Tip : Identify Your Stress Response
Internally, we all respond the same way to the fight-or-flight stress response: your blood pressure rises, your heart pumps faster, and your muscles constrict. Your body works hard and drains your immune system. Externally, however, people respond to stress in different ways.
The best way to quickly relieve stress often relates to your specific stress response:
Overexcited stress response: If you tend to become angry, agitated, overly emotional, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
Underexcited stress response: If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing.
The immobilization or frozen stress response
Worrying Too Much Can Affect Your Daily Life
Worry begets worry, so its easy to start worrying about one or two bad things, only to end up worrying about even more areas of your life.
When anxious thoughts become part of your everyday life, your stress can show up at work, with your family, in your finances, and even in your hobbies. In addition, feelings of stress are becoming more and more common in adults over the past few years. Learning how to stop worrying is more crucial than ever to maintain good mental health.
Over time, too much worry can impact your emotional resilience and make completing necessary tasks harder. Learning how to stop worrying can bring relief and happiness to your life. This can quickly reverse the effects of excessive stress and anxiety.
Why Do I Worry So Much
Chronic worry can be triggered by anything. From working at a difficult job to becoming a new parent, theres likely always going to be something in life for us to worry about. To find out why you may be an endless worrier, take some time to reflect and examine your self-awareness. Consider if any of these reasons could be causing your anxiety:
- Life changes such as having a child, divorce, moving
- Financial challenges, job loss, or planning for a big purchase
- Relationship conflict with family, friends, or others
- Physical health issues or concerns
- Everyday inconveniences like traffic or housework
- Too many social commitments, responsibilities, or obligations
- Lack of time for self-care practices and hobbies
The key to managing the anxiety that comes with each of these situations is to learn strategies for how to stop worrying and start living.
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Where Is The Vagus Nerve And What Does It Do
The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in our body, and its the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system. It originates in our brain stem, and extends down into our chest and abdomen.
This extensive path down our bodies gave this nerve its name: the meaning of vagus in Latin is wanderer, and just like its name suggests, this nerve wanders through a large part of our body.
As you might imagine, theres an important reason why this cranial nerve connects our brain to our vital organs it carries motor and sensory information, and supplies nerve endings to our heart, major blood vessels, airways, lungs, esophagus, stomach and intestines.
It helps regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system, among other major functions.
But its crucial role doesnt stop there: the vagus nerve is the major parasympathetic nervous system in our bodies which means that its natures way to balance the fight or flight response .
When you have a healthy vagus nerve, you develop a healthy response to stress. Youre able to respond mindfully to stressors, instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to triggering situations.
A healthy vagal tone will support you in having a balanced mental and emotional state, improving your physical condition and promoting social bonds through empathy.
Stop Worrying By Practicing Mindfulness And Meditation
While worrying, you may have a hard time focusing on anything else. However, constant rumination on negative thoughts is a bad habit.
When you feel your concentration waning, sitting in a quiet room and clearing your mind can do wonders for your well-being. Mindfulness and meditation can take your focus away from negative thoughts, stop you from feeling anxious, and inspire a state of calm.
A guided meditation app can help clear your mind, refocus your thoughts, or distract from your worries. Over time, meditation can also help you get into a flow state, which allows you to focus on your priorities and knock tasks off your to-do list with ease. Learning to focus on whats in front of you, instead of your worries, can truly change your life.
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Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
Get Your Boxes In Order
Boxes and tape are the bread and butter of moving, so the sooner you collect yours, the better. Though youll want to be wary of used boxes you dont want the structural integrity of the vessels carrying all your precious possessions to be compromised you can carefully source some boxes for moving from friends, family, or some local liquor/grocery stores. Large retailers also have plenty]on hand: Get there early after the shelves are stocked and ask if you can grab the empty boxes. If you need boxes with less wear and tear, you can always purchase new boxes and other supplies, as well. And once you get to packing them up, make sure to consult these pro tipsfor expert advice.
|Insider Tip: Want even more pre- and post-moving advice? Peruse the PODS blog for other guides, moving tips, and relocation advice you may have questions about.|
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Types Of Relaxation Techniques
However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.
There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.
Simple Steps To Help You Cope With Anxiety
If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Anxiety involves feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. Anxiety is typically experienced on cognitive, emotional, and physical levels. For instance, when feeling anxious a person may have negative or disturbing thoughts.
On an emotional level, one may feel scared or out-of-control. It is also common to experience severe anxiety through somatic sensations, such as sweating, trembling, or shortness of breath.
These symptoms are common for people who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. People with panic disorder are typically familiar with the struggle of managing feelings of anxiety. It can feel as if the anxiety is taking over or completely out of ones control.
Does anxiety have an overwhelming pull in your life? Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to manage your anxiety. Listed below are 4 tips to help you cope with your feelings of anxiety.
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Label & Identify Your Feelings
While the fight-or-flight response associated with stress can immediately send us into a panicked spiral, Dr. Ring says its important to pause and identify what, exactly, youre feeling. Is it acute stress, ongoing anxiety, or something else? Are you experiencing a relationship conflict that might be contributing to your current feelings? Do you have a big midterm coming up? Maybe you have a big presentation coming up, or theres an important deadline looming and youre struggling to find time to complete your assignments. Noticing what is causing your stress can be the first step in learning how to best cope with it.
