Whats Causing Your Stress The Common Culprits
My recent research shows the most common cause of stress is the feeling that there isnt enough time to get it all done, said Dr. Heidi Hanna, an integrative neuroscientist and executive director for the American Institute of Stress. People have more demand on their time and energy than they have capacity, and constant connection to technology aggravates the situation.
Research shows the most common cause of stress is the feeling that there isnt enough time to get it all done.
She explained that many people also fail to realize that internal stress has a tendency to make external circumstances much more difficult to deal with. For example, if youre not catching enough ZZZs, eating crummy food or living a sedentary life, your nervous system is more agitated and more likely to respond hastily to perceived stressors or threats in your environment.
With all the advances in technology, its easy to forget that were still dealing with a very primitive brain pattern that is hardwired to protect us at all costs, said Dr. Hanna. If we think we dont have enough of something whether its time, energy, money or other resources like social support the stress reaction system is activated.
Other common causes of stress, outside of not being able to get it all done, include our finances, health and relationships. These things tend to be at the forefront of our minds anyway, but are exacerbated when were facing an obstacle.
Supervised Pelvic Floor Training
I realize that this article is about self-help measures to stop stress incontinence, but understanding the differences between supervised and unsupervised pelvic floor strengthening is necessary for two reasons. First, supervised training is the widely accepted recommended approach so I would be doing a disservice not to mention it. Second, supervised training has been shown to be the more effective approach so if doing these exercises on your own fails to significantly improve your symptoms, all is not lost.
In contrast to unsupervised pelvic floor muscle training, training supervised by a pelvic health physiotherapist offers:
Support Yourself With Healthy Lifestyle Habits
When youre physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, youre better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when youre already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without emotional eating.
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How To Stop Mental Stress: Your Habitual Responses To Stressors Are Actually Determined By 3 Different Yet Interlocking Factors:
Your parents genes are partly responsible for your tendencies and general temperament…In addition to the way you were raised, theres also the fact that you inherited your parents chromosomes, which also means that youve inherited at least part of their personalities..So if one or both of your parents are aggressive or hot-headed, you may have the same inclinations because of your DNA..
Sigmund Freud, the old father of psychoanalysis, often analyzed peoples childhoods to get to the bottom of strange neuroses..It turns out that Freud was spot on when he determined that early childhood experiences have a lot to do with how we fully develop and mature as adults..Our individual responses to stressful situations are partly determined by how we were conditioned to respond when we were still young..So keep this in mind when you are raising your own children your children are not only absorbing the world at large, they are also absorbing your behavior and thought patterns!.
Our DNA and early childhood experiences comprise only a small portion of the totality called the self. Your experiences as you grow older are also strong determinants of your behavior toward stressful situations..We cant do anything about past experiences, may they be good or bad, but we can do something about our beliefs and values in the present time. We must not allow past negative experiences to dictate how we live in the present time.
How To Stop Stress Eating
When youre in the throes of a stressful situation, just about any healthy distraction like going for a walk, getting fresh air, doing a quick guided meditation or calling a friend can help you avoid the draw of junk food, Baten says. Drinking water may also help, since people often confuse hunger and thirst.
But in the long-term, getting at the root cause of your stress is more important than stopping yourself from snacking in the moment. Healthy habits like exercise, sleep and proper nutrition are all sustainable stress relievers, Baten says. And if you consistently struggle with emotional or stress eating, Baten says, it may be worth speaking with a professional, who can help you sort out underlying issues.
Its important to pay attention to our feelings before they become so intensified that we cant think clearly, Baten says. Emotional eating is happening because theres an emotional need that isnt being fulfilled.
But its also important to acknowledge that your emotions will win out from time to time and beating yourself up for occasionally choosing comfort food will only add to your stress.
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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.
How To Tell If Youre Stress Eating
While some people purposely and consciously dive into a pint of ice cream after a trying day, others may stress eat without even knowing it, Knott says. People get on autopilot, she says. It becomes part of our lives, and we dont necessarily recognize what is happening.
To avoid mindless eating, its important to understand the difference between emotional and physical hunger. Before you tear open a bag of chips, take stock of how youre feeling physically and mentally, Knott says. Hunger feels different for everybody, but its often accompanied by physical symptoms like a growling or empty stomach, low energy and headache. If youre craving snacks without any of these physical signs, you may simply be looking for comfort or a distraction, Knott says.
If you arent truly hungry and it is a comfort food type of response, or a way to manage the stress that is related to using food to soothe, then you might want to take a different approach, Knott says.
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How Is Stress Incontinence Usually Treated
Thankfully, regardless of which of the above applies to you, pelvic floor muscle trainingis the recommended first-line conservative treatment for mild to moderate stress incontinence. This is for good reason it is both safe and effective.
In the article below Ill cover both supervised and unsupervised pelvic floor muscle training. But before I do, you may be able to reduce symptom severity with a few lifestyle adjustments that you can get started with right away.
Exercise But Not Too Much
Depending on the intensity of exercise, it can increase or decrease cortisol.
