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Dealing With Emotional Stress

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One very difficult form of stress to cope with and manage is emotional stress.  After all, it is often self-created, it can come out of nowhere and the stress caused by it only heightens the emotions felt.  Thus, as the emotional stress increases, the emotions get worse, heightening the emotional stress.  Thus, the problem recreates the cause and the problem only gets worse.

Emotional stress is often triggered by a dramatic event that puts a person's nervous system under severe strain. This could be an event such as losing a loved one, seeing someone die, or being put into a life-threatening situation.  An event such as this can put severe strain on a person's mind and nerves and the incredible strain can cause changes in the way that the brain works.  In fact, a severe emotional strain could even cause someone to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, emotional stress does not arise from a sudden shock.  It can also arise from a total emotional strain that adds up to an overwhelming strain that prevents a person from thinking about anything other than the problems that seem to have no solution.  Then, as the stress mounts, the mind is left in its own cocoon of stress that can only call attention to itself, cutting the person off from the world outside.  Thus, emotional stress can lead to detachment, and inability to concentrate, fatigue, and even memory problems.

Unfortunately, emotional stress also increases moodiness, which can often make things worse.  In fact, those attacks of emotional excess can turn emotional excess up to unbearable levels, leading to further attacks.  Then, as these bouts of emotional stress keep adding up, it all becomes too much and the sufferer is left almost completely lost and alone in their own cycle of emotion that hammers incessantly at the brain.

In order to deal with emotional stress, the person who suffers from it needs to take a break from everything that is creating all the emotions.  For instance, going on a vacation can be an excellent diversion, as it provides the brain with new inputs that are not charged with associations.  By leaving the so-called "scene of the crime" the person who suffers from emotional stress will be able to remove some of the emotional stress by removing its triggers.  Then, hopefully, the loop will be broken, allowing the person to start fresh.

Another effective means for dealing with emotional stress is to practice yoga or learn to meditate.  Exercises such as these are designed to put the person's mind in the moment, so that they will not worry about anything other than what they are doing in the case of yoga or, in the case of meditation, by clearing the mind entirely, allowing it to shed its emotions and start again with a clean slate.  Either method can be very effective for dealing with emotional stress, as they give the brain a chance to relax.  Then, once it is relaxed, it will be able to shed the emotional stress and get back to the business of thinking clearly.

Likewise, having a hobby can be very good for emotional stress.  An activity such as needlepoint, building model ships, playing a sport, or going fishing can help shed stress.  This is because a person who is engaged in a hobby is enjoying him or herself while thinking only about what they are doing rather than everything that needs to get done.  It is as though it is a cross between a vacation and meditation, in that the person is taking a break from life while putting the mind onto something else.  Thus, the stress disappears and the person can feel like they are accomplishing something, even if it is only a minor, pointless success.  After all, a pointless success is still a success, be it finishing an Afghan, building a small version of the Cutty Sark, or simply catching a nice trout.  It's always nice to know that some sort of effort has been effective, and hobbies are an excellent way to suddenly become effective.

People should not be daunted by emotional stress.  Rather, they should try to understand where it is coming from and what they can do to prevent it.  Though the effort can sometimes be difficult, success is truly its own reward. After all, achieving an escape from emotional stress will provide instant benefits for the mind and long-term benefits for the body.  As well, by understanding emotional stress, people can see what causes it and, hopefully, discover what they need to do to either cope with it or eliminate it entirely.  So if you or someone you know is suffering from emotional stress, find some solutions that will work.  And by continuing to implement those solutions, emotional stress can be turned into a thing of the past.


By Trevor Dumbleton
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