Managing Stress In Daily Life
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.
What Happens When Cortisol Is High
Over the last 20 years, studies have increasingly revealed that moderate to high cortisol levels may lead to an array of health issues, such as :
- Chronic disease. Long-term increased cortisol may increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases.
- Weight gain. Cortisol may increase appetite and signal the body to shift metabolism to store fat.
- Lack of energy/difficulty sleeping. It can interfere with sleep hormones which may impact sleep quality and length.
- Difficulty concentrating. Also referred to as brain fog, some people report trouble focusing and lack of mental clarity.
- Impaired immune system. Increased cortisol can hamper the immune system, making it more difficult to fight infections.
- Cushings syndrome. In rare cases, very high cortisol levels can lead to Cushings syndrome, a rare but serious disease.
Elevated cortisol levels can be caused from many underlying issues such as overactivity or cancer of the pituitary or adrenal glands, chronic stress, and medication side effects .
Further, existing chronic disease may lead to higher cortisol levels, causing a chicken or the egg type of scenario .
Therefore, its best to work with a qualified health professional to establish the root cause of your health issues. Along with this, you may want to introduce some effective lifestyle habits that may help you better manage your cortisol levels. Here are some recommendations:
How Can Drawing And Painting Reduce Stress
Studies that were done on art and active creativitys impact on the brain show that dopamine levels often increased in patients who had newly creative outlets. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that often is low in patients with anxiety, depression, and excessive stress. Because art therapy has been seen to help increase these dopamine levels and help a patient feel happier, it is also an excellent choice for people with mental illnesses, such as chronic depression and anxiety.
Read Also: What Herbal Tea Is Good For Stress
Here Are Some Stress Relievers:
Tend To Your Spirituality
If you consider yourself spiritual, developing your faith can also help improve cortisol levels.
Studies show that adults who expressed spiritual faith experienced lower cortisol levels in the face of life stressors such as illness (
If you do not consider yourself spiritual, these benefits may also be available through meditation, developing a social support group, and performing acts of kindness .
For those with spiritual inclinations, developing faith and participating in prayer can help manage cortisol. Whether youre spiritual or not, performing acts of kindness can also improve your cortisol levels.
Read Also: How To Help Hair Loss From Stress
Quick Stress Relief At Work
Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy, or take calls outside when possible.
On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Suck on a peppermint. Sip tea.
Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Chat with a colleague.
Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk or mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.
Its Time To Commit To Yourself
Stress and anxiety doesnt have to be in control of you and its definitely not the norm. That doesnt mean that youll never feel stressed. On the contrary, life is messy and stressful things happen.
But you CAN manage stress and anxiety, be more resilient to stress and even prevent much of it.
Take back control of your life by implementing the above practices so that you can naturally relieve and prevent stress. And be sure that youre consistent with your practices !
And if youre serious about decreasing your stress levels, dont forget to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions for proven mindset and stress management strategies that will decrease stress, increase resilience and help you take control of your thoughts .
Grab your FREE copy here here:
Also Check: How Can I Be Less Stressed
Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
Easy Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally And Quickly
High on stress and in need of proven, quick ways to reduce stress naturally? If you said yes, then youre in luck because Im covering 20 effective ways to reduce stress naturally and quickly.
All of these techniques are simple and can be used when short on time. Most can be utilized anywhere, including at work.
And the best part is that they arent just natural stress relievers but will also help you keep stress levels low in the long-term.
To help you out further, be sure to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions, a free resource that will take you step-by-step through proven mindset and stress management strategies for less stress, more emotional control.
Theres lots to cover, so lets get started.
Read Also: How To Cope With Anger And Stress
When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress
“Its key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,” Dr. Stoll says. “We all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.”
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.
1. Re-balance Work and Home
All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
2. Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
4. Connect with Supportive People
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.
5. Carve out Hobby Time
Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.
6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Treatment For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Make Time For Yourself
In our busy lives, its easy to forget to make time for ourselves. But self-care is essential for managing stress.
Set aside some time each day even if its just 15 minutes to do something you enjoy. Whether its reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk, this time should be free from distractions and obligations.
Making time for yourself will help you recharge and feel more capable of dealing with stressors.
Read Also: What To Do When Your Stressed About School
Tip : Recognize When Youre Stressed
It might seem obvious that youd know when youre stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that weve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance: when were calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when youre stressed by listening to your body. When youre tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When youre happy, you laugh easily. And when youre stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your bodys clues.
Observe your muscles and insides. Are your muscles tense or sore? Is your stomach tight, cramped, or aching? Are your hands or jaw clenched?
Observe your breath. Is your breathing shallow? Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Watch your hands rise and fall with each breath. Notice when you breathe fully or when you forget to breathe.
Spend Time With Your Pet
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
When you cuddle or touch your pet, your body releases oxytocin a hormone thats linked to positive mood .
