Eating Can Be Stressful
Down another coffee or eat something sweet for an energy boost? Unfortunately, this strategy can backfire because caffeine and sugar further increase our stress levels. How about drinking a decaffeinated coffee or a hot cup of chamomile tea? Doesnt sound as sexy, but it can help you and tastes just as good as the leaded variety
What Is Emotional Stress
Emotional stress may not be something that you have heard about before. And you may be wondering how it’s different from regular stress.
Emotions are at the root of all stress. When your emotions are not handled and controlled properly, it’s easy for them to lead you into other struggles in life. For example, you may think that you’re stressed about your financial situation and not knowing where the money is going to come from to pay bills. But, your emotions, left unchecked, is where the feelings of stress that you are experiencing are coming from.
Two people can go through the same situation, have the same problem, and respond in two completely different ways. One of them can remain calm and peaceful about the situation and be able to find a solution, while the other becomes stressed, leading them to other symptoms as well.
Offer Yourself Forgiveness And Compassion
Just like the forgiveness you might offer someone who wronged you, self-forgiveness allows you to let go of past events and move forward.
So, instead of giving yourself a hard time, tell yourself its all right:
Waiting to do that project didnt turn out so well, but its OK to make mistakes. Now I know what not to do next time.
Self-compassion can also go a long way toward easing the harsh criticism and self-blame that tend to trail in procrastinations wake.
Instead of focusing on how you messed up , offer yourself some words of comfort.
If it helps, consider what you might say to a friend:
- It sounds like youre struggling right now, but I can tell youre doing your best.
- That assignment sounds really stressful. I know you want to do the best work possible, but its just a first draft, right? You can always improve on it later if your team has any suggestions.
Dont you deserve that same kindness?
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Talk About Your Problems
If things are bothering you, talking about them can help lower your stress. You can talk to family members, friends, a trusted clergyman, your doctor, or a therapist.
And you can also talk to yourself. Itâs called self-talk and we all do it. But in order for self-talk to help reduce stress you need to make sure itâs positive and not negative.
So listen closely to what youâre thinking or saying when youâre stressed out. If youâre giving yourself a negative message, change it to a positive one. For example, donât tell yourself âI canât do this.â Tell yourself instead: âI can do this,â or âIâm doing the best I can.â
Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
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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.
How To Reduce Stress
Article revised on 26 April 2020.
Stress is a deeply unpleasant state that saps all the texture, beauty, and joy out of being alive. It is an important cause of depression, suicide, anger, accidents, headaches, heart attacks, cancer, and countless other ills. Stressed people live poorer and shorter lives. They live less.
Although stress is often related to life events, such as losing a loved one, getting divorced, or falling ill, most of the day-to-day stress that we experience comes from smaller background stressors such as constant deadlines, tense relationships, painful memories, isolation, discrimination, poor housing, and unpaid bills.
The amount of stress that a person can handle is largely related to her thinking styles and social skills. People with positive thinking styles and social skills are in a better position to diffuse stressful situationsfor example, by doing something about them, putting them into perspective, or talking them through with someone.
1. The first step in dealing with stress is to recognize its warning signs.
2. Next, make a list of situations in which you feel that way.
3. For each situation on your list, come up with one or more strategies for preventing, avoiding, or diffusing it.
Here’s an example:
You can also use some more general strategies for reducing stress.
Deep breathing involves regulating your breathing:
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
Managing Stress During The Interview
Job interviews are stressful for most people. Even if you’ve interviewed a lot, it can still be challenging to stay calm and collected. You’re meeting new people in a new environment, and you’re trying to sell your credentials to someone who might be your next boss.
A big part of handling stress is preparation. Be sure to research the company in advance and practice answering common interview questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable youll feel in the interview.
You can also reduce stress by avoiding negative thinking . Instead, visualize having a successful interview . Do this visualization in the hours right before the interview.
Use these relaxation techniques. If you start to feel stressed just before the interview, try taking a deep breath or two to relax. During the interview, feel free to take a breath or a sip of water before answering a question. This will give you some time to compose yourself and prepare your answer.
Watch your body language. Your body language during the interview can also help convey that you’re relaxed. Try to avoid fidgeting too much. Stand up straight and look the interviewer in the eye . By appearing calm and confident, you are more likely to feel calm and confident.
Being able to effectively handle a stressful job interview will indicate to employers that you’ll also be able to handle workplace stress.
