Friday, March 24, 2023

How To Relieve Emotional Stress

Alternatives To Emotional Eating

How To Relieve Emotional Stress with Simple Methods

If youre depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.

If youre anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.

If youre exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.

If youre bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy .

Tips For Overcoming Emotional Stress

By: Stephanie Kirby


Acute Versus Chronic Stress

The experience of stress can be either acute or chronic. Acute stress usually occurs in response to a short-term stressor, like a car accident or an argument with your spouse. Acute stress can be very distressing, but it passes quickly and typically responds well to coping techniques like calming breathing or brisk physical activity.

Chronic stress occurs when stressors dont let up. The roots of chronic stress can vary widely, from situations people can control or avoid to difficulties that are hard to escape . Because people respond differently to stressful circumstances, a situation that one person might find tolerable can become a source of chronic stress for another.

Chronic stress can damage both mental and physical health. Being chronically stressed may leave you feeling fatigued, sap your ability to concentrate and cause headaches and digestive difficulties. People prone to irritable bowel syndrome often find that their symptoms spike with psychological stress.15 Though acute stress can heighten certain immune responses, the wear-and-tear of chronic stress is bad for the immune system.16 Chronic stress can also affect cardiac health, with multiple studies finding a link between chronic stress and the development of coronary artery disease.17

The American Psychological Association gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Beverly Thorn, PhD, in developing this fact sheet.

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Indulge Without Overeating By Savoring Your Food

When you eat to feed your feelings, you tend to do so quickly, mindlessly consuming food on autopilot. You eat so fast you miss out on the different tastes and textures of your foodas well as your bodys cues that youre full and no longer hungry. But by slowing down and savoring every bite, youll not only enjoy your food more but youll also be less likely to overeat.

Slowing down and savoring your food is an important aspect of mindful eating, the opposite of mindless, emotional eating. Try taking a few deep breaths before starting your food, putting your utensils down between bites, and really focusing on the experience of eating. Pay attention to the textures, shapes, colors and smells of your food. How does each mouthful taste? How does it make your body feel?

Practice mindful eating

Eating while youre also doing other thingssuch as watching TV, driving, or playing with your phonecan prevent you from fully enjoying your food. Since your mind is elsewhere, you may not feel satisfied or continue eating even though youre no longer hungry. Eating more mindfully can help focus your mind on your food and the pleasure of a meal and curb overeating. See Mindful Eating.

Ways To Minimize The Impact Of Stress On The Body

Stress Relievers: 70 Ways to Reduce Stress

Whether youre dealing with chronic stress or experience it occasionally on a situational basis , its possible to reset and find a more stable sense of peace and happiness in your daily life.

Treat your body well: It may sound obvious, but its worthy of repeating: Anything that helps the brain and body to have more sustainable energy is going to keep stress reactions minimized, because we can adapt more effectively, explains Hanna. Sleeping at least seven hours at night, eating healthy foods every three to four hours to stabilize blood sugar, and moving at least every 90 minutes during the day to facilitate optimal circulation can reduce the wear and tear of daily stress.

Identify and anticipate your stressors: This may require some introspection, but the effort will be worthwhile. It’s important to be aware of what things create more stress for you, says Hartstein. Is work a place that is stressful? Do you take too much responsibility for things and then not take care of yourself? Knowing what things trigger your stress is really important. If you can do some coping ahead some planning for those stressful moments you can minimize the stress and help yourself through the moments without becoming too overwhelmed.

Even just three to five minutes of slow, rhythmic breathing can start to train the nervous system to be more adaptive.

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Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management

While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Side Effects Of Stress

Emotional stress can adversely impact your spine, which can also trigger or exacerbate numerous other health problems. Emotional stress can manifest in different ways, including anxiety, depression, and hostility.

Research shows women and men handle stress differently. Women have a greater risk for depression and anxiety, whereas men have a greater risk for alcohol-use disorders. For both genders, thats bad news.

