Stress Relief – You Gotta Get At It, and At It and To It

Stress Relief – Get to it

You gotta get at it, and at it and to it.

You gotta tune your attitude in.

Stompin’ Tom Conners

In the past I’ve written about cortisol, the stress hormone, and the negative effects it has on you; on your body, on your emotions, on your entire life.

One of the most insidious problems of stress (and the heightened cortisol levels you get from it) is that it is cumulative. The longer you go without addressing your stress problems, the more severe they become.

The Conundrum of Stress Relief

Because of this, the best time to address your stress problems was 10, 20, 30 years ago, when they first began to appear. Somewhere around high school would probably be about right.

The problem is that in adolescence we’re going through so many hormonal and emotional changes, we’re so busy learning to be adults, and we’re so busy trying to figure out our lives, we don’t really realize that all of these things are actually stressing us out. We’re just screwed up teenagers, and all teenagers are screwed up. Even if we did know we’re actually also stressed out, we wouldn’t have any idea what to do about it.

Eventually adolescence and high school end, but life doesn’t. We take on greater responsibilities, with their higher stress levels, yet we still don’t learn healthy ways to deal with stress.

We may drink too much, or turn to drugs. We may find ourselves always angry, always combative, constantly arguing. We fail our way from one job to another, from one relationship to another. We’re too busy to exercise and we gain weight. We develop migraines, heart problems, sleep problems and more.

All of which adds to the pile of stress weighing us down, ruining our health and driving us to an early grave.

If you’re like me and you discovered in university that one way you can handle stress is to work out at least four times a week, God bless you. If you’re not like me, you don’t have the option to start stress relief 30 years ago, because, well, you didn’t.

Good News

Fortunately for you there is good news. While you may have missed your window on the best time to start dealing with your stress, the window for the second best time is still open. Why? Because the second best time to start dealing with your stress is right now.

You CAN learn to deal with your stress. I maintain your first, and most powerful, technique is exercise, to literally sweat the stress away. Yes, hard, regular exercise will do wonders for your stress, but it will also do wonders for your health and well being in myriad other ways. It’s possible I’ve written about this once or twice.

Even if exercise isn’t your best stress relief activity, you still have one. Breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, gardening, hobbies, the list is endless. So pick one and start, because the longer you wait, the greater the accumulated stress, and the longer it will take to deal with it.

Another Problem

Plus, there’s another problem, stress doesn’t go away by dealing with it, or by sweating out the cortisol, it goes away by removing the root causes. For most of us, that just isn’t possible, we still have kids, parents, spouses, co-workers, jobs, bills and this bloody bat soup flu. So your stress? Yes, it’s coming back.

The first problem is that, the longer you let the stress accumulate, the harder it is to reduce the accumulated pile.

The second problem is, the longer you’ve put it off, the bigger the pile, the easier it comes back. Stress is like a weed; it’s easy to kill when it’s just starting to grow, before it’s established its root system. Once it’s taken hold, once it’s established itself, it’s a lot tougher, and takes a lot more work, to root out.

So, and stop me if you’ve heard this, start dealing with your stress, and start dealing with your stress right now. In short,

You gotta get at it, and at it and to it.

So get at it.