Identify Your Personal Stress Triggers
We all have particular situations or people that make us more stressed. Some of these are easily identifiable and may be avoidable. However, sometimes stress may build up over time, and result from a pattern of incidents or events, rather than a single trigger.
This will make it easier to take action to address your stress levels.
You’re Developing Any Number Of Skin Issues
There’s a lot that’s not understood about how our skin reflects what’s going on inside us, and there’s actually an entire field of study dedicated to it. It’s called psychodermatology, and according to Harvard Medical School and experts from Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, many skin problems and complaints have a psychological component. There’s a technical term for skin problems that are made worse by stress , too: psychophysiological.
According to of the University of North Texas Health Science Center, the hormones and substances released by a body in a state of stress can impact the skin in a huge number of ways. If you’re in a state of high stress, physical wounds and damage to your skin will heal more slowly than they normally would. Highly stressed people are likely to find their skin is more sensitive to painful stimuli like hot and cold, and stress might also make conditions like psoriasis, acne, rashes, rosacea, and eczema worse. Hair loss and the skin condition alopecia has also been linked to high-stress periods in life, particularly those that have to deal with an upheaval in family relationships. You might also find yourself suffering from chronic dry skin, too, as stress hormones have been found to negatively impact the skin’s natural moisture balance.
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
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Laughing And Support Groups
While many believe that laughter is the best medicine, studies have already proven that laughing promotes many physical and mental health benefits. For instance, it can boost your immune system, can make your brain and muscles relax, can slow down the production of stress hormones, and can help the production of endorphins.
Plus, your support group may also provide their strategies in coping with such disturbing symptoms. Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what you are going through. They can provide or recommend therapy or medical intervention for your well-being.
You’ve Got A Case Of The Dropsies
You’ve probably heard the stories about someone visiting a museum, stumbling, and accidentally destroying a priceless treasure. At home, you might be doing the same thing on a smaller scale. Suddenly unable to to put your coffee down without knocking it over, or dropping more things that you’re holding onto? According to Dr. Charles B. Swanik of the University of Delaware, there’s usually two things at work here. One is how distracted we are at that particular moment, and the other is stress.
Stress and distraction go hand-in-hand, and according to Dr. Swanik, stress makes it next to impossible to concentrate on what’s going on around you like you could if you weren’t thinking about whatever is causing your stress. Too much stress actually causes things like a loss of peripheral vision, and it can also change what’s going on in your muscles. If you’re stressed, you’re tense, and if you’re tense, then your brain isn’t necessarily going to get the reaction it’s expecting when it tells, say, your hand to reach out and grab that cup of coffee. While your brain might be giving instructions based on your normal resting state, if stress is making your muscles tight and tense you’re going to be suffering from a case of the clumsies when your brain and your body start crossing signals.
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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.
Chronic 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. These three simple techniques will help you deal with stress.
How Do You Clear Your Mind
Clearing your mind is sometimes needed when youre having unhelpful thoughts in your head or imagining catastrophic outcomes. Not only that, clearing your mind is a great way to calm down and get some rest. Here are some ways that you can clear your mind with style.
- Play some white noise and focus on that. Some people may go to a waterfall, but not everyone has access to that. Play some sounds through your computer, phone, or other devices, and focus on it. A blowing fan can even work for this.
- Take some deep breaths. Focus on the breathing and how it enters your body. Air moving in, air moving out. Any thoughts that pass by, let them pass.
- Try getting into a new hobby. Sometimes, old hobbies are not enough.
Psychology Today has a good article for this. In the Psychology Today post, they list some proven ways to clear your mind. These include:
We say to check out that Psychology Today article and see it for yourself.
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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?
How To Control Stress Top 15 Ways To Control Stress
Juggling work commitments, dealing with professional hara-kiri and trying to keep an organized personal life is like being caught in a whirlpool. It is overwhelming and can have a direct impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of a person.
What a person needs at this point in time is to find ways and means to control stress so that he can manage to keep it at bay and find the necessary balance and stability in life. One of the best ways to lead a healthy and happy life is by dealing with the stress factor positively.
