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.
It may therefore be helpful to use a tool like our quiz Whats Stressing You Out? or keep a stress diary for a few weeks to help you identify what makes you stressed.
This will make it easier to take action to address your stress levels.
Friday The 13th: The Game
A look at all of the weapons available to Counselors in Friday the 13th: The Game.
In Oxygen Not Included, its important that you can help your duplicates effectively deal with their stress. If youve already played a fair amount of this addictive space colony simulator then you probably know the reasons why. The thing is, duplicates dont handle high-stress levels all that well and will quickly send your colony into a downward spiral if the situation isnt immediately negated. Use this guide to keep you from completely losing it in Oxygen Not Included.
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may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13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.
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How To Relieve Stress: Get Some Air
Turns out, science says there is something to needing fresh aireven opening a window can help get more oxygen to your brain, soothing stress. We live so much of our lives indoors, that when stress hits, one of my go-to techniques is to get outside or open a window, Serani says. Taking in a nice deep breath of crisp fresh air can immediately shift your neurochemistry.
If youre overwhelmed with work, it can seem hard to take a break. But a quick step outside is even recommended by the American Psychological Association. When you come back, youll be recharged and ready to take on the challenge. Need help getting outside? Heres how to get out the door.
How To Relieve Stress: Use Physical Pressure To Ease Mental Pressure
Science shows that massages reduce stress, but you dont have to go to the spayou can give yourself one right now. Learning how to self-massage your foot, head, neck, or shoulders reduces the stress hormone cortisol, boosts your immune system, and increases the feel-good hormones oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, Serani says.
You can even use a tennis ball or cold water bottle on your feet or neck. In addition, try rubbing pressure points like the webbing between your thumb and index finger, or your inner wrist. Heres how to learn the art of self massage.
Another method is the EFT tapping technique, where you tap certain points on your body such as between your eyes, your temples, and the center of your collarbone. Tapping brings cleansing energy to the meridian points, as your mind directs the energy to whats unbalanced in the body, Whitaker says. This restores your mind and bodys natural balance, which aids in releasing stress, worry, fears, and disharmony. Dont miss the signs you are headed for a nervous breakdown.
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Cortisol And Stress: The Basics
Cortisol is one of several hormones the body produces naturally. Cortisol levels do go up when youre stressed. But it doesnt deserve its bad rap.
Cortisol supports overall health, Dr. Lin says. It helps us wake up, gives us energy during the day and lowers at night to help us sleep and rest.
The problem arises when chronic stress keeps cortisol levels high for the long haul. High cortisol levels over weeks or months can lead to inflammation and a host of mental and physical health problems, from anxiety to weight gain to heart disease.
How To Relieve Stress: Write It Down
When your mind is all over the place, organizing your thoughts into a quick to-do list can help transfer the burden from your brain to paper. But for some people, seeing a long list of tasks can increase stress. Miller has another idea: a stressor and action sheet. Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise, and on the left column write stressor and on the right-hand column write action,’ she says. You will find as you write down thoughtful action steps to the things that are stressing you out, you regain authority over circumstance. These are the signs youre more stressed than you realize.
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Go Ahead And Leave The Party If You Want To
Some people thrive in social situations like virtual happy hours or trivia night over Zoom. Others…not so much.
If you fall in the latter group, one easy way to relieve stress fast is to get out of that uncomfortable situation . Its okay to prefer small, intimate gatherings with friends, says Dr. Van Niel. And hanging out at a Zoom party is not worth stressing yourself out all night. *Leaves meeting*
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
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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.
Talk Yourself Through It
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.
Dont worry about seeming crazy just tell yourself why youre stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
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Cut Out Things That Add To Your Stress
Sometimes, the best way to reduce your stress is to cut something out of your life. Get rid of the things that are adding to your stress so you can experience more peace.
Watching the news, being constantly connected to your digital devices, drinking alcohol, and consuming too much caffeine are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better.
Tense And Relax Your Muscles
One of Dr. Saltzs favorite de-stressing techniques actually involve tensing your muscles, holding them in that tense position for 5 to 10 seconds and then releasing, creating a near instant feeling of relaxation. This practice reduces stress through the mind-body connectionwhen we’re feeling very stressed, we tense up our bodies, says Dr. Saltz. And when we tense up our bodies, it reinforces the message to your mind to be stressed. It’s a signal of physiological arousal. Doing what you can to relax your body helps relax your mind.
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Foods That Help Lower Cortisol Levels And Weight Gain
Listed below are some of the best foods that help lower cortisol levels. Try working these nutritious foods into your daily diet.
Asparagus contains folate, a B-vitamin which helps reduce cortisol production in the body by reducing inflammation in your body, returning blood vessels to their normal state, and reduces your body’s sensitivity to adrenaline.
Like asparagus, avocados contain folate. In addition, avocados contain glutathione, a substance that keeps the body from absorbing fats that can cause oxidization damage in your body.
Containing high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant, berries are also a good source of vitamin C, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, cortisol production, and overall stress in test subjects.
Providing a much-needed source of protein and fat, cashews also provide a source of zinc, which helps fight anxiety and depression, leading causes of stress, which leads to cortisol production.
