Turning Systems On And Off
In many cases, both of these systems have opposite actions where one system activates a physiological response and the other inhibits it.
In other words, our bodies are designed to naturally take care of things like our digestion and immune system to keep us nourished and healthy, but during times of an emergency, the body puts those things on hold in order to direct energy into more important things like the ability to run away from danger right now.
Our bodies produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which is like a built -in alarm. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear. It accelerates heartbeat, increases blood sugar, and alters other body systems to prepare your body to respond to the danger. When your body is on high alert, cortisol can alter or shut down functions that get in the way. These might include your digestive or reproductive systems, your immune system, or even your growth processes.
After the danger has passed, then your cortisol level should calm down and your heart, blood pressure, and other body systems will get back to normal. This is a wonderful, natural, and automatic process designed to help keep us safe, and to be able to quickly respond to danger.
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.
Listen To Relaxing Music
Forge a friendship with music and you will not regret it! Music helps in all sorts of phases and moods and all it takes to elevate your stress is a listen to your fave number. Go on, try it. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, consider joining a class of music therapy.
Pro Tip: Keep a playlist handy so you can fall back on it in a jiffy when the need arises!
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Move More Eat Well Sleeeeep
Its pretty well-known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood. And the good news is: you dont need to run a marathon to get the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. Weve got some tips on how to exercise when you’re not motivated.
Diet and sleep are also really important for your wellbeing. A healthy diet will make you feel healthier and stronger and better able to handle stress, while enough sleep positively affects your mood and stress levels.
Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
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Not Sure What To Do Next
If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirects Symptom Checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
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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Holistic Impact Founder Kemmy Gichaba Explains
With more and more people discovering CBD products effectiveness for aches, pains as well as stress and anxiety, it is no wonder it has fast gained popularity in the past few years, becoming the new buzzword in the health world. Kemmy Gichaba, Osteopath and creator of Holistic Impact, a new CBD and essentials oils range, explains how CBD, hailed as the natural alternative to drugs, helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Dont Run Yourself Ragged
Say no! If you are a people-pleaser it is very hard to say no when someone asks you to do something, even if your schedule is already overwhelming. I suggest that you always say let me get back to you on that then actually ask yourself:
a) Do I want to do it?
b) Do I have time to do it without making myself overwhelmed?
It is usually easier to say no when you are not face to face with someone.
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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.
Stop Worrying By Focusing On What Youre Grateful For
As we focus on one negative thought, it primes our brain to look for more. By contrast, looking for a silver lining can help train your brain to search for positives and interrupt the cycle of worry. This is one reason why a daily gratitude practice can be so helpful and even life-changing.
Having trouble finding something to be grateful for? Take a step back and look for what is interesting about the situation or funny. Engage your mind through curiosity and humor. This can quickly shift you into a better place and provide a needed break from the negative thoughts. You can even try to be curious about the way you worry.
While it may take practice, learning to turn your negative thoughts around can be a great way to stop worrying.
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When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
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.
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How To Stop Worrying: 11 Steps To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Are you ready to finally learn how to stop worrying?
Everyone gets worried from time to time in fact, 59% of adults reported a daily sense of worry in 2020. Whether youre preparing for a big presentation or are going through personal changes, its normal to have the occasional sleepless night.
However, too much worry can make it difficult to enjoy life. If you want to take back your life from anxiety and learn how to stop worrying, youre in the right place.
Were here to share our best strategies for how to stop worrying. Well give you the tools you need to get your stress and worry under control.
Omicron Holidays A Perfect Storm For Stress And Anxiety Heres How To Cope
The holiday season always comes with its fair share of stress and anxiety, be it from the social pressures of family gatherings or the economic pressures of gift-giving.
Factor in the spread of the OmicronCOVID-19 variant in Canada, and the measures the federal and provincial governments have introduced to reduce its impact, and youll have added stress and anxiety affecting Canadians, says Keith Dobson, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Calgary.
The lack of predictability, uncontrollability and the pandemic, itself, has created a perfect storm this holiday season, Dobson said.
On top of that, we have varying kinds of guidance across the country about getting together and not getting together … so this is a whole new layer of stress to us, he said.
Stress and anxiety is a very typical, or predictable, response to the circumstance we’re in We should acknowledge it, recognize it and support each other as best we can.
For weeks, Canadians have watched their governments react to Omicron, which was discovered late last month and has spread to at least 106 countries so far.
The variant is now factoring into the rise of infections across Canada, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at a virtual briefing on Dec. 22.
So far, Canada has seen more than 2,360 confirmed Omicron infections, she added.
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How To Deal With Painful Emotions
Lets talk about how to deal with anxiety and stress in some simple ways. If you are like most of the people in our modern world your life is probably very busy and stress relief management may not even be a thought. Some people are not as blessed. They suffer from heavy bouts of anxiety or stress or even both combined. They result in panic attacks and sometimes they do not even know what the panic attack causes are related to. I can assure if you were a sufferer you would seek out anxiety attack help wherever you could find it. Learning how to deal with anxiety attacks would be first on your mind or the hearts of those who care about you. The real question, however, is how to stop panic attacks forever.
Chronic Worry And Stress
However, when we keep our bodies constantly in the fight or flight response with worry and stress, it can negatively affect virtually every organ system in the body. According to the National Institutes of Health . Prolonged stress has been shown to cause numerous health problems including:
- Respiratory problems and heavy breathing
- Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
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Worry Can Cause A Stress Response
Ongoing worry can quickly evolve into chronic stress. When you have a stress response, you may have a tough time identifying exactly what worrying thoughts got you there.
Over time, repetitive negative thoughts can trigger other stress responses in your body. While it may seem like your mind is going a mile a minute, tracking your thoughts and the physical sensations in your body can help slow stress.
Recognising Your Stress Triggers
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.
Things you might want to write down include:
- the date, time and place of a stressful episode
- what you were doing
- a stress rating
You can use the diary to:
- work out what triggers your stress
- work out how you operate under pressure
- develop better coping mechanisms
Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.
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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.
Shallow Breathing Contributes To Anxiety
When people are anxious, they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest.
This type of breathing, called thoracic or chest breathing, causes an upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations. Your blood is not being properly oxygenated and this may signal a stress response that contributes to anxiety and panic attacks.
Diaphragmatic or deep breathing, on the other hand, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is part of the peripheral nervous system responsible for regulating heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, and digestion. Deep breathing helps you to avoid the “fight-or-flight” response to mentally or physically terrifying situations.
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How Do I Reduce Worry And Stress
Reducing worry and stress in our lives improves our physical, mental, and emotional health. There are many simple things that we can do to reduce worry and stress such as following the Hope for Healing program and utilizing the emotional wellness tools found in the Hope for Healing emotional first aid kit. We also recommend the book You Got This: an action plan to calm fear, anxiety, worry, and stress.
Learn more about ways to reduce worry and stress and improve your physical, mental and emotional health and to increase peace and joy in your life.