What do you do to relive STRESS?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2008-12-17 10:10:58 -0600
Started 2008-11-23 07:11:02 -0600

What I would love are some practicle ways to reduce stress on a more perminent level. I exercise and try to distract my mind with other things, but at night, when all is quite and it is just me and my brain…we fight! LOL

63 replies

Cynthia 2008-12-13 21:14:07 -0600 Report


2008-12-08 18:10:03 -0600 Report

you serious ; waddu wanna kno; you wanna meet my little friend? and I ain't talkin humanoid. No really, I thought if I joked around I would relieve stresss, but really, helping other people with posts about healthy Christmas menus per day, or easy and inexpensive gifts to make, cause I have seen so many down and out about gifting, Just offering my help and offering them to share privately if needed. I just want to be there for just one person, and know that I helped make their day better in small way. luv

GabbyPA 2008-12-08 18:16:53 -0600 Report

Laughter is a good stress reliever. Thanks!!

Richard157 2008-12-17 09:10:10 -0600 Report

Gabby & Claudia, I agree with both of you wholeheartedly! On my homesite I have more than 4,000 posta and offer advice and support there. I post on several other sites too. Helping other diabetics is my favorite pasttime.

Gabby, you know what a silly nut I am. Laughter is a big part of my life and it has greatly helped get me through 63 years of diabetes. I do not experience stress and have high blood sugar because of it. I smile, I laugh and I enjoy life.

highlandcitygirl 2008-12-06 16:34:36 -0600 Report

something happened to me and my husband dec. 23, 2005. it lasted two years and four months,it was horrible,it came on top of a lot of other things. the stress was unbearable. my outlook on life was changed and i am the worse for the wear. you might say ,that i am shot out! now i am down a lot,but at the same time have an extremely strange sense of humour! and that relieves some of the stress.

BINGO 2008-12-08 12:58:42 -0600 Report


lisawatson 2008-12-13 15:57:20 -0600 Report


too old
too old 2008-12-06 16:19:14 -0600 Report

I know how you feel! My brain is always working over time when I try to sleep.
Sometimes, I just get up and grab a towel and then scream into it for a few seconds. Sheesh!

GabbyPA 2008-12-06 17:14:01 -0600 Report

I know that one. I usually go outside and pound a bit if I get upset. Stress just makes me cry mostly becuase it is tied to worry a lot.

Maggie61 2008-12-06 12:12:39 -0600 Report

Managing Your Stress Levels
By Holly G. Atkinson, MD
EverydayHealth.com Medical Editor in Chief
Simply put: If you're alive, you will encounter stress. Most of us live pretty stressful lives — our society is faster paced than ever, work demands are greater, and women in particular are trying to juggle so much (children, jobs, spouses, friends, health, school, and in-laws). When one of life's trials — or too many of them at the same time — threaten to overwhelm our coping mechanisms, we feel stressed. Even positive things count: For all the joy in a wedding or birth, both still make us feel stressed. It's what we do with that feeling — how we manage the situation — that determines whether we feel chronically stressed, with all its attendant psychological and physical ramifications, or we feel in control and satisfied with our lives. Our challenge is to respond to the stresses of our lives in a positive and constructive way.
Easier said than done, right?

Stress is not only tough to manage, but it may be one of the most difficult topics to study. It's complicated, hard to measure, and in large part a very subjective experience. Nevertheless, we are getting some insight as to the effects of chronic stress. The stress reaction causes the release of a number of hormones that affect all parts of our bodies. Our brains are affected — ongoing stress is believed to create chemical changes in the brain that lead to anxiety and depression — as well as our heart, immune system, gastrointestinal tract, sleeping patterns, pain perception, and sexual and reproductive functioning, just to name a few. Of course, many of the coping mechanisms we use to reduce our stress — drinking, smoking, eating too much — have their own harmful effects on the body. How easy it is to get into a vicious cycle of too much stress and self-destructive behavior.

A sense of control is a very important component to how we grapple with the stressors in our lives. The human brain has a penchant for control. Humans are happier when they are effective — when they can influence their environment, bring about change, make things happen in their lives. Research suggests that when people lose their sense of control, they feel most stressed and become unhappy, hopeless, and even depressed. The feeling of control is a critical factor in dealing with stress and ultimately feeling satisfied with life.

