LEARN ABOUT WAYS TO EASE STRESS
Did you know that most humans experience stress on a regular basis? Stress is a sense of being under a lot of pressure. This pressure can come from different factors of every life and circumstance. For instance, increased workload, transitions, arguments, financial worries, work-life balance can cause stress to anyone. The stressors can have a cumulative effect and lead to a severe issue.
In these situations, a person can feel threatened or upset. These feelings can lead our body to create a stress response. This can cause various physical symptoms, behavioral changes, and heightened emotions.
Stress can have an intense impact on physical and emotional well-being. It is critical to understand that stress impacts everyone differently. A person needs to identify their stressors and their triggers.
Some of the typical indications and symptoms may include:
⦁ Constant worry or anxiety
⦁ Being overwhelmed
⦁ Lack of focus
⦁ Mood swings
⦁ Short temper or irritability
⦁ Low self-esteem
⦁ Change in diet
⦁ Disturbed circadian/sleep cycle
⦁ Consuming alcohol and tobacco to relax
⦁ Poor digestive system
⦁ Feeling nauseous and dizzy
⦁ Loss of libido
Types and Factors of Stress :
As per studies, stress can also be positive. Positive stress can improve an individual’s vigilance and performance. This kind of stress is usually short-lived and helps a person channel their energy.
Excessive and prolonged stress can lead to a lot of issues in life. It can cause heart diseases, mental health issues, and other health issues. Physical health problems due to stress also include lower immunity levels, digestive difficulties, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.
Most people and their bodies react to stress differently. The common symptoms are triggered by a rush of Cortisol, the stress hormone. Once cortisol is released, our body prepares itself to deal with pressure and threats. This is referred to as the fight, flight, or freeze response of the body.
While cortisol prepares the body to react, another hormone called adrenaline raises the blood pressure and the heart rate. As a result, we experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion, and dizziness. The stressors can also cause palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the longer run, these can result in severe conditions and also risk stroke and heart attack.
Stress could be caused either by major upheavals and life events or by minor irritations. There is no one cause and reason to fit all. All sorts of situations can cause stress and impact any person’s life.
Lately, it has been observed that the increased pressure at work has been the biggest contributor to stress among young people. People are over-worked with low to no energy left to recuperate. This results in extensive unmanaged work-related stress, anxiety, and burnout.
It is natural for any human to feel stress. However, it is important to regulate and manage stress to ensure holistic well-being. While one can reach out to a mental health professional to seek help and guidance.
Here are a few things to self-regulate:
1. Engage in physical activities
Moving your body will definitely help in times when you feel stressed. Engaging in physical activities reduces stress and improves mood. As per studies, having a workout routine significantly improves self-reported depression. Having a sedentary lifestyle may lead to increased stress, poor mood, and disturbed sleep.
2. Follow a healthy diet
Your gut plays a great role in determining your moods and mental health. Based on studies, following a nutrient-dense diet and avoiding ultra-processed foods could help your body optimize its health in every aspect. Having a healthy diet also decreases the risk of nutrient deficiency which helps regulate stress.
3. Limit your screen time
Our lives are now limited to screens. We spend most of our time looking at screens, from phones to tablets to laptops. Excessive phone usage has been associated with increased levels of stress and mental health disorder. Minimizing screen time may help reduce stress and improve sleep in both children and adults.
4. Use of supplements
Several vitamins and minerals are vital to regulate mood and respond to the body’s stress.
5. Practice self-care
For self-care, you could set aside some time dedicated to yourself and do any of the following activities:
⦁ Focus on breathing. Try slow and deep breaths to lower the blood pressure and heart rate.
⦁ Listen to music. Music is like a quick fix for a bad mood. It helps to release energy while grooving to the beats.
⦁ Go for a walk. Walking helps in calming down and gathering thoughts.
⦁ Body tapping. Tap on the parts of the body where stress is prevalent. Do it for a couple of minutes while focusing on the breath. This technique is useful in relaxing and acknowledging the impact of stress on the body.
⦁ Backwards counting. This will distract the brain from current stressors and help it calm down.
⦁ Stretch. It will help relieve muscle tension and release stress from the body.
⦁ Squeeze a ball/cushion. This process is known as progressive relaxation. It involves tensing a muscle to relieve stress.
⦁ Socialize. Be with people who are calming and understanding. Being with like-minded people is rejuvenating and fun.
⦁ Use of arts. Any expressive arts could be truly therapeutic. One could use dance, music, painting, or crafts as a way to deal with stress and anxiety.
⦁ Eat healthy meals. It is crucial to have healthy food and not skip any meals. While stress eating is a real thing, have healthy alternates as primary options.
⦁ Use some scents through candles or essential oils. Some of the most relaxing scents include lavender, rose, chamomile, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, orange, neroli.
6. Reduce and adjust caffeine intake.
Caffeine is a chemical found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks that stimulates your central nervous system. Consuming too much caffeine can worsen mental well-being and induce feelings of anxiety. While the sensitivity to caffeine is subjective and varies greatly, large amounts of caffeine may increase stress and anxiety.
7. Avoid Procrastination.
Procrastination can harm your productivity and make you super stressed to catch up on work. This stress can have several issues with sleep and overall health. You could make to-do lists, set timers and deadlines to work through your phase of procrastination.
8. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness helps you steer your focus and think about the present. Meditating and practicing mindfulness on a consistent basis can help boost your mood and decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety.
A person would need support in case self-regulation does not work for them. If and when the daily stressors begin to turn excessive, intense and unmanageable, that would be the sign to consult an expert. One can always visit and consult a mental health professional for the sake of emotional well-being. It is necessary to identify the key stressor, their triggers and regulation methods to simplify everyday life. This will not just improve one’s productivity but also enhance the holistic development and well-being.