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Healthy Ways To Cope With Stress
Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Its good to be informed but hearing about the traumatic event constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.
- Continue with routine preventive measures as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible get a booster shot if you are age 18 or older.
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
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Stress Is A Modern Word For A Spirit Of Fear
Many people dont even realize that stress is just a modern word for fear. Fear is actually a spirit of fear that influences our thoughts.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
In any given situation, fear wants to help us process the event. It wants to keep us from taking our struggles to the Father who could help us properly process and deal with the situation.
Fear speaks to our spirit, and our theta brainwaves bring the fear thought to our mind to process it. If we dont identify it as an invasive thought and cast it down, we allow that spirit of fear to remain in us and tempt us with fearful thoughts and feelings.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV
Surrender And Let Go Of Control
Anxiety comes from trying to control things in your life. Control is an illusion. We don’t have full control over anything. We have influence at best. Life is unpredictable. You may have a plan for how you want your life to look, but life doesn’t always like your plans.
It will hit you with twists and turns that will force you to change course and go down paths you never thought you’d take. People get into trouble when they resist the redirection.
The key to overcoming anxiety is learning to release the need for control. Whatever you resist, persists. When you are able to surrender to what is and trust that everything that is happening in your life has a purpose, you set yourself free.
The most painful events of my life have shaped me into the person I am today. If I hadn’t gone through the worst days of my life, I would have never started investing in my personal growth, which inevitably led to me creating my dream life.
When painful things happen in our lives, it’s easy to instantly judge the events as bad. However, when you adopt the mindset that everything is happening for you, you are no longer a victim of your circumstances.
In turn, you are better able to bounce forward from adversity and recognize an experience, either good or bad, for what it is an opportunity to grow and become more.
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Acute Versus Chronic Stress
The experience of stress can be either acute or chronic. Acute stress usually occurs in response to a short-term stressor, like a car accident or an argument with your spouse. Acute stress can be very distressing, but it passes quickly and typically responds well to coping techniques like calming breathing or brisk physical activity.
Chronic stress occurs when stressors dont let up. The roots of chronic stress can vary widely, from situations people can control or avoid to difficulties that are hard to escape . Because people respond differently to stressful circumstances, a situation that one person might find tolerable can become a source of chronic stress for another.
Chronic stress can damage both mental and physical health. Being chronically stressed may leave you feeling fatigued, sap your ability to concentrate and cause headaches and digestive difficulties. People prone to irritable bowel syndrome often find that their symptoms spike with psychological stress.15 Though acute stress can heighten certain immune responses, the wear-and-tear of chronic stress is bad for the immune system.16 Chronic stress can also affect cardiac health, with multiple studies finding a link between chronic stress and the development of coronary artery disease.17
The American Psychological Association gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Beverly Thorn, PhD, in developing this fact sheet.
Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.
Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.
You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.
Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include:
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Plus A Free Printable 7 Steps To Defeating Fear
Time magazines June 6, 1983 cover story called stress The Epidemic of the Eighties. They referred to it as a leading health problem. There is no doubt that the stress situation has worsened since them. Numerous surveys confirm that adult Americans perceive that they are under much more stress than a decade or two ago. The problem is, most people dont know how to overcome stress in their lives. Many people seek medical help to manage the symptoms, but God has a better way, and its found in His Word. Today I want to share with you seven easy steps to defeating stress in your life.
Do More Of What You Love
Doing things youre not excited or passionate about can sooner or later contribute to the feeling of being stressed. If you have to pursue another persons dreams or aims, youll run out of motivation quickly. At the same time, the pursuit of your own vision will give you a sense of fulfillment. Even more so, going the extra mile is not at all stressful, if youre truly passionate about what you do. Doing what you truly love can ignite a powerful and stress-reducing fire within you.
As you can see, we tend to perceive stress differently depending on what we do. If youre able to include more of the activities you love in your life, you can significantly reduce stress. As a positive side effect, spending more time doing what you love will make you feel better and helps you to relax. Even better, scientific research highlighted that you can replenish energy resources by engaging in an interesting task. Paradoxically, interesting tasks replenish your energy, even if they are complex and require a lot of effort.
It might not be possible for you to pursue that which you love for a living. The stress-reducing benefits, however, can also be gained by finding hobbies or leisure activities that enrich your life. Find something that is meaningful to you and gives you a sense of fulfillment to better cope with stress.
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