It's third down and you're down by 6 with a minute left. Or you're already late for a big meeting when you hit the big traffic jam. We're talking stress here. Sure, it's part of your daily life. But every time you give in to it, you can get more than just angry. It can take a toll on your health.
KNOW YOURSELF, KNOW YOUR OPPONENT:
- Stress is anything that creates tension and uncertainty, which means it can crop up just about anywhere, anytime.
- Stress triggers our basic "fight or flight" response, which causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise.
- Chronic stress may aggravate heart disease, anxiety disorders, depression, reduced sex drive, high blood pressure, diabetes, digestive disorders, and back pain. Medical research has shown that high levels of stress for prolonged periods can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illnesses and minor infections.
- Every guy experiences stress a little differently, but there are some common signs of too much stress - muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, back pain, anxiety, irritability, depression, changes in appetite, sleep problems, and loss of concentration.
HOW TO PLAY IT:
- Relax. Breathe deeply, meditate, take a shower, pet the dog. If you're at work, get up and stretch.
- Eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise (again - this really works!). For example, complex carbs and proteins are believed to enhance mental performance in stressful situations. But sugar- and caffeine-rich foods, though they give you a quick burst of energy, may end up leaving you feeling even more worn out.
- Sleep. Insufficient sleep can make you frazzled and unfocused - leading to performance issues at work and home (as if you weren't already stressed). If you're unable to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep you need every night, try taking short naps if and when you can. Even a short nap can leave you feeling refreshed.
- Laugh. Besides taking your mind off of what's stressing you out, laughing may actually help relieve stress.
Stress can really affect your game. By investing a little time to control stress, you can keep yourself healthier... and a whole lot happier. For info about stress, click over to TacklingMensHealth.com.