Plus, studies show that pet owners especially those who have dogs tend to have greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem, reduced levels of loneliness and anxiety, and more positive moods .
Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active, and providing companionship.
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
Don’t Miss: How To Fight Stress Eating
Best Ways To Manage Stress
Meditation can trigger the antidote to stress, called the relaxation response.
Goal setting and relaxation techniques reduce stress and ease the physical and emotional burdenit can take.
Stressful experiences come in many forms, such as a demanding job, a chronic disease, or an argument with a loved one. But all types of stressorseven stress from positive experiences,such as planning a partycan result in the same physical and emotional burden on health, especially when you’re an older adult. “As we age, our immune systems are less efficient, and adding stress to that can lead to disease progression or the onset of disease,” says Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Eat Healthy And Nutritious Foods
Photo Credit: Stacy via Flickrs Creative Commons
Ever heard the phrase eat your feelings?
Its a real phenomenon. Many people turn to unhealthy comfort foods as stress management at work.
Safe to safe that dealing with work stress in this manner is not good. Why does this happen? When were stressed, our brain releases the hormone cortisol, which makes us crave salty, sweet, and fat-laden foods for the temporary pleasure they bring. But ironically, stress eating only exacerbates the problem.
Sugar or fat-laden foods like pizza, burgers, and ice cream make us feel lethargic, and less likely to tackle the problems that lay before us, which in turn only increases our stress. Thats why its so important to eat healthy foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel our brains and support concentration and focus. This will give you the power to learn how to handle work pressure & how to overcome stress at work. Not sure what to eat? Here are some tips: Eat this:
- Complex carbs like whole wheat bread or pasta and vegetables
- Foods high in fiber like fruits and vegetables
- Superfoods like Kale, Dark Chocolate, and blueberries, which contain mood-boosting antioxidants
- Lean proteins like chicken, or better yet, wild-caught Alaskan Salmon
And dont forget, no other food category impacts your overall diet like snacking. The availability of healthy snacks will help improve your diet and keep your stress in check.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Increase Blood Pressure
What Causes Mental Stress
Its origin is triggered by a signal from outside stimuli a piece of information of an objective or subjective nature, or both at once. The mental stress develops very slowly at the beginning. We cannot observe its development because of our lack of understanding of mental energy.
The information we receive from the outside , creates a feeling that evolves into a negative emotion . For example, the inability to understand or accept other peoples point of view can cause mental stress.
My Personal Experience with Mental Stress
In my late twenties, I struggled consistently with mental stress. I was happy to work in a global corporation and also excited to be responsible for many projects at once. Despite the work load I had, I was a victim of mobbing because of my keen engagement towards my tasks. I was physically and mentally exhausted because of the many complex purchase orders I had to place for the projects assigned to me. On top of that, there were certain people in the organization giving me hard time because of my desire to strive to improve.
There was an immediate disharmony between me and these people that generated a feeling of intolerance and non-acceptance. This grew into feelings of disappointment and frustration, which ended up creating emotion of anger and anxiety over not performing well or losing my job.
Don’t Forget Plastic Bags
Nothing fancy, just the disposable grocery bags you stuffed in the back of your pantry. While they’re not the most luxurious of travel take-alongs, plastic bags prove their usefulness in a number of situations. You can fold and stuff your already-worn outfits into plastic bags to partition dirty laundry from the rest of your suitcase and keep it from stinking up the rest of your clothes. They can also offer some temporary storage for wet swimsuits and grubby shoes. Plus, if there’s any chance you’ll be grocery shopping on your trip, you can reuse those plastic shopping bags in countries that ban stores from providing them or require stores to charge extra for them.
Also Check: How To Help Someone That Is Stressed
Leave Luggage Wiggle Room If Necessary
Is there a chance you’ll hit the shops or bring back some souvenirs? As you’re loading up your luggage, take into account any extra space you might need on the way back. You don’t want to end up in a situation in which you’ve bought, say, a fabulous pair of pants at your destination, but your suitcase is so stuffed you have to consider sacrificing some other belongings in order to make them fit.
How To Relieve Stress With Art Therapy
One of the most significant aspects of art therapy is the ability to help the client relax. You do not have to be an artist to do this, so many people feel comforted that there is no pressure on their creative flow. Art therapy allows the client to get their mind off whatever may be bothering them, even if its just for a brief period. Creating art helps many people slow down, allowing them to relax, de-stress, and tap into their creativity.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Stress Hives Fast
Listen To Relaxing Music
Listening to relaxing music is a great way to de-stress. Many different genres of music can help you relax, including classical, jazz, and nature sounds.
Put on some soft music the next time youre feeling stressed and see if it helps you relax. You may also desire to create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes. Also, try not to listen to music with lyrics when youre trying to relax. The words can actually cause more stress by triggering racing thoughts.