Emotional stress can also adversely impact many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone, insulin, and prolactin. Some of that impact gears you up for the fight-or-flight response, but research shows these hormonal imbalances can negatively impact problems including obesity as well as your adrenal and thyroid glands.

Read Also: What To Do When Feeling Overwhelmed And Stressed

Warning Signs And Risk Factors For First Responders And Recovery Workers

First responders and recovery workers include:

  • Fire fighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, 911 operators, and other fire, emergency, and medical personnel
  • Military service men and women
  • Clergy
  • Staff and volunteers serving with disaster-relief organizations, including sheltering, animal rescue, food service, and crisis counseling

First responders and recovery workers are not only physically and emotionally tested during an emergency, but they also may have loved ones in the area for whom they are concerned. They also are often the last to seek help for work-related stress.

Warnings signs of stress in responders and recovery workers may include:

  • Experiencing a rapid heart rate, palpitations, muscle tensions, headaches, and tremors
  • Feeling fear or terror in life-threatening situations or perceived danger, as well as anger and frustration
  • Being disoriented or confused, having difficulty solving problems, and making decisions
  • Engaging in problematic or risky behaviors, such as taking unnecessary risks, failing to use personal protective equipment, or refusing to follow orders or leave the scene
  • Becoming irritable or hostile in social situations, resorting to blaming, and failing to support teammates

First responders and recovery workers most at risk for emotional distress include those who have experienced:

Get information in SAMHSA publications on helping first responders and recovery workers:

Spend Some Time In Nature

Emotional Stress Relief Self Help Technique from Health Kinesiology

As previously reported by Health, spending time in nature has a profound effect on our stress levels. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, even spending just 20 minutes in a park does wonders for our well-being. According to research psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Joy of Movement, incorporating a little nature every day is beneficial to managing your stress levels. Depending on how youre social distancing, getting to a park every day may not be easy, but even a short daily walk outside would suffice and help you clear your head.

Also Check: How Do You Reduce Stress

When Should I Get Help For My Emotional Stress

If you have any of the symptoms of emotional stress and have tried one or more of the remedies discussed in this article and havent found relief, seek professional help. If you feel overwhelmed and cant manage your emotions and stresses on your own, seek the help of a professional. Dont stay frozen or feeling like youre holding your breath waiting for your feelings to be over. If you are stuck in a rut and cant get yourself out, seek professional help.

Counselors and mental health therapists are trained professionals who can find ways to help you cope, reduce the effects of emotional stress, help you feel better and become more functional in your day-to-day activities.

If you or a loved one have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK . They are available 24 hours/day, seven days a week.

Listen To Soothing Music

Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.

Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.

Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .

Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.


Read Also: What To Do About Stress Eating

So How Can Kinesiology Help

In Emotional Stress Release the vascular points for the stomach and the brain are held, to help draw the blood back into the frontal lobes, while the clients thinks about the stress.

ESR , a simple, yet very powerful technique will help anyone face a problem no matter how serious. Most people gain immediate relief from the anguish they may be suffering. Nothing could be simpler to do, for it is merely the extensive of a natural gesture.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to do, and how testing before and after, shows that the effect on the body has changed.

Give it a go yourself, and let me know how you got on below:

Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life

7 Useful Ways to Deal with Emotional Distress

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isnt as straightforward as it sounds. While its easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. Its all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.

Sure, you may know that youre constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe its your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you cant remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality ?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

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What Are The Symptoms Of Emotional Stress

Emotional stress affects everyone differently, so it’s hard to nail down specific signs and symptoms. According to Dr. Borland, two major symptoms of emotional stress include poor concentration skills and difficulty remembering things. Increased feelings of anxiety, anger, grief, or sadness may also be signs that your stress levels are a bit higher than usual, Dr. O’Neill says.

But while emotional stress mainly manifests mentally at first, your physical health can eventually be impacted as well, Dr. ONeill says. Stress can greatly impact physical health, causing someone to feel fatigued or run down, she explains. Dr. ONeill lists altered eating habits, chronic headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, and even disrupted sleeping patterns as other signs.

