Grow Your Support Network
Cast a wide net. When it comes to your social supports, one size doesn’t fit all. You may not have someone you can confide in about everything and thats okay. Maybe you have a colleague you can talk to about problems at work, and a neighbor who lends an ear when you have difficulties with your kids. Look to different relationships for different kinds of support. But remember to look to people you can trust and count on, to avoid disappointing, negative interactions that can make you feel worse.
Be proactive. Often people expect others to reach out to them, and then feel rejected when people dont go out of their way to do so. To get the most out of your social relationships, you have to make an effort. Make time for friends and family. Reach out to lend a hand or just say hello. If youre there for others, theyll be more likely to be there for you. And in fact, when it comes to longevity, research suggests that providing social support to friends and family may be even more important than receiving it.4
Take advantage of technology. Its nice to sit down with a friend face-to-face, but it isn’t always possible. Luckily, technology makes it easier than ever before to stay connected with loved ones far away. Write an email, send a text message or make a date for a video chat. Dont rely too heavily on digital connections, however. Some research suggests that face-to-face interactions are most beneficial.
When Does Stress Become Chronic
Stress that lasts for weeks or months indicate chronic stress.
Chronic stress can impact your overall health. One risk is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. For example, studies have shown that chronic stress is associated with a hypertension . Furthermore, some risks can snowball into others: Hypertension, for example, can raise your risk for other health problems, such as heart attack or stroke.
Similarly, the hormone cortisolwhich gets released during chronic stressmay also lead to cravings of sweets and fats. As we all know, unhealthy eating can also raise your risk for obesity or other chronic diseases.
But the consequences of chronic stress dont stop with the physical effects. Stress can affect your emotional or mental health toonot just making you more prone to nervous or anxious feelings, but also more depressed. Recently, the American Medical Association acknowledged how anxiety and depression can be connected, as well as how the isolation of COVID-19 may exacerbate problems.
Help Them Identify Their Triggers
Your independent observations of someone’s behaviour can help them identify patterns that they hadn’t noticed before.
This can be a sensitive topic, as it will mean drawing attention to negative thoughts or feelings, so remaining calm, objective and non-judgemental is important.
In the same way, you could also help someone identify situations and activities that help them to feel less stressed and more in control. For example getting outside for a walk, taking a relaxing bath or reading a book.
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Your Response To Stress
Your attitude, personality and approach to life will influence how you respond to stress. Factors that play a part include:
- How you think about a problem
- How anxious you feel generally
- How severely the problem affects you
- Whether you have experienced anything like this before
- Whether you can control what is happening
- How long the event affects you
- How important the outcome is to you
- The different ways a person copes with difficult situations
- Your life experiences and life history
- Your self-esteem
- Whether you have people around who can provide support.
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- How it may help with anxiety: Shiatsu massage is known to relieve stress and anxiety. It also helps promote calmness and emotional and physical relaxation.
Shiatsu massage is the best type of massage for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. Its a Japanese style of massage that may help relieve anxiety and depression.
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Match Your Support To Their Preferences And Attachment Style
Its best to ask someone what type of support they prefer rather than guess! However, we know from research that people who have an avoidant attachment style are likely to respond best to strong displays of concrete practical support. That could include helping the anxious person break tasks down into manageable steps, or talking through specific options for how to deal with a difficult situation, like how to respond to an angry email, but still acknowledging their autonomy and independence while doing so.
Other people are more likely to prefer emotional support, especially those who are securely attached, or who have a preoccupied attachment style due to a fear of being abandoned or of their emotions being overwhelming to others. Folks like this respond well to statements emphasizing that theyre part of a tight teamfor example, their supporter saying, This is tough but we love each other and well get through it together.
How Much Stress Is Too Much
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, its important to know your own limit. But just how much stress is too much differs from person to person. Some people seem to be able to roll with lifes punches, while others tend to crumble in the face of small obstacles or frustrations. Some people even thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.
Factors that influence your stress tolerance level include:
Your support network. A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against stress. When you have people you can count on, lifes pressures dont seem as overwhelming. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your risk of succumbing to stress.
Your sense of control. If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, its easier to take stress in stride. On the other hand, if you believe that you have little control over your lifethat youre at the mercy of your environment and circumstancesstress is more likely to knock you off course.
Your attitude and outlook. The way you look at life and its inevitable challenges makes a huge difference in your ability to handle stress. If youre generally hopeful and optimistic, youll be less vulnerable. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace challenges, have a stronger sense of humor, believe in a higher purpose, and accept change as an inevitable part of life.
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Activities That Can Help You De
Do you feel stressed? If so, then that is a feeling that many people have. It can be challenging to find ways to de-stress and meet new people. Luckily, there are plenty of activities out there that can help with both! In this article, we will list some different types of activities from around the world for you to take part in and get rid of your stress while meeting interesting people. You’ll never know what life has in store for you until you try. Here is the list.