Last updated: January 2007

Top 10 Real-Life Ways to Take Charge of Your Stress
So, what's the most effective route to managing stress? Here are some tips to help you take charge of your life and reduce your level of stress:

Develop good coping strategies to use when you feel stressed — and practice using them when you're feeling calm so you can call on them when your stress level rises. Learn relaxation techniques, practice meditation, and engage in a pleasurable physical activity. These methods all help to counter the stress response in the body. If you can't learn them on your own, sign up for a course on stress management or specifically on relaxation techniques. (Note: These are not "new age" techniques — they have been proven to reduce stress.)
If you currently use harmful coping mechanisms, like drinking, smoking, or overeating when stressed, commit to breaking those habits, and get help if necessary. Join a support group focused on your issue.
Remember the "serenity prayer" and decide what you can and cannot change — then take actions to change the things you can. Try to jettison any stress you feel about things you have no control over.
If you are worrying about a particular issue or problem, develop a plan of action to deal with it. And if someone can help guide you or give you input to help you make decisions or a plan of action, seek out his or her assistance. It may sound silly, but write down your plan, or make a contract with yourself about what actions you will or won't take — and hold yourself to it!
Practice having a positive attitude. Attitude matters — you can view the glass as half full or half empty, and it makes a tremendous difference. Practice gratitude as well. It will focus your attention on the positive things in your life and help you see opportunities and solutions.
Work on developing a resilient personality. Resilience is characterized by five traits:
Insight — know yourself and accept the truth.
Adaptability — respond in creative and imaginative ways.
Responsibility — don't bother with blaming others or wait for someone else to fix your problem.
Commitment — engage with the reality of life and commit to personal growth.
Connection — communicate with openness and clarity.
Keep a journal and write down your concerns and worries, and then leave them there, especially before you go to bed at night. Studies have shown that journaling reduces stress levels and helps people put their lives into perspective.
Have more fun, and develop your sense of humor. Seek out pleasurable activities and events, and watch more comedy. Laugher is good medicine.
Carve out personal time every day, and indulge yourself with things that bring you pleasure: a hot bath, dark chocolate, a good book, or music.
Establish a strong support system among family and friends and seek them out when you need emotional support or guidance about problem solving.
Whatever your problems are, or whatever you are struggling with, know there are people around you who can help. If you are overwhelmed with stress and feel you can't see a way out, or you're struggling with chronic anxiety or depression, you should think about seeking help from a professional, if you haven't done so already. There's no need to go it alone. Good help and successful treatment is available

GabbyPA 2008-12-06 15:33:43 -0600 Report

THANK YOU! This was VERY helpful. True, the control factor is so true. When I have a cluttered area I feel more stress. When I am organized and in order. When my books are balanced and I have all the piles of laundry done and put away...I always feel better.

I guess because right now with all the unanswered things going on in the economy, our personal finances, my health...it just gets to be so much some days.

BeckyJ 2008-12-05 18:43:32 -0600 Report

Regarding the postings about medications: I am all for trying something if you are really loosing a lot of sleep over an extended period of time or if it is making you truly miserable but if it is just an occasional night of lost sleep or poor sleep you might want to try all of the wonderful relaxation techniques posted. As someone who has tried all of the different sleep medicines out there and still have difficulty sleeping I think we sometimes overlook the simple ways to make ourselves sleep. Try the non-drug related techniques. Over time you'll find they work better than Tylenol PM or the stronger sleep meds out there. If your sleep loss is due to a psychological reason, depression or anxiety, the drugs may help for a while but in the long run you need to relearn what makes you sleepy and how to fall asleep on your own. I have found the breathing techniques to work the best along with a hot bath. (With bubbles of course LOL)

GabbyPA 2008-12-05 21:47:51 -0600 Report

Something that I have been trying that is helping a lot is using my heat bag on my feet. They drive me nuts too, and now that they are warm and soothed by my heat bag when I go to bed, it really seems to help.

2008-12-05 22:13:47 -0600 Report

Gabby, if you are having trouble sleeping a good over the counter addition is Melatonin 3 mg maximum. Our bodies make melatonin but only in the dark. Thus with our 'lighted' lifestyles we don't make enough. I started taking one 3 mg tablet an hour before bedtime about 7 months ago and it works great for me. My son also takes it. I asked the doctor if it was ok to take and he said certainly. So that might help you out if you haven't tried it. I get a big bottle at the store for under $10.00

Sleep tight my dear!!

GabbyPA 2008-12-05 22:30:17 -0600 Report

oooooo, that sounds good. I have heard of that, just had forgotten about it. I will have to see about that.

