What Are Some Strategies For Stress Relief
You cant avoid stress, but you can stop it from becoming overwhelming by practicing some daily strategies:
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what youve accomplished not what you didnt get done.
- Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Consider talking to a therapist or your healthcare provider about your worries.
What Other Conditions Are Related To Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is linked to other conditions, both psychological and physical. These can include:
- Diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome, Type II diabetes, and arthritis
- Addiction to alcohol, nicotine and/or prescription drugs, and behavioral-related such as addiction to the internet, food, or gambling
- Mood disorders and anxiety disorders, which are common secondary diagnoses for people with chronic stress
Hypertension, depression, addiction and anxiety disorders are the conditions most related to chronic stress.
Apa Offers The Following Tips To Address Chronic Stress:
Set limits. List all of the projects and commitments that are making you feel overwhelmed. Identify those tasks you feel you absolutely must do in order to survive, and cut back on anything non-essential. For projects that are work-related, discuss a list of your responsibilities with your supervisor and get his or her input on priorities and how best to tackle the projects at hand. For commitments that are social or non-work related, such as community or volunteer activities, consider contacting the people youve made these commitments to and letting them know that you cannot meet those obligations at this time. You also may ask for assistance in getting these tasks accomplished. Refrain from accepting any more commitments until you feel your stress is under control. Setting limits on non-essential obligations is important to mitigating chronic stress.
Tap into your support system. Reach out to a friend and/or relative with whom youve enjoyed a close relationship over the years. Let them know you are having a tough time and welcome their support and guidance a shared burden is always lighter. Your friend or relative may have tackled similar challenges and have useful ideas and perspectives. There is no need to face challenging life circumstances alone. In fact, support from family or friends may help you start and sustain taking better care of yourself.
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Be Aware Of The Bigger Picture
Stress is often a legitimate response to difficult circumstances, that no amount of resilience or self-care can overcome, Boyd says. Much prolonged stress is a product of poverty, financial struggle and health conditions and exacerbated by cuts to benefits and support services. So any discussion of ways to cope must acknowledge that the solution lies in structural societal change, such as welfare reform, more protective labour laws and more support and resources for caregivers.
Middle-aged women, in particular, shoulder the burden, often working full-time while also caring for young children and elderly parents. Its unfair to put all of the responsibility for staying healthy on the individual, says Zamperoni. At the same time, that social change is often slow so people do need resources they can draw on in the meantime.
If You Are Striving To Keep Yourself Healthy For Now And Many Years To Come And You Want To Know What Single Thing You Should Be Paying Attention To More Than Anything Else It Is This: Inflammation
The reason inflammation is so critical is that it has been found to be a player in almost every chronic disease, which affects approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of the United States. And if inflammation hasnt been shown to be associated with a chronic disease, its probably just because no one has looked for it.
You probably wouldnt be surprised to hear that inflammation is a major part of autoimmune diseases since they are all directly caused by the immune system. Maybe youve also already heard that the white blood cells that sneak into the walls of your arteries are major contributors to cardiovascular disease, meaning its not just about cholesterol build-upbut could be signs of chronic inflammation. Perhaps you also know that cancer tends to form in areas that are chronically inflamed. But you might not have expected inflammation to be a component of osteoarthritis, a disease that scientists thought was just from the wear and tear of the bones, maybe too much tackle football or tennis. Inflammation even plays a role in hypertension and depression.
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Manage Your Internal Entrapment
You might not be able to escape or change your situation, but you can manage the feeling of being trapped by it. Internal entrapment is the tunnel vision that comes from repetitive negative and self-critical thinking, warping perception and worsening our experience of stress. What sometimes appears to be the stressor isnt, says Gilbert.
We may even be undermining ourselves with self-talk: What are you trapped with in your own mind? Do you live in your mind as a compassionate, supportive, empathic, validating self? Or when you experience threat, do you start to criticise yourself and put yourself down?
Whatever your situation, treating yourself with compassion will support you. Gilbert suggests taking whatever breaks possible from your stressors, doing breathing exercises and practising acceptance. If you tell yourself you cant cope, it just adds to your stress, rather than saying: OK, this is a difficult situation, its not my fault, Im going to find a way through.
Understanding the bodily processes at play can also help to put stress into context, Gilbert says. Its not something wrong with your decision making, or that youre just not up to it.
How Is Chronic Stress Managedand When Should You See A Doctor
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to treatment options for chronic stress, Spray says. “This is also complex because there are some chronic stressors that psychotherapy can be helpful to address,” she says, explaining that cognitive behavioral therapy can help many patients learn how to cope with the source of their chronic stress. “This can include examining one’s thoughts and cognitions,” she explains. Spray adds that cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients learn what to do with these thoughts so they become less overwhelming.
In some situations, mindfulness and meditation practices can help alleviate the effects of chronic stress. Spray recommends trying out an app like Calm, as a way to check out the practice for free.
As with any other health problem, if you feel your symptoms escalating to an unmanageable point, it’s important to seek help immediately. Unfortunately, the symptoms of chronic stress are often underestimated, Spray says. “I think often the impact of chronic stress is minimized,” she says, adding that normalizing a conversation about chronic stress “has such a profound impact on usboth mind and body.”
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What Is Chronic Stress And How Does It Affect The Body
Plus, how to cope with it, according to mental health experts.
Here’s a hard truth: Stress is unavoidablethat means, at some point in your life so far, you’ve experienced those feelings of emotional or physical tension.
According to MedlinePlus, a resource from the US National Library of Medicine, stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand . It’s not always a bad thing, of course in short bursts, stress can actually be beneficial to you, like if you’re trying to avoid a dangerous situation. But when stress becomes a constant in your life, it can start wreaking havoc on your health.
