Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stress and Bipolar Disorder

Stress is one of the few things that every person on the planet has experienced. Everyone agrees it’s a pain. Stress affects people differently. Some people yell and stomp around. Some cry and some are grouchy (kind of like the grouch from Sesame Street, except they don’t live in a trash can, and hopefully don’t have green fur!) I tend to be all of the above. For people with Bp stress can and usually does cause temporary instability. It makes you irritable, snap easier, and cry easily. There are however things that you can do to help prevent and lessen the affects of stress.

Stress Relief Suggestions

Here are some tips on coping with stress that I have found particularly helpful. 1. Focus on one thing at a time. Apply the age old saying, “Don’t borrow trouble”. I have to admit this is the one I have the hardest time applying, because I’m a natural worrier. I worry about unnecessary things, which raises my stress level. My mother gave me this tip, and when I apply it I’m not as stressed out than if my mind is occupied with worry. From my first hand experience with this tip I would recommend it, because it helps and can be applied to everyone. 2. Breathe- It sounds dumb and cliché, but studies have proven that the more oxygen you have the better you can handle situations. You don’t have to start hyperventilating, just take a few breaths. It may sound childish but there’s no harm in trying it, especially when hundreds of people have tried it, and it’s worked for them so chances are it will work with you. 3. Relax A.S.A.P- The best way to squash stress is catching it in time to do something about it. You don’t have to spend a day at the beach or go to some exclusive spa (which lets be honest costs way more than it’s worth usually, but that could be just be me) just do what you normally enjoy when your not stressed to the point of possible total grayness by the end of the day. Listening to music helps me. I find it enjoyable, and it clears my head. You may feel the same way or you may find it annoying; it’s a personal preference. Reading helps some people escape the pressures of this world, and temporarily step into another one. Unfortunately only about 50% of people truly enjoy reading. (Only the book worms, which I am proud to admit I am.) 4. Step Out of Your Zone- get away from it all for a few minutes. I find work and school the most stressful. When I feel myself start to go into overload I ask to go to the bathroom. It’s a small quiet place where you can feel like you’re alone and reset your stress button. If there’s no bathroom nearby (which is highly unlikely I mean No Bathroom, what are we in the dark ages? I mean we have cell phones now get with the times people!) The hallway works just as well. These are just a few of the things that work for me, but if you’ve read any of my previous blogs you know I believe every person is unique so what works for me may or may not work for you. But chances are at least on of them will, besides what’s the worst that can happen?