How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.
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- How it may help with anxiety: Cold and hot therapy provide physical relief from headaches and swelling. Also, the very act of placing a mask on your face, closing your eyes, and sitting back is calming and relaxing.
While a relaxing facial may not always be in the budget, this FOMI Facial Gel Bead Eye Mask is a more affordable alternative. Pop it into the microwave and use it to relax before bed, or even when taking a breather during the day.
You can also freeze the mask and use it to help relieve sinus pressure, muscle pain, and headaches.
Personal tip: You can do this on an even tighter budget by freezing a washcloth and placing it over your eyes. I do this for headaches frequently, and its so refreshing.
Some Coping Strategies Are Not So Great
But people have other ways of coping that arent quite as effective. For example, lots of people use screen time watching TV or movies and surfing the net to distract themselves from stress. But in the Stress in America survey, relatively few people said screen time was truly effective as a stress management strategy.
Some coping strategies give people temporary relief, but can cause other problems. For example, people may feel relief from stress after eating junk food or having a few drinks. But both can cause health problems if they become habits.
That doesnt mean you should never watch TV or eat the occasional bag of chips to distract yourself from stress. Almost everybody does things like that sometimes. But its a good idea to learn about other coping strategies that may be more helpful.
Here are some proven coping methods that are both effective and low-risk. Some of them are first aid strategies that help us manage stress in the moment. Others are stress maintenance strategies that build our ability to deal with stress or help us recover from it.
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Help Them To Recognise There’s A Problem
It’s easier to spot signs of stress in other people than it is to see them in ourselves. And often people don’t want to admit, even to themselves, that they’re starting to struggle.
Unfortunately, this means many people plough on, despite the warning signs, until they can no longer cope. If you’ve noticed changes in someone’s behaviour that suggests they’re feeling stressed, reach out to them. Let them know that you’ve noticed they don’t seem quite themselves.
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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Best Ways To Manage Stress
Meditation can trigger the antidote to stress, called the relaxation response.
Goal setting and relaxation techniques reduce stress and ease the physical and emotional burdenit can take.
Stressful experiences come in many forms, such as a demanding job, a chronic disease, or an argument with a loved one. But all types of stressorseven stress from positive experiences,such as planning a partycan result in the same physical and emotional burden on health, especially when you’re an older adult. “As we age, our immune systems are less efficient, and adding stress to that can lead to disease progression or the onset of disease,” says Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Take Action: Get Active
Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood. So get active:
- Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity try going for a bike ride or taking a walk
- Do strengthening activities like push-ups or lifting weights at least 2 days a week
Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!
Read more about:
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What Are The Treatment Options For Anxiety Twitching
Treating anxiety is the best way to treat anxiety twitching.
If a doctor thinks your twitching is caused by anxiety, they may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. They can do a more in-depth diagnosis of your anxiety and help you find the best treatment option.
Treatments for anxiety may include:
- psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns and reactions
- medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications
In most cases, the twitching itself doesnt need treatment. However, home remedies and preventive measures may be able to help.
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
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Offer Support But Dont Take Over
Avoidance is a core feature of anxiety, so sometimes we may feel pulled to help out by doing things for our avoidant loved ones and inadvertently feed their avoidance. For instance, if your anxious roommate finds making phone calls incredibly stressful and you end up doing this for them, they never push through their avoidance.
More on Anxiety
How stressed and anxious are you? Take the quiz.
A good general principle to keep in mind is that support means helping someone to help themselves, not doing things for them, which includes virtually anything that stops short of actually doing it yourself. For example, you might offer to attend a first therapy session with your loved one if they set up the appointment. Or, if theyre not sure how to choose a therapist, you might brainstorm ways of doing that, but let them choose.
An exception might be when someones anxiety is accompanied by severe depression. If they cant get themselves out of bed, they may be so shut down that they temporarily need people to do whatever is needed to help them stay alive. Also, sometimes loved ones are so gripped by an anxiety disorder that theyre in pure survival mode and need more hands-on help to get things done. In less extreme circumstances, however, its best to offer support without taking over or overdoing the reassurance.
Dont Give Unsolicited Advice
When people we love are hurting, its natural to want to try and fix them, but unless theyve explicitly asked, try not to give advice. If you have advice to share that you think might help, you can check in about how receptive theyre feeling by saying something like, I have some thoughts/reflections to share, but want to respect where you are because I know sometimes outside opinions arent helpful. Is it ok if I share or should I wait for another time? If your friend signals that they want you to wait , do what you need to do to let it go so you can stay present to your friend in the moment.
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Some Conversation Dos And Donts
As you enter into a discussion, you dont have to go directly into asking about their anxiety or mental health. Often people are more open and receptive if you start out with lighter topics and ease into the things that might worry you. You arent a therapist, nor should you try to be, so even if they start opening up, your conversation can remain more casual while still taking their anxiety seriously.
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
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