confronted with a threatening situation like being followed on a dark street. Many of the physical changes that occur on the dark street are the same ones that work in positive situations. Our stress isn’t the result of the event, but the view we take of it.

Chronic stress weakens the immune system and increases the risk for illnesses. Stress drives people to eat too much, sleep too little, stop exercising and avoid their family and friends. Stress does not have to be always bad. A little stress can sharpen your focus, improve memory and help you cope with different scenerios.

So, what can you do to manage your stress? The number one thing you can do is to take charge! If your work schedule sets your teeth to grinding, make a list of projects you need to get done and front load it with easy tasks. As you check off the items, you will feel in control and your stress will ease. Another thing you must learn to do is delegate. Your coworkers, your children, your friends can all do assigned projects. Remember, it may not be exactly how you would do the task, but it can be checked off your list!

Of course, you can’t control everything (the picnic gets rained out or heavy traffic will make you late to work, again)  but find a few minutes to give yourself a “time out” from life. Do a yoga pose, call your mom, walk around the block or make youself a cup of tea. It’s amazing how changing your focus will refresh you and give you a better perspective of the situation. › … › Stress Management Health Center is a great resource for additional stress reduction ideas.

So, there will always be some kind of stress in our lives…the way we handle and control it is what we need to work on everyday. All of us at your Golden CO dentist office have a motto…Stressed spelled backwards is desserts and you can never eat enough dessert.