NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Maxed Out? Use the F.A.C.T.S.

Maxed Out?  Use the F.A.C.T.S.The stress in our lives can build up as tension in our bodies.  Sometimes it shows up as a headache.  Sometimes it shows up as a frown.  Sometimes it shows up as clenched teeth or clenched fists, or a tight jaw.

Before reading any further do this:  Tighten and hold tight for a few seconds all the muscles in your face.  Then relax your facial muscles.   Now squeeze your shoulders together and hold the squeeze for a few seconds, then relax your shoulders.

Next, flex your arm muscles, then relax and let your arms hang at your sides. Finally, wiggle your fingers, and scrunch them up tight and hold them tight for a few seconds.  Then shake your hands and then let your hands relax.

Now breathe in a deep breath (count slowly 1, 2, 3, 4.)  Then exhale slowly to the count of 4.  Ahhhh.

Wherever you are, garden, office, field, kitchen, barn, feedlot, factory, plant, or anywhere else, and whatever you are doing there, take a break to breathe.  Having to be reminded to breathe, stretch or relax seems unnecessary, but we all need to hear it from time to time.

Volunteering (doing something to serve or help others), even when “we don’t have time,” has been shown to be mood enhancer.  Also worth checking into is the five minute video, “Drought and Stress: Staying Resilient” that was posted on NDResponse.gov website.  Dr. Andy McLean shares numerous helpful tips, including the F.A.C.T.S. to remember when we find ourselves feeling stressed:

  • Foster hope - Challenge your negative thoughts, surround yourself with positive people and reach out to trusted individuals. Put your problems in perspective.
  • Act with purpose - Make a list of realistic things you can accomplish. Advocate for yourself and reach out for resources.
  • Connect with others - Social connections are most important during trying times. Maintain relationships, and give and receive help.
  • Take care of yourself - Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically allows you to help yourself and others. 
  • Search for meaning - Find opportunity in the difficult times. Consider change when change is needed.

The link to McLean’s video, NDResponse.gov, and many other helpful behavioral health resources can be found on the NDSU Extension webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/cff/resources-for-emotional-and-mental-health

Source: Kim Bushaw, NDSU family science specialist, 701-231-7450, kim.bushaw@ndsu.edu

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/stress-worry-stressed-worried-494222/ (downloaded 9/6/17)


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