The length of time people are affected by emotional emotional stress can also differ. Depending on the trigger, emotional stress can be acute, episodic, or prolonged, Dr. O’Neill says. Acute emotional stress, for instance, could be triggered by waiting for critical lab results, whereas prolonged emotional stress could be caused by a hostile work environment. Episodic emotional stress can occur every time the individual is within a specific situation, Dr. ONeill adds, citing repeated encounters with a specific coworker as an example.

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Other Types Of Relaxation Techniques

Many de-stressing therapies have common goals. They aim to help you pay attention to your body and focus on aspects of your breathing or other exercises that will lower your blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being. You can try:

  • Biofeedback, which measures body functions and helps you learn to control them.
  • Self-hypnosis, in which a practitioner teaches you to relax when you hear a phrase or get a nonspoken cue.
  • Massage therapy, which can include Swedish, sports, Shiatsu, or other types of massage.
  • Music therapy, when a therapist uses music to accomplish health goals.
  • Art therapy, which uses art to enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • Aromatherapy, or using essential oils as a type of treatment.
  • Hydrotherapy, which can include soaking, compresses, or even steam baths.

While relaxation practices are mostly safe for heathy people, there have been reports of negative impacts, such as increased stress, bad thoughts, or a fear of losing control. Talk to your doctor about what practice might be best for you, depending on the relaxation technique you want to try and your health.

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Pause When Cravings Hit And Check In With Yourself

Most emotional eaters feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, its all you can think about. You feel an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because youve tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe that your willpower just isnt up to snuff. But the truth is that you have more power over your cravings than you think.

Releasing Tension In The Gut & Stomach

Reduce emotional stress with Systematic Kinesiology

If you tend to hold stress in this area, it can manifest as gut issues.

Jill calls the gut our power source: The stomach is sensitive, smart, and powerful. It feeds our nerves both figuratively and literally it is the master hand of the gut instinct and the key to living on our own without fear. Often what shows up in readings is that people who hold stress in the gut and stomach do not feel powerful, and they are not letting change in.

In this next video, we explain how to release stress from the belly:

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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.

What Are The Stress Containers

If excess stress is becoming almost impossible to avoid, the million-dollar question is: How do we best deal with it? As a structural integration and alignment specialist, my work is very hands onIve spent more than fifteen years in my lab, working intimately with people, observing and kinesthetically feeling the effects of excess stress on the body, spirit, and ultimately lives of my clients. One thing Ive discovered is that the effects of chronic stress generally show up in five specific areas of the body. I call these areas the stress containers because theyre where stress gets stuck, congests, and intensifies and where it gets literally contained within the body. The good news is twofold: We all have the ability to build awareness around how we react or respond to stress, and we can all take steps to eliminate stress thats being stored in these containers within the body.

The five areas are the jaw/neck/face, the shoulders/heart, the diaphragm/lungs, the stomach/gut, and the pelvic floor/hips. What Ive observed in literally thousands of clients is that stuck stress manifests itself in blockages, pain, tension, and rigidity in the fascia or connective tissue it can actually be felt as I work on these parts of the body.

Heres a video to introduce the series that follows about how to release stress from the major areas where it gets stuck:

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Get In Some Light Exercise

Dr. Saltz recommends doing any form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or four times a week a is great for stress, anxiety, and improving your mood. Some examples of heart rate-boosting activities include a light jog, dance cardio, or sex. She encourages you to find an activity that you find the most fun and stick with it. If possible, squeeze it in before work, during your lunch break, or even make exercise a family activity after work by taking a walk.

Iyanla Vanzant: How Do You Journal

How to Manage Stress: 9 Techniques that Actually Help ...

Iyanla calls it a Brain Dump. Just write whatever is on your mind, whether it makes sense or not. Then slowly increase the time you spend journaling a little at a time. Iyanla spends two and a half to three hours a day journaling.

Eat the elephant one bite at a time, she said. Dont start at the butt.

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