10 Ways to Reduce Stress

Girlfriends, Are you stressed?

Girlfriends are you stressed out!?

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress is a actually a normal thing in our lives and at time is helpful. Stress can motivate you to get that difficult loan closed or run that last mile in a marathon. If you do not get a handle on stress and it becomes long term, you are going to have serious repercussions.  According to Web MD more than 50% of Americans say it causes fighting with family, coworkers, and customers and 70% have emotional and physical symptoms.

Many things can cause stress triggers. However, 60% of Americans say they experience stress at work and at least 25% say work is the major cause of their stress. The many reasons include, working too many hours, being unhappy in your job, working in dangerous conditions, not having clear expectations, poor management, having to give speeches and facing discrimination or harassment at work.

Life events can also be stress triggers. For example, financial concerns, death, or sickness of a loved one, divorce, moving, marriage, childbirth, traumatic event, taking care of a loved one or emotional problems like depression or anger.

Sometimes stress comes from the inside and that is just worrying about something, or not doing everything perfectly all the time (which by the way, is impossible).

People react differently to stress, some let everything just roll off their back and others take it all personally and really let it get to them until they are sick.

When you are in a stressful situation you have a physical response. It is the “fight or flight” response. That is why your heartbeat races, your breathing increases, your muscles tense, and you actually start to sweat.

When the above happens frequently then you are causing long term health issues and can put a lot of wear and tear on your body.  You will start have fatigue, headaches, become irritable, have difficulty sleeping and concentrating.  Long term effects include, heart attacks, ulcers, weight changes, high blood pressure, depression, skin problems, stomach issues and many more illnesses.

Our bodies have not learned to deal with chronic stress. We remain on high alert, and this causes our bodies to age faster, become more susceptible to disease and experience higher levels of inflammation. The solution is not to completely avoid stress but to manage it.

The first step in reducing stress is to determine what is causing the stress. Loan officers have average to above average stress levels. What is causing that stress? Is it something completely out of your control? Is it because you are working too many hours and have too many clients?  Is it because you did not collect the correct paperwork when you started the loan and now you cannot close on time? What is keeping you up at night? Once you determine the cause you can start working on your solutions.

Here are 10 ways to help reduce stress.

  1. Exercise. It is one of the best stress releasers. You need to do it regularly to be effective.  Try to get 2 to 3 hours per week of brisk walking or 1 to 2 hours of intense exercise where you increase your heart rate.  Whatever you choose, pick something that you can stick with and check with your doctor before doing anything strenuous. Physical activity helps pump up endorphins.  Exercise reduces the effects of stress. It can provide stress release by imitating the stress function of “fight or flight” and helping your body work through the effects of stress. Exercise leads to additional health benefits by building your immune system to help fight the harmful effects of long-term stress.Physical activity will help shed your daily tensions and staying focused on the single action of physical activity will help you stay calm and focused on other daily activities.
  2. Relax your muscles. You tighten your muscles when you are stressed so one option is to relax them. This can be done with a massage, hot bath, good night’s sleep or stretching. Getting a massage AND giving a massage will release tension.  Make a deal with your partner to give each other a massage before bed. Not only does it help relax and relieve tension research shows it reduces pain, anxiety, depression, and even increases immunity. Just 10 to 15 minutes will help.
  3. Deep Breathes. Shallow rapid breathes into the chest indicate stress whereas deep in the belly breathes reduces stress and increases antioxidant activity. Do some deep breathing exercises for 10 minutes and you will almost destress immediately.  Find a comfortable place, think of your happy place, breathe deep, and hold for as long as you can and release. The key is to take slow breathes and inhale deep with both your chest and your belly. The goal is to fill the ribcage and entirely fill your lungs with oxygen.  Hold and then slowly release the air. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.  Continue for up to 10 minutes and feel your body respond.


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