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.
Try To Confront What Causes Your Stress
Try to confront these issues and try to figure out if there are ways to manage them in short, try to adapt to the stress. Remember, not all stress can be avoided shrugging these issues under the rug may worsen the circumstance. Running away from problems wont do you any good, right?
For instance, if you get stressed because of work deadlines, maybe you can ask for help from a colleague, try to manage your time properly, or ask for a deadline extension. If overwhelming family responsibilities cause you to stress, talk to your partner about it. Changing a stressful situation is possible you just need to know how to confront these issues.
Can Stress Kill You
Stress itself has no power over you. No matter if you are a small or severe stressor, your body will respond equally to the stress. This response doesnt cause direct death, but it sure leads to certain health consequences over a period of time.
If youre constantly experiencing stress, it may deteriorate your health and result in premature death. This could be because of a weakened cardiovascular system or unhealthy habits you adopt when in stress, such as smoking, alcohol abuse, overeating, etc. Therefore, it becomes paramount to manage the stress before it starts taking a toll on your health.
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How Stress Affects Heart Health
Stress isnt just a state of mind. It actually causes the body to release hormones like adrenaline the fight or flight chemical which make blood pressure rise and increase heart rate. Another stress hormone is cortisol. High levels of cortisol are linked with increased blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and depression.
The choices some people make to deal with stress can impact health too. Michos notes that stressed people often cope by drinking too much alcohol, avoiding exercise or eating unhealthy foods, all of which can lead to heart disease.
Fortunately, its possible to manage stress in healthy ways.
Do Something With Your Hands
Do you ever get that never-ending loop of negative thoughts and what-ifs playing in your head? That’s because stress likes to mess with your mind. A surefire and fun way to get out of your head is to engage in activities that put the focus on your hands or body , Kathleen Hall, a health educator and the founder and CEO of the Stress Institute, an Atlanta-based facility that offers programs on stress management and work-life balance, tells Health. As your hands and fingers begin to fall into those familiar rhythmic moves, it sends a signal to your brain that immediately relaxes you and makes you feel grounded. So immerse yourself in a creative, engaging activity and get ready to press the mute button.
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Connect With Your Spiritual Side
For centuries, religious groups and native tribes worldwide have used prayer beads to guide their spiritual practice, and research shows that spirituality might boost happiness in times of stress. Buy a set of prayer beads or make your own, suggests Hall, and then create a positive affirmation or mantra that resonates with you. Then, next time stress hits, repeat your affirmation as you work your way around and touch each bead. “The more you go around, the more you’ll experience a sense of power and detachment from the source of anxiety as your brain switches into a meditative cadence,” explains Hall.
How To Deal With Anxiety From Work Related Stress
6 minKaren Chen
Anxiety is your bodys natural reaction to work-related stress. And work-related stress can come from many sources. Maybe youre overwhelmed with the number of tasks on your to-do list. Or maybe youre getting unclear instructions or unrealistic expectations from your boss. Maybe youre finding that you dont have a welcoming environment to turn to at work. No matter what the source is, anxiety caused by work-related stress can have negative effects on both your mental and physical health.
Here are some tips on how to deal with anxiety in the workplace.
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Smart Tips For Successfully Managing Stress
Stress reduction is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, just like diet and exercise. These tips will help you keep your stress levels under control.
When you’re stressed, your head may start to hurt, or you may feel nauseated, dizzy, or just plain overwhelmed. Stress can have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, so stress reduction is necessary for maintaining both your physical and emotional health. Since you can’t simply wish stress away, managing stress is a vital skill to develop.
Whether you experience a sudden stressful situation, such as a major issue at work or a crisis at home that needs to be addressed right away, having a plan for stress in place is a good idea, says Larry Kubiak, PhD, a psychologist and the director of psychological services at the behavioral health center of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in Florida. “Stress can occur at any time or place, and we do our best when we have tools at the ready to deal with it,” he explains.
If it’s an urgent problem that requires your immediate attention, managing stress is important so that you can think clearly. The same is true with ongoing, nagging concerns about your job, health, finances, or family members that create a steady buildup of stress. “Know the kinds of things that are available to you on short notice so you can utilize them, such as listening to music, going for a short walk, or guided imagery,” says Dr. Kubiak.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
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.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
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Up Your Avoidance Of Caffeine Alcohol And Nicotine
We previously said that it was a good idea not to have too much caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as a way to avoid stress. If you are already feeling stressed, this becomes even more important. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it.
Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is therefore not ultimately helpful.
Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated. This will enable your body to cope better with stress.
You should also aim to avoid or reduce your intake of refined sugars – they are contained in many manufactured foods and can cause energy crashes which may lead you to feel tired and irritable.
There is more about this in our page What are Carbohydrates?.