Identify and name what youre feeling as stress and anxiety, Dr. Ring says. If these issues are significantly impacting your quality of life and ability to cope, its important to know that and seek out the resources to support you. Dr. Ring also mentions that its important to be gentle on yourself during difficult times after all, stress is universal, especially in college, and youre not alone in what youre going through. Self-compassion is key, she says.
Ways To Instantly Relieve Anxiety And Stress Stimulating Your Vagus Nerve
If you have ever wished to make stress go away at the push of a button, youre not alone.
Living in todays busy world means that were constantly under pressure: from deadlines at work, to running errands, paying your bills, doing the dishes and caring for your family
It is all too easy to fall prey to anxiety, stress, leading to burnout if were not careful!
This pent up stress can make you feel disconnected from your body, sluggish, and worn out. Not to mention that it might cause more serious health issues later on
As a woman who wants to make a difference in the world, with a big entrepreneurial vision, a loving family, friends, and projects galore, I can say that Ive been there myself.
There was a time in my life when I worked on my job on weekdays, and built my company on weekends overworking and under resting, leaving myself almost zero downtime to recharge from this vicious cycle
And even though Ive been a longtime health and wellbeing advocate, the fast pace of life led to me forgetting how to find my own balance and nurture myself!
I eventually hit a wall and made a powerful decision to change my life, get back on track and fulfill my purpose.
Through mentorship and my own research I found powerful proven methods, tools and processes to be able to balance my self care, motherhood, business and my purpose work full time.
Thats why I want to introduce you to a marvelous component of our wonderful bodies:
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Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
Guided Imagery Or Visualization
Imagine yourself lying on a sandy beach with a soft breeze gently stirring the warm air. Use your senses to smell the saltwater and feel the sun as you transport yourself there. Thats guided imagery or visualization.
It uses the power of your mind to change your focus to a peaceful time or event.
If were in a stressful situation, you know, just shifting our mind and focusing on a time when we were really, really relaxed is an effective way to calm down, Brown says.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Stress can be normal, especially that it is already part of our daily lives. When you experience stress, a part of your brain, specifically the hypothalamus reacts, allowing the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones are the same hormones that make you sense the fight or flight response of your body.
When you are threatened, stressed, or having an intense emotion, you will feel that your heart is beating fast, as your heart rate increases. Your breath also becomes faster, your muscles start to shake, and for some, it leads to uncontrollable shedding of tears.
Chronic stress can affect your body, both in terms of your physical health and mental health. If left untreated or unmanaged, it may result in consistent irritability, anxiety disorder, depression or major depressive disorder, insomnia, headache, back pain, shoulder pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, and nausea and vomiting.
For some, stress is diverted to overeating, substance abuse , as well as social withdrawal. It can even lead to certain illnesses and serious health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, heartburn or acid reflux, erectile dysfunction for males, and irregular, heavier, or more painful menstruation for females.
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Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.
Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.
With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.
How Does Your Body React To Work Stress
Imagine for a moment that your boss has emailed you about an unfinished assignment . Your body and mind instantly respond, activating a physical reaction called the fight-or-flight response. Your heart beats faster, your breath quickens, and your muscles tense. At the same time you might say to yourself, Im going to get fired if I dont finish this. Then to manage your anxiety and negative self-talk, you work late into the night to complete the task.
Over the course of our evolutionary history, humans developed this coordinated fear response to protect against dangers in our environment. For example, a faster heart rate and tense muscles would help us escape from predators. In the modern era, fear continues to serve an important function. After all, the fight-or-flight response can provide the necessary energy to pull an all-nighter and keep your job.
But what happens if you encounter stressful experiences at work every day? Over time, chronic work stress can lead to a psychological syndrome known as burnout. Warning signs of burnout are overwhelming exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy. Certain work-related stressors are closely linked with burnout. Examples are having too much work or too little independence, inadequate pay, lack of community between coworkers, unfairness or disrespect, and a mismatch between workplace and personal values.
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Figure Out What’s Bothering You
The physical symptoms of panic and anxiety, such as trembling, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat, are usually more apparent than understanding just what is making you anxious. However, in order to get to the root of your anxiety, you need to figure out whats bothering you. To get to the bottom of your anxiety, put some time aside to exploring your thoughts and feelings.
Writing in a journal can be a great way to get in touch with your sources of anxiety. If anxious feelings seem to be keeping you up at night, try keeping a journal or notepad next to your bed. Write down all of the things that are bothering you. Talking with a friend can be another way to discover and understand your anxious feelings.
Make it a habit to regularly uncover and express your feelings of anxiety.
Reframe Your Thinking About Stress Itself
Stress responses, including faster heart rate and breathing, evolved to improve our performance in stressful situations. Reminding yourself of stresss evolutionary value may improve your performance and paradoxically reduce feelings of stress, in that youre not adding stress about stress to the stress the original trigger aroused.
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Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33