Stress is a common experience for every one of us. We all feel stress from time to time, but chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm. Stress is the feeling when you have to handle something more than you are used to. When you are under stress, your body responds as if you are in danger. Your brain secretes hormones speeding up your heartbeat, faster breathing and a burst of energy to get out of the situation. This response has a nice name to it, “fight-or-flight”. Read on to find out more on coping strategies for stress.
There are at least three different types of stress. Routine stress is related to the pressures of every day life, such as the pressures of work, family, and other daily responsibilities, stress brought on by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce or illness, and traumatic stress, which happens when you are in a dangerous situation of being seriously hurt or killed, such as an accident, the war, assault, or a natural disaster. This can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people who experience traumatic stress often experience temporary symptoms of mental illness, but most usually recover naturally.
Effects of stress
During times of stress, your nervous system triggers the release of stress hormones, (adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol). These stimulate the systems in your body. For example, they cause sugars and fats to pour into the bloodstream for energy. Your blood pressure rises, and your heart beats faster in order to boost circulation to muscles in the arms and legs. Your respiration increases, which supplies the muscles with more oxygen. The blood clots more easily as a protection to prevent injury, and your perspiration increases in order to cool your body down in your energized state.
This stress response happens very quickly. This is a response to save your life in emergency situations. Once the danger is past, your body will gradually return to its normal state but sometimes they don’t always go away leaving harmful effects on your body. Stress can depress your immune system and that is why people who are under pressure a lot of the time tend to get more infections, like the flu or the common cold. Some people may feel stress in different ways. Some may experience digestive symptoms, others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depression, anger, and irritability. Some may cope with stress more effectively than others. It is important to know your limits when it comes to stress, in order to avoid more serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity as well as anxiety and depression.
Stress in different situations
Some stress is normal and useful for certain situations. This stress response allows you to work harder or react to a situation quickly. For example, this sudden energy burst can win a race or finish an important job on time. However, if stress occurs too often or lasts longer, it can create a bad impact on the body. Stress is highly linked to headaches, back pain, upset stomach, and sleeping issues. It can weaken your immunity, making it difficult for your body to fight against the disease. If you are already suffering a health issue, stress may make it worse. You can become tense, depressed and moody from stress. Your relationship may suffer and you may not do well at school or at work.
What can you do about stress?
The good thing is, it is easy to learn your own ways of managing stress. To get things under control, the following tips should be useful. Find out what is causing stress in your life. Figure out what is causing the stress in your life. Then, you have to find out ways for reducing it. You also should live healthily and follow healthy ways of living to reduce your stress and get rid of its harmful effects.
How do you measure your stress level?
It’s always important to find out your source of stress. Everyone feels and responds to stress differently. Tracking your stress will give you essential insides. Let’s get started with a notebook and write down all the things that stress you or make you feel stressed. Tracking your stress stimulator will help you understand what is causing your stress and how much stress you are feeling. Then, you can take the necessary steps to reduce your stress or handle it better.
How can you avoid stress?
Stress is a fact of life for everyone. It is nothing to be ashamed about. You may not be able to get rid of stress but you definitely can find out ways to lower it.
Here are some good ideas to try out.
Learn to manage your time. With a proper schedule, you will be able to get more things done with less stress. Figure out the most important tasks and complete them first.
Find better ways to cope with the situation. Take a look at your method of stress management. Be honest about what works and what doesn’t. Think about other methods that may work better for you.
Taking good care of yourself is very important. Get plenty of rest, give up smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Try out new ways of thinking. When you start worrying, try to stop or change those thoughts. Write down the things that worry you, work on letting go of things that are not within your ability. Learn to say “no”
Speak up. Not being able to talk about your needs can create a huge and constant pressure on you. This can essentially lead to negative effects and worse. Assertive communication can help you express your feeling in thoughtful, and tactful ways.
Ask for help. People having strong friends and family network are able to handle stress better. Sometimes, your stress may be too much for you to handle alone. Talking to a friend or family member may help. You can also speak to your doctor or a counselor to get advice to help you.
Stress Management techniques
You will feel better if you can find out ways to relieve stress. For each person, the ways of relieving stress can be different. Here are some effective ideas that you can try out.
Exercise is always a good thing. Regular exercise is one of the best ways for stress management. Walking, for example, can be an effective one. Writing about things can help a lot. (keep a journal). Sit down for a few minutes each day to write about issues that concern you. Do activities you love in your free time to keep your mind off stress.
Don’t hold your feelings; let them out. Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to, with someone you trust. Do something you enjoy doing. A hobby can be a great way to relax your mind. Volunteering on works that help others is also a great stress reliever.
Learning ways to relax your body also helps a lot. These methods include deep breathing exercise, massage, yoga, muscle relaxation exercise, aromatherapy or relaxing exercises like qi gong or tai chi. Put your focus on the present. Try meditating and imagery exercise. Listen to your favorite and relaxing music. Try to look for humor in life. Laughter is one of the finest medicine you’ll find to relieve stress.
Get some sunshine. Go outside for a few minutes. Exposure to sunlight increases serotonin levels which is a natural brain chemical that reduces stress and gives you feelings of calm and well-being. Take mini-breaks to let your mind rest at least 5 minutes every hour. This will help you to stay calm and focused. Make sure to always eat breakfast and lunch, as blood sugar spikes can leave you fatigued and irritable and you will be less able to cope with stress.
Actually, just practicing a regular stress management method or two, can eliminate some of the heaviest stresses you feel right now. These methods are also able to improve your management skills and make you more resilient in the face of stress in the future. There are several different things you can try out. The trick is to figure out what suits your lifestyle and personality the most so that it’s easier to stick with.
Stress can affect your health. It is important to pay attention to how you deal with stress so that you know when to seek help. Preventing and managing chronic stress can lower your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. You can find ways to manage your stress by noticing when you feel stressed, by taking time to relax, getting active, eating healthy, and talking to family and friends. You don’t always avoid stress, but you can take action to deal with your stress in a positive way, by feeling in control of your situation. I hope these coping strategies for stress will help you manage stress as well as lead a healthier, happier life. Feel free to leave a comment!
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Please feel free to leave a comment.