Seek Professional Support And/or External Resources
Finally, if you find that your anxiety is pertinent, its best to seek professional help. Anxiety can be difficult to manage without help, and youre not alone. A professional psychologist or therapist can help you better deal with your anxiety and understand your feelings. Further, your workplace may have access to a number of mental health resources as well, whether it be support groups, counselling, or employee benefits.
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Can Stress Be Positive
Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.
Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4
Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Coping strategies and personal assessment tools to help you manage your stress and anxiety as we adapt the next normal.
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coping with stress and anxiety
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen in Canada and around the world, many are grappling to adjust to new norms for return to work and day-to-day life. At the same time, communities are coping with tremendous loss, grief, and trauma, while facing an uncertain future. to explore our section on grief, loss and healing.
Its normal to feel concerned about whats next and its important to continue using the strategies and tools youve relied on to support yourself and your family in this challenging time.
Here are some ideas that might be helpful. Some might apply to you and some might not or they may need to be adapted to suit you personally, your personality, where and with whom you live, or your culture. Please be creative and experiment with these ideas and strategies.
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. The uncertainty about the virus and the changes that are unfolding can make most people feel a bit anxious. This is normal, and it actually can help motivate us to take action to protect ourselves and others, and to learn more about the pandemic.
Stay informed by checking information provided by experts and credible sources. A lot of information is disseminated about COVID-19 every day, but not all of it is accurate. Some reliable sources include:
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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.
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
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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.
There is more about this in our pages What is Sleep? and How to Sleep – The Importance of Sleep.
You can assess your levels of daytime sleepiness with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Pros And Cons Of Stress
Stress plays an evolutionary protective role in human survivalit signals the presence of some type of real or perceived danger. Your body is equipped to handle certain levels of stress.
When you experience stress, your nervous system releases stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases, and your senses sharpen. Your body automatically knows how to cope with stress, and these responses help you manage acute episodes of stress.
Chronic and prolonged stress, however, is associated with damaging cardiovascular effects, including an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Too much stress also can lead to digestive problems, endocrine problems , weakening of the immune system, worsening skin conditions, memory impairment, and depression.
Stress symptoms include irritability, sleeping difficulties, headaches and other physical discomfort and pain, feeling tense and anxious, and having trouble concentrating.
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Is Stress Bad For You
This might be a little scary to hear, but, yes, stress can be bad for your health. Many scientific studies have looked at this question, and they found that too much stress is not good for you.
For example, one study found that having a very stressful life event can increase your heart attack risk. Stressful life events include losing a job, having a major illness or injury, divorce, or death of a loved one.
Other studies have found that people with high stress levels dont recover as well or as fast from surgery, illness, or injury. After having a heart attack, people who report high levels of sadness or worry are more likely to have another problem with their heart, or say that they have a poor quality of life. People who have a lot of stress in their lives are also more likely to say that they have chronic pain, that they dont sleep well, and that they feel unhappy.
It Hits All Of Us So Learning How To Deal With Stress Is Key For Both Your Mental And Physical Well
One of the easiest ways to fight off the effects of stress: exercise. Finding the willpower to get out and play tennis or racquetball, or to swim or jog, or simply to walk or hike regularly, will pay off.
Stress is a term used to describe how your body reacts to changing, often unpredictable, conditions. Stress-provoking situations may involve anything from caring for an aging parent to dealing with a chronic illness, or from being stuck in heavy traffic to facing a snarling dog. Chronic, prolonged stress can be damaging to almost every physical process and organ in your body, so learning how to deal with stress is important for your physical as well as your mental health.
Most people can cope effectively with temporary stressors in their lives, but people can become overwhelmed by long-term stress, especially when they dont have the tools to manage stress symptoms in a healthy way.
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How To Deal With Stress In A Healthy Way
Managing stress is not something we should practice when our limit of toleration is exhausted. Instead, stress management should be incorporated in our day-to-day activities so that we can overcome it before it becomes harmful to our health.
To start, lets incorporate these healthy practices in our routine to deal with emotional and physical stress we go through.
Whenever one is feeling anxious or stressed, it is very hard to laugh. Along with many other health benefits of laughing, it is a good remedy to relieve stress, as well. No matter how hard it may seem, try to get a good laugh in whenever youre feeling stressed. Call a friend, watch a funny show, pull out an old photo-album, but dont sit idle and overthink. Laughing relieves stress and tension by relaxing muscles as it boosts the immune system.
Whenever youre feeling stressed, dont hesitate taking a break for a small meditation session. It can wipe away your stress and help you restore your inner peace and calmness. Even a 5-minute meditation break helps. It can eliminate the destructive thoughts and attain a positive attitude even in the worst situations.
A small meditation session can fill you with positive energy to carry out your day more calmly. It helps you gain new perspective about stressful situations and deal better with your problems.
3. Eat the Right Food
Some good stress-busting foods include:
- Fatty Fish
4. Spend Time With People Who Care
5. Write It Down