Everything you need to know about stress and how to deal with it
If you were asked to describe your workplace or rather your life in general, how would you put it? Ground-breaking? Rejuvenating? Satisfying? How about stressful?
Unfortunately, statistics about stress, even though not collected on a systematic or regular basis, exist and impact your health and mind. Stress has been given the status of ‘World Wide Epidemic’ by WHO, which clearly shows its huge influence worldwide.
While most of the people think that stress is something related to mind and only has psychological effects on an individual, it definitely has a huge impact on your body too.
During stress, our body releases the cortisol hormone, which triggers a cascade of changes in the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems of our body. Although this hormone release is a good, short-term strategy to tackle less critical activities of one’s body, such as digestion, the major problem occurs when stress becomes a long-term issue.
Chronic stress is not just responsible for an increased blood pressure, but over the time, it also increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Above of that, it can also led to unhealthy behaviour in individuals, such as smoking, poor diet, and drinking, all leading to the risk of serious conditions.
Influence of Stress on Physical Health
- Stress often leads to muscle tension, which in turn leads to annoying headaches as well as body pain.
- It disrupts the body rhythm, which results in fatigue and physical vulnerability and lowers down your immune system.
- Stress also affects your circadian rhythm, which leads you mostly waking up as tired and stressed.
Influence of Stress on Mental Health
- Besides its influence on your body, stress also has severe consequences on your mental well-being.
For instance, stress leads to worrying, and you keep getting stuck on the same subject due to thinking in circles without coming onto any proper solution. If this cycle goes on for a longer period of time, it can also lead to depression and burnout.
- Stress is also known to create problems in focussing on and remembering things, which makes carrying out the daily activities, such as household or office work much more difficult. Being stressed, these tasks will obviously take more time than required, which eventually leads to more stress.
How to Deal With Stress?
- As stress is responsible for many chronic diseases, health insurance companies have introduced certain health plans that are specifically designed to focus on these diseases. This is ultimately a good thing as you know that you have easy access to medical help and can readily compare health insurance plans and buy one for your future use.
- However, the following tips and guidelines will not only help you avoid or at least lessen the effects of stress and its trigger factors but will also give you a better control over your life. Consider the below-enumerated tips to stop stress from getting to you:
1.Indulge in Regular Exercise
- Stress increases the level of hormones such as cortisol in your body, which actually leads to a ‘fight or flight’ situation.
- Even though stress can neither be handled with the ‘fight or flight’ response, one can easily use physical exercise as a substitute to metabolize the excessive release of stress hormones and restore his mind and body to a much calmer and relaxed state.
- Exercising also helps to increase the level of positive chemicals (also known as endorphins) in our body.
- Whenever you feel stressed, visit a refreshing neighbourhood for a brisk walk. Also, make it a point to incorporate some physical exercises in your daily routine. Certain forms of exercises, such as boxing or martial arts can work as an outlet to release all your vent-up frustration and anger.
2. Get More Sleep
- Lack of sleep is one of the most significant causes of stress. At the same time, stress also interferes with our sleep, as we keep thinking in circles and it stops us from relaxing enough to sleep.
- Instead of relying on medicines, you should try to maximise your relaxation before going to bed and follow a sleeping routine by going to your bed at the same time every day, as it helps the mind and body getting used to an expected bedtime routine.
- Avoid any consumption of caffeine or alcohol before your bedtime, as this causes disturbed sleep. You can also listen to soft music or read a book to relax your body and mind.
- An uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep is a crucial part of making your mind and body stress-free and feeling rejuvenated the next day.
3. Use Relaxation Techniques
- There are many ‘tried and tested’ stress reduction techniques shared by the experts, which you can try to incorporate into your day-to-day routine.
- For instance, self-hypnosis is one of the easiest stress-reduction techniques, which can be practiced anywhere – from your office desk to inside your car. One very simple way to use self-hypnosis is to find a positive word or phrase, such as ‘calm’ ‘peace’, ‘love’, ‘I deserve peace’, etc. and keep on using it every single time your mind tries to wander into the circle of intrusive thoughts.
- Meditating activities like deep breathing techniques and yoga also work as relaxation techniques and are proved to be very useful to relax one’s muscles and mind.
With practice and the designated medical help, you will be able to eventually manage stress in your day-to-day life. Following the aforementioned tips helps you manage stress and potential threats associated with it.
Still, it’s important to understand that they are not a substitute for therapy; hence, if you are suffering from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), don’t hesitate to seek medical help at the earliest.