Intense exercise increases cortisol shortly afterward but will decrease a few hours later. This short-term increase helps coordinate growth of the body to meet the challenge. Additionally, the size of the cortisol response lessens with routine training .
Regular exercise has been shown in numerous studies to help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and improve overall health, which can help lower cortisol over time .
Interestingly, regular exercise has also been associated with greater resilience to acute stress and may lower negative health effects associated with stress, such as high cortisol .
That said, overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Therefore, aim for around 150200 minutes of mostly low- to moderate-intensity exercise each week and allow yourself time to rest between workouts.
Exercising regularly can help you better manage stress and promote good health, which may help lower cortisol levels. That said, avoid overdoing it and aim for around 150200 minutes of low- to moderate- intensity exercise each week.
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How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- and peptic ulcers
Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Use The 20 Minute Trick
One trick that has been helpful for me is the 20-minute rule. When I feel an urge to stress eat, Ill put 20 minutes on the clock and do something to preoccupy my time, such as reading .
After the 20 minutes are up, Ill reassess how Im feeling. If I still feel a strong urge to eat, Ill add another 20 minutes to the clock and repeat the process.
Cravings can lose their power if you give them enough time. Ill admit, this strategy can be tough initially, but like anything, the more you do it, the better youll get.
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Look After Yourself Physically
When you are physically fit and well, it is much easier to cope with stress.
When you become stressed, it is harder to motivate yourself to care about what you eat, or whether you exercise. However, not doing so can also make you more stressed. Get into good habits while your stress levels are fairly low, and you may find that they never go up again. These good habits include:
Taking regular exercise
Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body.
These are the fight or flight hormones that evolution has hard-wired into our brains and which are designed to protect us from immediate bodily harm when we are under threat. However, stress in the modern age is rarely remedied by a fight or flight response. Physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolise the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.
Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work, or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.
You can assess your levels of daytime sleepiness with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Common Sources Of Work Stress
Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:
- Low salaries
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Work that isnt engaging or challenging
- Lack of social support
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations
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How To Reduce Cortisol: Take The Next Step
Chronic stress leads to the continual release of the stress hormone cortisol.
And a chronically elevated cortisol level is very harmful to both your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, you can moderate cortisol production with healthy lifestyle adjustments.
Eating the right foods, getting a moderate amount of exercise, breathing properly, and employing stress reduction techniques like meditation and tapping can offset the damaging effects of cortisol and decrease its production.
Additionally, you can take cortisol-lowering supplements.
Its easy to get caught up in aspects of life that stress you out work, money, relationships, and health issues, to name a few.
Give yourself permission to have fun!
Engage in activities like hanging out with friends, playing with your pet, and enjoying art, music, and creative hobbies that feed your spirit and make you happy.
Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
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Smile Like You Mean It
Dont roll your eyes the next time someone advises you to grin and bear it. In times of tension, keeping a smile on your face especially a genuine smile thats formed by the muscles around your eyes as well as your mouth reduces your bodys stress responses, even if you dont feel happy. Smiling also helps lower heart rates faster once your stressful situation ends.
Powerful Strategies To Stop Or Reduce Stress Eating
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*
Many people eat to cope with their emotions, including myself, now and then. It is something that we are all susceptible to, so youre not alone.
Before diving into how you can handle stress eating, lets talk about the difference between physical and emotional hunger because knowing the difference between the two is helpful.
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Difference Between Physical And Emotional Hunger
There are two types of hunger, physical hunger and emotional hunger.
Physical hunger happens when your body needs food. When youre physically hungry, you may experience symptoms such as stomach growling, fatigue, and irritability .
Emotional hunger happens when there is a psychological need that needs to be met. Boredom, sadness, and stress are all emotions that typically drive people to eat, which is usually followed by feelings of guilt or shame .
Emotional eating is normal however, a problem can arise when it becomes habitual. When you rely on food to cope with emotions repeatedly, eventually, it can become a difficult habit to break.
Turn On Your Pelvic Floor
Consciously contracting your pelvic floor muscles prior to coughing or other activity that causes leakage can help reduce or prevent it. This isnt surprising pelvic floor muscle activation occurs naturally and automatically in continent women for just this reason.
You can do this by contracting the muscles that you would need to turn on in order to stop urinating mid-stream. Not sure if youre turning them on correctly? Try it on your next trip to the bathroom .
Learning how to activate your pelvic floor can be a challenge for many women with incontinence, but with some instruction and training you will be able to do it . The aim of pelvic floor muscle training is to improve the bodys ability to both consciously, and automatically, contract these muscles to effectively manage pressure changes caused by physical exertion.
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Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, at home, and on the road. Sometimes we can feel especially stressed because of a bad interaction with someone, too much work, or everyday hassles like getting stuck in traffic.
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best mentally, physically and emotionally. But no ones life is completely stress-free. Its important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it.
1. Positive Self-Talk
Negative to Positive
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To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. Its a great practice to teach kids, too!
2. Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas: