What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
The Importance Of Resilience In Mental Health
Resilience is known as bouncing back from the adversities and bringing in strength to cope to difficulties. Adversities happen at personal, community and organisational level. Resilience allows the person to come out of the adversity, rather than staying with it and to move forward further. This is a way of maintaining positive mental health and maintaining ones own well being in the midst of adverse conditions. It enables a person to maintain positive health in the midst of challenges .
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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.
Tips For Developing An Exercise Routine
An exercise routine doesn’t develop overnight. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get an activity tracker: Logging at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can help improve your mood.
- Start slow: You don’t have to do 30 minutes of exercise all at once five to 10 minutes at a time makes a difference.
- Go outside: Getting away from a screen and into the fresh air can help reduce stress.
- Buddy up: Having a friend to exercise with can be motivating and hold both of you accountableâplus it’s more fun.
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Talk Yourself Through It
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.
Dont worry about seeming crazy just tell yourself why youre stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress
Stressed out employees are bad for profits and morale. Heres how to help your team perform at their very best.
Have you ever had a day at work when your mind was somewhere else and you couldnt focus? It might have had something to do with stress, or maybe even stress at work itself.
According to the Harvard Gazette, 36% of U.S. workers suffer from workplace stress and it costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays.
Stress is a normal part of work and life, but too much of it can have dire effects on team morale and productivity. As a business leader, how can you de-stress your employees lives so they perform at their very best? We have a few ideas.
Psst…we have an entire toolkit around employee happiness complete with team bonding ideas and an employee happiness survey. You .
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Make Time For Leisure Activities
Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.
But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.
Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.
Procrastination As A Contributing Factor
Heres the thing about procrastination: The negative emotions you associate with a given task dont go away when you avoid that task. They feed on themselves and grow, rapidly.
Say you put off creating a work presentation. You want to impress your boss, but youre worried about meeting their high standards.
Of course, the more you delay, the less time you have to do the work. As the deadline approaches, you dont just doubt your ability to create a successful presentation. You also feel overwhelmed about the amount of work involved, and youre stressed at the thought of not getting it done in time.
You know youve created a sticky situation for yourself, but you care more about the peace of mind that avoiding the project provides. Its this fleeting peace that generally reinforces the procrastination loop.
Ask yourself: Do you actually feel calm? Probably not. Youve likely noticed an undercurrent of anxiety rippling through your waking thoughts.
And therein lies the rub. Procrastination creates a cycle thats difficult to escape, because the temporary reward of putting something off reinforces your desire to do it again even though it creates more problems.
A procrastination habit can eventually complicate the emotional concerns that triggered it in the first place.
Over time, procrastination and the loop it tends to create can lead to:
These strategies can help you break the procrastination cycle even when its an ingrained habit.
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Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
Stress Relief Techniques To The Rescue
Activities that switch on the bodys natural relaxation response feel great, Buenaver says. And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.
Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
- Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
- If youd like, repeat to yourself, Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
- Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice how relaxed each muscle group feels.
- Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
- Repeat for any areas that are still tense.
As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it, Buenaver says.
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Meditation Promotes Relaxation And Restful Sleep
Many of us live in a state of chronic sleep deprivation, which increases our stress levels and irritability. Scientific studies have found that meditation is an effective therapy for insomnia and can help you get the restful sleep that is vital to physical and emotional health.
When you meditate, your brain produces more brainwaves that promote deep relaxation, including alpha and theta brainwaves, which are associated with deep relaxation. After a meditation practice, you carry this sense of greater calm with you into your activities, allowing you to stay more centered in the face of lifes inevitable upsets. Then when its time to bed, instead of ruminating about what happened earlier in the day, you are more likely to drift to sleepand stay asleep.
Quick Stress Relief On The Go
In traffic. Play music or listen to an audiobook. Take a different route to see something new. Do neck-rolls at stoplights. Sing in the car to stay awake and happy.