This kind of prolonged stress is known as chronic stress, meaning it can last for weeks, months, or even yearsand your body may get so used to its presence that you don’t even notice it most of the time. But that doesn’t mean its not a problem that needs fixing. Here, experts weigh in on how to recognize the symptoms of chronic stress, and what to do about it.
Signs Of Oxidative Stress And 7 Ways You Can Stop It
10.02.2014 by Dr. Doni
Dr Doni highlights one of our best strategies for preventing cancer preventing oxidative stress.
The term oxidative stress is mentioned all the time in the realm of science and nutrition, but it is not often clear what it means for your health. In fact research indicates that oxidative stress is an underlying cause of cancer, so understanding and preventing it is a smart strategy for your wellness.
Today, Im going to explain what it is, give you some signs to look out for, and some simple steps you can take to prevent it.
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The Importance Of Exercise For A Healthy Heart
Despite its name, a stress test isnt about stress in the usual sense of the word, though the symptoms that lead to having a stress test might be caused by anxiety. In general, we give patients a stress test when they have risk factors for or symptoms that may indicate heart disease, says Haythe.
A stress test is an imaging study that measures what happens to the heart when the person is put under physical stress, typically when theyre walking on a treadmill whose incline becomes very steep, very quickly. The test puts the heart in a situation where it has a greater demand for oxygen, and heart rate and blood pressure all increase. Thats when we can see if theres an obstruction of blood flow in the arteries that may require cardiac catheterization or another intervention, says Haythe.
How Can We Avoid Stress
Experiencing stress from time to time is normal, but it is important to prevent stress build up that leads to high levels of stress and possibly burnout. Some simple ways to avoid stress include finding effective ways to balance all your responsibilities, getting enough sleep, not taking on too much, eating a healthy diet, and taking part in physical activity.
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Your Bucket Of Health And Energy
Imagine that your health and energy are a bucket of water.
In your day-to-day life, there are things that fill your bucket up. These are inputs like sleep, nutrition, meditation, stretching, laughter, and other forms of recovery.
There are also forces that drain the water from your bucket. These are outputs like lifting weights or running, stress from work or school, relationship problems, or other forms of stress and anxiety. 1
The forces that drain your bucket aren’t all negative, of course. To live a productive life, it can be important to have some of things flowing out of your bucket. Working hard in the gym, at school, or at the office allows you to produce something of value. But even positive outputs are still outputs and they drain your energy accordingly.
These outputs are cumulative. Even a little leak can result in significant water loss over time.
Im Ready To Try Something New
We understand how dangerous stress can be on the body. Wellness Nashville offers several effective treatments for stress recovery to help you feel better, enabling you to better manage your stress levels.
Save yourself from the dangers of chronic stress. Call us today at 615-334-0167 or book an appointment with us online.
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How To Tell If Your Stress Levels Are Normal Or The Sign Of Something More
— Stress is an everyday occurrence for most people, but too much of it could be signs of a deeper issue.
Stress is “a normal human response to anything physical or emotional that places a strain on the person,” said Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Acute stress, which is stress that arises during a specific moment for a short period of time, can be helpful in navigating that specific situation, said Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, a certified stress mastery educator.
In the moment, your heart rate and breathing speeds up, she said. Chronic stress occurs after the body’s system is repeatedly triggered, she added.
Stress itself is not bad, but it becomes toxic when it doesn’t dissipate after the stressful situation is over, Ackrill said.
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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Dont Underestimate The Basics
We all know the importance of movement, nutrition and sleep, but its not always easy to do something about it, especially when resources are stretched. In desperate circumstances, these might seem like simplistic solutions. But they can either exacerbate your experience of your circumstances or help you to cope. A good nights sleep makes a world of difference, which sounds like a pat thing to say but it really does, says Zamperoni.
As stress is partly physiological, says Gilbert, paying attention to physical health is relevant to regulating our response. Even breathing matters: Get your body into a position where its much more grounded.
If just the thought of taking this on is overwhelming, Boyd suggests only doing what feels comfortable, and taking small steps at a time: Pick one or two things that feel achievable at first, before moving on to try other ideas. Something as simple as looking after an indoor pot plant or counting the birds you see from your window can help. Establishing a daily routine adds to a sense of control.
If making time for sleep or exercise feels self-indulgent when others are depending on you, reframe it as what you need to do to be an effective provider or caregiver for them.
The Tests Your Doctor Should Be Doing
Not only do we listen for inflammation in our patients histories, but we also test for it in every patient we see using these three biomarkers:
Each one of these looks at different components of the blood to see if there are signs of inflammation in the body. They are non-specific, meaning they dont tell us where the inflammation is coming from, but they do clue us in to look harder for it. Taken together, we get a pretty good idea as to whether inflammation is an issue, and we can also use them to track if the inflammation is resolving or worsening.
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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Stress
Do The Most Helpful Thing
Practising self-compassion is not necessarily comfortable or easy at the best of times, says Gilbert. People often say, Its about being kind to yourself. Well, sure, but the key is how you find the courage and the wisdom to deal with your situation rather than doing the things that will temporarily make you feel better.
Courage might be needed to leave a relationship, or care for an elderly parent, while it takes wisdom to recognise what can be let go, or what to do next. Both may take time to develop, says Gilbert. But sometimes the next step is about asking yourself: What would be the most helpful thing?
It might be going to bed early enough to get a good nights sleep or accepting that you havent had enough sleep and are not fully functioning as a result. Shift workers often have to learn how to cope with being tired, says Gilbert. The key is to be clear about the best way to manage your body and mind to get you through, and not doing things that make it more difficult.
Sometimes accepting that there are some things happening to you that you probably cant do anything about right now, will help you focus your time and energy more productively, says Boyd. If you feel prevented by your circumstances it can help to focus on the areas where you do have some choice and power.
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