High in antioxidants, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can help lower blood pressure and increases your feeling of calm. Chocolate also contains polyphenols and flavonols, antioxidants that help protect your body from free radicals.
While green tea does contain caffeine, it also has L-theanine, an amino acid that counteracts the tendency of caffeine to encourage the body to produce cortisol. Green tea also boosts your mental performance, with brain fog a side effect of high cortisol levels.
How To Reduce Stress By Changing Your Perception
I know, you might be thinking
NO F*cking way, this happened to me, that happened to me, this person did this to me, that person said that to me, THESE ARE ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE CAUSING MY STRESS NOT ME!
I hate to break it to ya, it is not the circumstances of your life that cause your stress, it is your perception of those circumstances that cause your stress. Within that perception, you developed the meaning you have given to each circumstance.
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Simple Tools For Creating A Technique To Reduce Mental Stress
Apply one of the greatest mental energies as tools to any of the above stress relieving activities to create your own individual technique:
When you evoke the emotion of gratitude to any of your activities, you switch your mental state from stressful to peaceful . When you consciously acknowledge gratitude toward the present, you send information to your brain that immediately soothes your central nervous system, producing positive hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones reduce your mental stress and create a good feeling, a feeling of reward for having reached a goal.
Also, try to be grateful for the stressors that challenge your efficiency and signal an opportunity to improve.
Support this activity though rhythmic, conscious breathing and intensify your gratefulness and the feeling of that reward. Use your conscious breathing to create a breathing pattern that will identify the moment as one in which youve created safety, peace, and self-respect within yourself.
Use these two tools to approach the seven activities listed above or any other activities you find as stress relieving, and practice integrating them in ways that work for you.
Once you merge the tools with the activities, youll be able to create your personal technique to reduce your mental stress quickly and naturally and apply it in literally any activity.
How To Relieve Stress: Correct Your Posture
Slumping can be an outward sign of stressnot to mention that bad posture actually puts more physical stress on your body. People who are overly stressed often display their worries in their body carriage, Whitaker says. Those who are weighed down with stress commonly have a poor posture or struggle with aches and pains in their body. They often slouch when sitting or concave their body inwards with rounded shoulders as they go about their business under the weight of the burdens they carry.
Taking a few seconds when you feel stressed to check your posture and sit up straight can help you feel better. Studies show that poor posture is related to anxiety, depression, helplessness, and irritability, so keeping your chin up and shoulders back will help, Serani says. Happy and confident people naturally tend to stand a bit taller. Here are the other stressors you didnt know you had.
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What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Establish The Expectation That You Will Give 100% Effort Every Time Regardless Of The Outcome And You Will Win
Start small and practice each strategy daily. Eventually, both strategies will become an unconscious act, and your life will change forever, as did mine. Repetition is key!
If you have any experience with either of these strategies please let everyone know in the comments below!
Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.
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What Is Cortisol And What Does It Do
If youre wondering, what the heck is cortisol? youre probably not alone most people have never heard of this hormone that can have a tremendous impact on health, especially heart health. Basically, youve got to keep cortisol under control to stay healthy. In other words, while Nature designed cortisol to be your friend, it can easily become your enemy.
Cortisol is one of several stress hormones your body churns out when you experience stress. Your sympathetic nervous system gets triggered, and those stress hormones prepare you for fast, and sometimes dramatic, action.
Cortisols job, specifically, is to ensure that your body has enough energy to cope with the danger it perceives. It helps narrow arteries and increase blood pressure it also raises blood sugar and blunts insulin sensitivity. You might be scratching your head right now and youre right, all of these effects are not good for your body. The thing with cortisol is, its a survival mechanism: you want it when you need it, and definitely not all the time.
But Don’t Hit The Gym Too Often
By contrast, that same study from The Journal of Endocrinological Investigation showed that moderate- to high-intensity exercise provokes increases in circulating cortisol levels. In other words, when it comes to exercise, more may not be better. A separate 2012 study confirmed that long-term cortisol exposure was significantly higher in endurance athletes.
As clinical psychologist Candice Seti, PsyDa.k.a. The Weight Loss Therapistput it, “Skipping the second trip to the gym and taking it easy can also be good for reducing cortisol levels. that over-exercising can actually lead to an increase in the hormone. This, in turn, can lead to slower weight loss.”
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How Does Stress Affect Your Body
When we are stressed out, our bodies go into fight or flight mode also known as the stress response. In this state, your brain sends signals to your adrenal glands to release increased adrenaline and cortisol hormones. Adrenaline gets the body ready for action by boosting energy, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Cortisol increases blood sugar levels in an effort to supply ample fuel for brain and muscle function. During a stress response, cortisol also suppresses or alters other physiological processes that arent deemed essential during a crisis, including our digestive system, immune systems, reproductive system, and growth processes. It also impacts how our brains regulate mood, motivation and fear.
Normally, the stress response is short-lived and self-limiting. Once the perceived stressor has passed, our internal alarm system turns off and hormone levels return to normal. But what happens when the stressor isnt easy to escape?Prolonged stress response is incredibly taxing on our adrenal glands, and causes a cascade of negative effects to all of the body functions they regulate. There is also a related condition referred to as adrenal fatigue in the alternative medicine world, yet there is currently no accepted Western Medicine diagnostic for it.