Maggie61 2008-12-05 16:36:56 -0600 Report

Well relaxatio theropy works at nught for me . If you are havung issues of conflicts in your head ( the We fight statement) My doctor gave me a low dose of Serorqil it was like a light switch for me when I took it my mind calmed down and I was able to sleep for the first time in years. I learned through groups how to handle things so I control my stress better.Now I am off the Seroqil and doing great. Maybe it is time to talk to your doctor. and please dont feel like you are crazy if you do have to take any meds. for your stress sometime we need a little Help.

buttercup82401 2008-11-30 19:38:49 -0600 Report

What I do to relieve stress is, soak in a hot tub. (with bubbles LOL) Turn off the lights and light candles. Soak until you are a prune. Before I dry off I use camomille and lavender essential oils and apply them on my body before drying off. I pat dry and put on some instrumential (native or classical) music and think peaceful things. Before I know it I am asleep and wake up for another day. Tonya

GabbyPA 2008-11-30 19:41:54 -0600 Report

oh,,,that sounds so good. I worked a garage sale all weekend. I could use that for sure. I like the oils touch. I am just learning about camomile, so I will have to look for some of that.

Richard157 2008-11-30 20:08:04 -0600 Report

It is funny that camomille has entered the picture. We adopted a female cat whose previous owner had named Camomille. She loved the cat very much and could not keep her. She begged us to keep the name for the cat. Lol! We said we would. We got tired of the name after a few weeks nd shortened the name to Camille. She is a very sweet kitty. She perches on a cabinet or piece of furniture and when I stand close she jumps on my shoulder and rides all over the house. Her face is close to my ear and her loud purr sounds like a chain saw on idle speed. Lol!

Sorry I interrupted the conversation.

GabbyPA 2008-12-01 09:22:34 -0600 Report

no interuption. Kitties are soothing and stroking one is relaxing. It is just perfect that her name is Camomile...

Ardean 2008-12-01 12:12:29 -0600 Report

I relieve stress by doing alot of crocheting. I really enjoy making animals and all sizes of afgans and it does relieve stress.

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2008-11-30 14:18:03 -0600 Report

I'm in pain 24/7 from my paralized stomache. So I'm on cymbalta,my doctor thinks that I'm depressed from the major medical things in my life. I try not to let myself get depressed. But some days I start to get that way. Please ask your dr. about some kind of meds to take. If you can't find ways to relive the stress yourself.

Your Friend

GabbyPA 2008-11-30 18:39:56 -0600 Report

Have you considered pain management instead of depression meds? My husband has an intrathecial pump for his spinal injury and spasticity. It made a world of difference. He can live a "more normal" life with the pump. The meds they were giving him orally just made him a lump. Now he is active and can run circles around me.

You said your doctor thinks you are depressed, what do YOU think? I hate to see people on meds just because a doctor thinks something, but not because you concurr. They would just as soon give you a pill as try to find a way to really treat your pain. You might want to look into that.

GabbyPA 2008-11-30 12:09:39 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone for your support and great suggestions. I have emplimented a few already and have done pretty well. Came thru thanksgiving with numbers no higher than my usual and yesterday I even had some more in the lower 100's and for me that is great. I got a lot accomplished, and that always makes me feel better.
So thanks again for all the input, it really helped a lot.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2008-11-29 19:53:02 -0600 Report

There are some really good suggestions here. We all suffer stress at times - some more often and to a greater extent than others. The things that effect and challenge us daily are all different (i.e. relationships, work, financial & health issues), and these things effect each of us differently. I think we first have to learn - possibly through counseling - that we cannot controll everything or everyone. We cannot be all things to all people and cannot solve the problems of other family members, friends, etc., as much as we wish we could. We can only do what we can do - take every day as it comes and deal with each problem and concern as it arises. We have to learn not to worry about tomorrow - not to continuously say "what if". Praying, meditation, exercise, deep breathing exercises are all great and work for me. In the end you have to keep trying until you find what works for you, which may even mean resorting to medication. Controlling stress is a must for diabetics. It has a big effect on BS readings, as you all know. Just keep working at it. Let your doctor know what you're dealing with and let him/her guide you.

caragypsy 2008-11-29 18:59:01 -0600 Report

Stress is a BIG thing for me too. My dr. just give me a new med that helps me sleep and helps with my chronic pain too. Cara

ancoto 2008-11-29 13:58:15 -0600 Report

I play on the computer or I read a book that way I don't have to really think about anything I can just relax.

