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    • Whenever I get too stressed out I turn to exercise as the most powerful and natural stress relief weapon. It really helps to clear my mind and calms me down. There is a book I've read recently Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, which outlines exactly how exercise helps with anxiety, stress and depression on a neurological level. I found it fascinating and have since doubled down on exercising when feeling stressed out.

    • My answer is personal to me, things I do and came to believe through my life's experiences. I hope some of you will suggest better ways to manage stress in this conversation.

      I believe that if you have dreams of doing something hard, there will be stress. Parenting is hard. Winning an olympic medal is hard. Achieving what you dream of from your's all hard.

      The most important thing to me is finding a way to love the thing that puts you under pressure. If you make it to the U.S. Open finals in tennis, you have to be able to live for the moment and love it despite the enormous stress, the sore ankle, the fans who mock you.

      The second is to be grateful for it because it's an opportunity to show your character. That's the basis of every great story, right?

      The third is making the best judgment you can of what to do, then feel at peace that you have something you can do to optimize your chances. Better than being paralyzed by fear.

      And the fourth is to not settle. If you can see that the place you live, the job you have, or the spouse who abuses you will not get you to a good place, have the courage to make a change.

    • I practice "mindfulness" thru riding my motorcycle. I have tried many other stress reduction techniques over the years, but have found nothing that works as well for me as this.

    • For immediate relief, I watch movies. The best way to get out of my own head for a little while is through a good movie. The relief stops when the credits roll, though. So sometimes I watch two movies. 😄

      For less immediate but longer lasting relief, I do yard work on weekends (when it's not winter, anyway). Mowing, trimming hedges, pruning rose bushes, clearing blackberry vines, pulling weeds. Our yard is just big enough that there's always something that needs doing. It's all mindless work, but it gets me out in the sun and moving around, takes my mind off other obligations, and leaves me tired and sweaty and satisfied that I've made things just a little bit better.

      But for longest lasting relief, I have to remove the root cause of the stress. Which these days is usually that I need to figure out some complicated programming or operations problem for Cake and everyone's depending on me and if I don't figure it out the site goes down or someone else can't do the job they need to do or the company crashes and burns. So I solve the problem, and then I'm happy and relieved, and then the next problem comes along and I start all over. 😰

    • I'm a poor sleeper and find that the quality of sleep has a significant impact on my perceived stress level. Recently, I've added an Yin Yoga practice to my pre-sleep regiment. For me, it combines mindfulness, meditation, and much needed deep stretching in one. Practicing it is helping to reduce various muscle aches and equally importantly, quiet my mind, leading to fewer sleepless nights where I'm spinning on work.

    • Motorcycles or chainsaw work. Seriously, they’re very similar in that you have to pay absolute attention. All of my troubles fade into the background.

      They don’t make my troubles disappear but a relief from trouble regardless of how brief often helps a bunch.

    • That’s great to hear, because I’m currently on a cross country trip with my best friend, and back home there was a storm that blew down a few trees. I’m a bit stressed out about that, but when I get home Saturday I’ll have plenty chainsaw time in my near future... perhaps that will settle me down!

    • Breathing exercises can help immediately but to level the balance I started playing the ukulele, I know nothing about music other than listening, I cannot sing well or even play for that matter but learning something that can sound good with just a little practice is helping. Keeps me off my old methods of video games or syncing into other technology.

    • #1 Exercise - intense exercise for 60 - 90 minutes where all I can do is focus on the workout. It's a moment of zen because I give my mind a break and focus on (surviving) the intensity of the workout. If it's indoors I prefer a boot camp style class where it's dark with loud music and people around me to keep me pushing. If outside I go on my road bike, in nature.

      #2 Playing the piano or guitar for 15 - 30 minutes if I need a break from trying to solve a problem.

    • 1) Intense exercise
      2) Dirt biking or rock climbing or some similar thing that requires absolute concentration
      3) Ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen if the thing causing you stress turns out bad. Accept the worst case scenario (know you'd survive that) and then hope for the best.
      4) Look at the saying on my wall that says:"Is what I'm doing now moving me closer to my goals or further away?". I read that and then ask myself is the stressful thing really helping me move closer to my goals. If it isn't then I ditch it. If it is and there's no other way, then I see #3.
      5) Say in my head "and this too shall pass". I sometimes also say to myself "ultimately nothing really matters." Those saying help me to put things into perspective.

    • It's so interesting to see how different we all are. When I have something pressing on me, I can't sit for a movie, I obsess over figuring out a plan of action or making a call or whatever before I can relax again. Meditating or relaxing with a movie sounds like a better deal.

    • after a stressful day in work, I go for a swim. The mechanics of swimming lengths, breathing, counting strokes and laps... doesn't allow time for stress or worry. I find it theraputic.

    • I resonate with keeping things in perspective, oh and exercise. I find that running is my go to as it allows me to shut my mind off, put on music and focus on just moving. It is all too easy to get overwhelmed with tasks at hand or feeling of lack of control so it really becomes a mind game of looking at the situation or problem and redirecting your emotions.

    • I and my wife are Caregivers for our daughter 24/7, and she has seizures so stress is always a part of the life now. Motorcycle rides, physical work, simple hard tasks like splitting wood seem to help. It does always seem to be more personal, like finding what works for oneself. Good luck.

    • How timely this is. I had to take my wife to the hospital at 1 am Saturday, her heart was racing.

      She has to have a Stress test, my stress is already being tested. :)

    • She wore a heart monitor until today, and got new blood pressure meds. No more episodes since then, but I did cancel my trip to the I.O.W.A. Random Rally in Shell WY. No trips anywhere until I am sure this is resolved. Thank you.

    • Thank you. The new BP meds she got on Monday after they removed that monitor did the trick, she had one slight episode after that, then nothing. My daughter is still having seizures every 5 to 7 days (sometimes 10) so we are still trying to find something that works for her without drugging her. That is my usal stress though, so if we can find a CAregiver, I will feel like I am actually retired a bit. lol I hope you and yours are having a wonderful weekend.

    • I'm glad to hear your wife's situation is stabilized. A friend of mine has a daughter that started having frequent seizures like your daughter but fortunately the doctors figured out a way to get her to stop having so many seizures. She is making good progress now as I hope your daughter starts to when they get her situation under control. I hope things move in a positive direction quickly for you all. Life here in Canada for me is going well :)