Remember that you are in charge of your life and you can as easily combat stress as anything else in this world. Find your inner strength and make changes in your thought process, actions, lifestyle, and behavior so that you can relieve the pressure.
Maintain your positive attitude even in the face of adverse conditions and become assertive while describing your opinions and feelings instead of becoming angry or aggressive.
Your entire well-being depends upon your emotional and mental equilibrium hence find the balance that will help you to enhance your ability to think, function and act effectively.
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How Can I Prevent Stress
Its not always possible to prevent stress altogether life can be stressful. If you remember that some stress can be positive and motivating, you can aim to find the right balance between productive stress, and an unhelpful level of stress.
Making sure you have time to relax each day will also help prevent a build-up of tension in your body and your mind.
Daily exercise can have many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing, including reducing stress. Something as simple as going for a walk or taking part in a team sport can also improve your mental health, and help prevent feeling stressed.
Spend time learning what triggers your stress and try to understand why this is. Structured problem solving is another form of psychological therapy that can then help prevent your stress from escalating, as you identify ways to solve the problems that trigger your stress.
While preventing stress altogether may not be a realistic goal, you can go a long way towards managing your stress, by recognising what causes your stress and practicing a range of stress-reducing techniques that work for you, and seeking help before you feel overwhelmed.
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.
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Common Types Of Stress:
Acute stress is the most common type of stress. It can be helpful and needed in short doses. It is the bodys response to a recent challenge or unexpected event, such as a big test or presentation.
Episodic acute stress is when a person experiences acute stress frequently. This may feel like youre always under pressure or things are always going wrong.
Chronic stress is ongoing long-term stress. This can be emotional pressure, unhappiness with job or family situation, or financial concerns. This can leave your nervous system in a constant arousal which is not good for your body. This kind of stress can cause health problems, such as heart disease, chronic weight loss and hair loss.
How Can You Help Yourself
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.37 It is therefore important that we manage our stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and minds.
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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
The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
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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
How To Eat Mindfully
, a holistic-living center in Bedford, N.Y. Most people have a general sense of what the healthy foods are, but theyre not eating them. Whats on your mind when youre eating: Thats mindful eating to me.
Heres a simple exercise to try next time you are sitting down to a delicious meal:
Your friends and family can be both a cause of stress and a cure for it.
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You Have More Bad Dreams Than Good
The idea that bad dreams and persistent nightmares are a sign of stress in your waking life might sound a bit cliche, but it’s absolutely true. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, only between two and eight percent of adults have nightmares, and it’s been found that most of these nightmares are, in one way or another, an extension of the thoughts that occupy your waking hours.
At one time, it was thought that experiencing traumatic events in nightmares served as something of an emotional release for your brain. According to studies cited by Scientific American, that might not be the case at all. They found that people who experienced regular nightmares were more likely to suffer from anxiety while they were awake, and when researchers tried to use exposure to disturbing images to encourage study volunteers to have nightmares, they found those who had bad dreams were more impacted by things like stress and anxiety in their waking moments.
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What is stress?
The more you know your enemy, the easier it is to fight back against it. So, this session aims to help you build a solid foundation to allow you to do so. We will look at stress often a mix of anxiety, depression, panicky feelings, poor sleep and poor wellbeing. We will look at the most common signs and will explain how we will starve the vicious circle that is keeping your stress alive. Well look at how to replace it with the positive circle that will then help keep stress at bay. We do this by teaching you to become your own therapist.
Control Your Body
Everyone knows exactly how stress affects their body and vice-versa. So, this is a good place to start. We make sense of what happens to our bodies when we get stressed, look at the role of stress in protecting us from threat and talk about fight/flight.
Skills include how to get the best from exercise whether too much caffeine is playing a role, how to use your belly breathing and progressive relaxation to control stress. You can download all the forms of the relaxation from this site.
Control Your Thoughts
Getting in touch with stress thoughts is a lot harder than describing body symptoms but controlling thoughts will be, for many, the key to success. So, this is a crucial session. We build on the body skills by understanding how stress affects our thoughts and vice-versa. We look at the importance of radars, blinkers, grasshoppers, and meerkats.
Control Your Actions
Control Panicky Feelings
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