Maggie61 2008-11-29 12:01:06 -0600 Report

I also play an onlune game called everquest it is a roleplay game and man it is a stress releiver for me. You play with people from all over the world and for just awhile you are anyone you want to be. Meaning if you have a weight issue none on there knows it so you can be as confident as you want and for me it has tranfered into my real life I find I have more confidence and go get it attitude. I also love to listen to positive music like Gospel and I cant sing but who cares God Loves my voice anyway lol ,He gave it to me right.

patti 2008-11-25 10:41:13 -0600 Report

I exercise, running is what I do, I know alot of people cant do this but it does work for me. I live a block from a junior high and they have a track out back so I can go at any time of day or night( which I do quite a bit)Sometimes a hot shower works or I call my friend and vent!

fun2u2007 2008-11-25 10:47:19 -0600 Report

Exercise works for me too. I like to walk and get on the eliptical. When I don't feel like exercising I crochet. That always relieves and stress I may have. Lisa

Goddess 2008-11-25 07:39:50 -0600 Report

I get alot of candles, special herbs to take a wonderful sea salt bath. I listen to a special cd called Native Spirits. It's all music with some chanthing. I feel like a new person when I get out.

fun2u2007 2008-11-25 10:45:56 -0600 Report

I will have to try to make time for a sea salt bath and some candles, etc. That sounds heavenly! Lisa

BINGO 2008-11-24 10:56:54 -0600 Report

i iknow this sounds funny but when im stressed before bed. i like to drink something hot ( tea or apple cider) it really helps me relax.

caspersmama 2008-11-24 11:16:10 -0600 Report

I have done that. And this time of year warm apple cider is great. Publix has their own brand that is excellent. With a little grinder cinnamon it would be healthier.

GabbyPA 2008-11-24 20:57:27 -0600 Report

I enjoy a good cup of camomile tea, perhaps that is what I need to do right before bed. I hate taking tylenol PM just to get some sleep.

sexyswamprat 2008-11-24 10:55:46 -0600 Report

I bake. It is one of the most relaxing things I do for myself. And I do bake ALOT.

GabbyPA 2008-11-24 20:55:09 -0600 Report

I bake durning the holidays most, but I don't like to bake too much for around the house. I don't have very good self control. :)

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-11-25 05:08:24 -0600 Report

Were alway baking 24/7. There are 3 of my cousins and I and we are always baking for weddings, graduations, birthdays and funerals.

GabbyPA 2008-11-25 07:07:47 -0600 Report

Wow, that sounds like fun. I love to bake for other people. I get to do what I like, but I don't have to eat it. LOL

vgarrison 2008-11-24 10:47:35 -0600 Report


I know its a cliche but I count sheep, its actually a form of meditation. My mind is always the most active at night when I am trying sleep…I either relive the day and try to figure out what I should do different the next day, or worry about what will happen the next day. It's sometimes enough to make you not want to go to bed or get out of bed in the morning. There are wonderful websites that can teach you to meditate if you want. Let me know and I'll find some and post for you…

Blessed Be

GabbyPA 2008-11-24 20:56:32 -0600 Report

I would love a website or two to check out. I try distracting myself by something simple, but my mind is like yours at night...more now than ever. I would like to try something like that.

2008-11-25 07:13:21 -0600 Report

Also look for relaxation techniques on the web. There are some good ways offered to relax that are really easy to do, even in bed. Of course. Concentrating on each body part, one at a time, and tell it to go to sleep, feel it drift off, relax, and repeat like, left foot, right foot, left leg, etc. Also look for self hypnosis techniques, also very helpful and effective.

GabbyPA 2008-11-25 07:21:21 -0600 Report

Oh, you know...I used to do that. I forgot all about that. I will have to give it a try again. Of course, getting past neuropathetic feet should be a trick. LOL

2008-11-24 09:50:25 -0600 Report

Pop some pils, just joking; The only thing I can really do is relax in a hot bubbly bath, and emerse your back and back of neck, where montion of stress tension shows as a physical problem. It works for me, or microwave or heat a warm hand towel and wrap around the neck, keep warming til you feel the tention going away. And if you can a massage if affordable it, and I doubt any of that can afford that,though there are substitutional hand-held little wood massagers that have wheels with a long handle so you can message your own back, They work pretty well. Good luck, hope this helps; luv:->)lilmarm, Claudia

GabbyPA 2008-11-24 10:08:16 -0600 Report

I should have my hubby do more foot massages. He does them now and again, and I always feel better after that. Good idea. I also have a micro herb bag with rice and soothing herbs in it. I have not used that for a while. I will have to dig that out. Thanks

butler 2008-11-23 14:25:28 -0600 Report

To relieve stress for me I enjoy listening to Gospel Music,reading the Bible, or sing out loud.

