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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Six Secrets to Stop Feeling Depressed During a Recession

By Kirsten Whittaker
The tight economic times aren't just hard on our wallets (and 401Ks) they bump up our stress level too. But you can stop feeling depressed with these 6 secret steps.
Job insecurity, financial pressures and constant uncertainty that on top of the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives all contribute to a steadily mounting stress level.
What's worse, if you ignore stress (prolonged, unexpected or unmanageable) this doesn't make it go away. In fact, the destructive consequences of long-term stress on the body and mind are all the worse if you don't do anything to manage it.
With regular reports of gloomy economic numbers, it's no surprise that the most recent Stress in America survey found that our financial worries are taking a physical and emotional toll on everyone, with working women bearing the brunt of the stress.
Nearly half of the nearly 1,800 adult respondents said their stress levels were up over a year ago. People reported fatigue, being irritable or angry, or lying awake at night because of stress.
Women are more likely to report these stress symptoms than men.
Veterans of the stress management world, clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry Dr. Paul J. Rosch, and research psychologist Deborah Rozman recommend these strategies to cope:
1. Volunteer - not the thing you'd expect to top a list like this, but Rozman insists it's a great strategy. "Volunteering actually opens you up to possibilities," she explains. The amazing thing is that there is no shortage of opportunities. Think about a church or local event, a food pantry or soup kitchen, driving elderly neighbors to appointments - All these are examples of ways to get your mind off you. What's more this will "reopen the heart," according to Rozman, "because the heart gets shut down when you worry."
2. Practice appreciation - by changing your outlook, focusing on what you still have, you can do yourself a world of good. Rozman explains. "If you still have a job, appreciate that." Look for the good in your life and take a moment to enjoy these things, whatever they might be. She contends that doing this will help to bring hope back to your heart.
3. Tweak traditional de-stress advice - do what works for you. You've heard about regular exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and the relaxation techniques you might use to calm yourself. "You have to find out what works for you so that you will practice and adhere to it because it relieves tension and makes you feel better," Dr. Rosch points out. "Jogging, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga and listening to music are great for some but dull, boring and stressful when arbitrarily imposed on others."
4. Decrease the drama - that's around you as much as possible. Even if you can't be rid of it all, cut some out. For example, Rozman points out that those who are in fear of losing a job might tend to grumble more. This only adds to your stress and makes the environment around you miserable too. "Drama is when we amp up anger, anxiety or fear," Rozman continues. Rather than piling on to a stress filled discussion, try to change the subject or the tone.
5. Ration your news diet - and you'll notice the difference at once. The news, now always-on and intent on disaster is full of gloom and doom. Limit your viewing, Rozman suggests, deciding how much you can watch to stay informed without being overwhelmed.
6. Stop the comparisons - they're hard to avoid in times like these, but they are no help in the end. "Don't compare the present with the past," Rozman says. Give yourself time to mourn and heal after a setback. But then you must move on. Instead of thinking about what you've lost, think instead about what you can still do to reach your goals.
By using these suggestions to cope with the stress around you, shifting focus to the positive, you'll be able to put this troublesome feature of our modern world in its place.
While experts have found that stress can add years to a person, they also know that those who cope effectively have higher levels of good cholesterol.
Finding coping strategies that work for you and keeping a positive, upbeat attitude are the sure-fire ways to manage the stressful situations to come and to help you stop feeling depressed.
Next just head on over to the Daily Health Bulletin for more information on how to stop feeling depressed and why it is so important to your health. For a limited time you can grab 5 FREE essential health reports...

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