Public transportation. Take a break from reading, cell conversations, and music to tune into the sights and sounds around you. Try noticing something new, even if youre on the same old bus ride.
Running errands. Wear a special perfume or lotion so you can enjoy it while you rush from place to place. Carry a stress ball in your pocket. Take a mental snapshot or postcard at each destination.
Waiting in lines. Instead of worrying about time slipping away, focus on your breathing. People watch. Chat with the person ahead of you. Chew a stick of minty gum.
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Tip : Connect To Others
There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the bodys defensive fight-or-flight response. Its natures natural stress reliever . So make it a point to connect regularlyand in personwith family and friends.
Keep in mind that the people you talk to dont have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.
Of course, its not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to lifes stressors.
Tips for building relationships
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.
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Importance Of Friendship In Of Mice And Men
Also end up being a happier person which in the long run helps and builds friends up to be the best they can be. Mentally people are shown to be able to deal with stress easier, also have a better outlook on life being happy. This is very important because it tells how overall they are becoming stronger as an individual and becoming a better person because of solid friendships. A statement from
What To Do When Youre Going Through A Stressful Time
Some stressors get resolved relatively quickly and go away . Other stressors are ones you have to cope with for long stretches of time, such as going through a divorce or breakup, managing a difficult health diagnosis, or looking for a new job. It could even be something exciting say if youre preparing for an upcoming move or planning a wedding.
Anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful even positive things, Dr. Schiff says. On these occasions, sticking to your usual routines can be helpful.
There is some reassurance in knowing whats going to happen and when, not to mention that routines promote positive physical and mental health, Schiff says. When faced with events that are scary and largely out of our control, its important to realize what you can control.
Its also important to acknowledge the extra stress youre feeling and perhaps take your stress management up a notch.
Its also a good idea to lean on your social circle in times like these. Spending time with family or friends who make you feel good, or finding a community with whom you share interests or spiritual beliefs, reduces stress, says Alka Gupta, MD, an internal medicine and integrative medicine doctor in private practice in Washington, DC.
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How Can I Reduce My Acculturative Stress
Participation in meaningful activities The most prominent theme to emerge from the data related with the coping technique was participation in meaningful activities. As a manner of coping with acculturative stress, the majority of participants were involved in a range of activities such as club activities, volunteer work, and hobbies. These activities provided them with opportunities to learn about their culture and themselves at the same time.
The more you know about your culture and yourself the better equipped you will be to deal with any challenges that may arise. For example, if you are faced with a language barrier, it would be helpful to know that many people in the country you have moved to find ways around this by using . Or if you need to report a crime, knowing that police officers are trained in how to deal with situations like this helps prevent unnecessary anxiety.
It is important to take time out for yourself so that you do not overcommit yourself financially or mentally. Go to bed early so you have time to relax before sleep takes over, eat a healthy meal, and spend some time with friends and family.
Spend time learning about your culture and yourself By participating in various activities you will be able to learn more about your culture and yourself at the same time.
What Is Focused Meditation
Meditation is the practice of becoming self-aware through breath and attention to connect the mind, body, and spirit.Meditation as a whole can change the structure and function of our brain. That being said, focused meditation or a guided meditation for focus is by far the best one. Meditation for focus and concentration can come in different forms. Experienced meditators use the following:
- Mindfulness this meditation involves us to be focusing on your breath and observing thoughts. This allows us to focus on our feelings without becoming too absorbed in them.
- Concentrative a meditation that gets us to focus on a particular point be it a word, breath, object, or a point in the space youre meditating. This is meant for us to pay attention to that point and prevent our minds from getting distracted.
- Moving this meditation involves gets us to focus on slow and repetitive movements similar to yoga or tai chi. The goal is again to be focusing on your breath while relaxing your body and mind with the movements.
Focused meditation, also known as concentrative meditation, is the practice of meditating and bringing your attention to one single object. This object can be something practical and tangible, such as a mandala painting or a candle flame. It can also be something abstract, such as a phrase or a sound .
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