GabbyPA 2008-11-24 20:58:39 -0600 Report

I like to sing to get my day going. There is always some tune tumbeling around in my head. I don't think my husband would like me singing in my sleep though, LOL!!

Brenda Kruse
Brenda Kruse 2008-11-29 19:33:32 -0600 Report

Amen, Butler! I, too, find that going to spiritual things, i.e., praying, singing praise music, reading the Bible, watching DVD's filmed in the holy land from RBC Minisries, keep me from focusing on myself and focusing on our creator! The DVD's are free, so that's a real bonus with our economy the way it is. I pray more people will try to relieve their stress this way. Blessings! Brenda

Richard157 2008-11-23 14:03:54 -0600 Report

I used to have a lot of depression and stress. That was primarily during my years when I was running a lot of high blood sugar. I learned about carb counting and had much better control and my depression was much less. Then I retired and was depressed without any "purpose" in my life. I found the diabetes websites and started using my many years of experience to help my fellow diabetics with support and advice. Doing that for several hours each day has been like a healing medication to me. I do not feel any depression or stress anymore.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-11-23 13:59:44 -0600 Report

I do scrapebooking. I can sit for hour and get my mind into a zone that is beyond concentration. I'm in my own little world there and it doesn't give me a chance to stress out. To me its relaxing…Debe

GabbyPA 2008-11-23 14:43:33 -0600 Report

That is what drawing and writing do for me. I can do that. I just finished our family christmas news letter and got them ready to go. That was a big relief to have finished. Unfinished things really make me nuts too, so getting some of my to do list done is always gratifying.

sexyswamprat 2008-11-29 16:24:04 -0600 Report

I have been scrapbooking(scrapbook junkie here! ) and making christmas cards for the last week now. Isn't it so relaxing. And when you can sit back and look at what you have done when you are finished it's very rewarding and gives you a huge sence of accompishment. My second favorite thing to baking. Which i am doing alot of for my mother and stepfather. My mother and I have set aside 2 days for holiday baking and I can't wait.

GabbyPA 2008-11-23 13:45:27 -0600 Report

I can do it pertty well while I am up and about, but the issue is at bed time. Then my mind just spins sometimes and it makes me really sad. There is a lot in the house right now and I always feel like the ogre...it sucks.

highlandcitygirl 2008-11-23 13:54:56 -0600 Report

why do you feel like an ogre? are you responsible for the care of others? and if so does your discions for them cause you stress? if you have a cd player,sometimes relaxing music can help!

GabbyPA 2008-11-23 14:39:33 -0600 Report

Oh, just family. My step daughter is going to be 27 in a few weeks and she is just so "blonde" sometimes. Then it seems to her, and to me, that all I do is correct her. It gets frustrating. Then she gets upset and pulls the woe is me junk, then I feel guilty...what a merry-go-round! LOL We get along really well, it is just lately it has been messy.

2008-11-23 11:50:37 -0600 Report

LAUGH Gabby LAUGH… Laughter is the best medicine for everything. Find something to laugh about every day, watch a good comedy, read a funny quote online,or play a game.

Laughter is what keeps me going everyday. I've always been a smart 'arse' though so for me laughter comes easily, if it doesn't for you… find that part of yourself and nurture it.

caspersmama 2008-11-23 09:00:36 -0600 Report

I go on the computer and play online games that need me to think. Like strategy games or scrabble. I used to come on here but sometimes that can be stressful too depending on the subject matter so I play games. I tend to come on here durig the day and find most times to be very informative and motivstional but if you are stressed somethings can rub you the wrong way and then it becomes more stressful so I stay away from here and e-mails.

shastadiabetes 2008-11-29 16:55:10 -0600 Report

Hello, I am shastadiabetes@yahoo.com small.
Besides Diabetes all of the do activities will cause stress. Diabetic Stress exsists when Diabetes takes Control. Sitting down and keeping a Daily record brings you back in control. Being a normal Diabetic causes stress. If you can make Diabetes Control the number priority in your life, you will find stress at ease. Basic Diabetic Control is vital, to releave stress.
Visit http://www.myspace.com/43yrsjuvenilediabeticlife to see what stress is really trying to do.

Daisy Holmes
Daisy Holmes 2008-11-30 20:08:07 -0600 Report

I get in my big tub filled with bubbles and turn the jets on, sometimes I fall asleep and wake up cold. I also try to find better ways to reduce stress.

Next Discussion: Obama »