Why Is Stress Bad For Us
We need the bodys stress response to get us through tough times. When you sense a threat or danger, your body rises to the challenge by releasing stress hormones, tightening your muscles, making your blood pressure rise and your heart and lungs work harder, and releasing a surge of fat and sugar to give you energy. When danger subsides, your body goes back to normal operations.
If you get stressed out frequently, however, the stress response can become constant and cause ongoing harm, including chronic inflammation the persistent activation of the immune system, which sharply raises the risks for many diseases such as dementia, heart disease, and stroke.
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.
Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.
With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.
Special Needs Parenting Is Stressful
Researchers have asked, “Is it more stressful to raise a child with special needs?” They have discovered that the answer is “yes.”
Stress-related biomarkers are substances such as interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein that are elevated in the bloodstream when a person is under stress. For example, a study found these elevated among parents of children with special needs, as were psychological tests for stress.
Researchers also found that parents of children with special needs may be more prone than other parents to depression and physical illness. These issues don’t disappear as children grow up because most special needs are lifelong issues.
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Pay Attention To Sleep
Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.
Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.
On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.
Create Obstacles And Rewards
If you tend to pick up your phone when youre supposed to be working, turn off your phone and put it somewhere out of sight before you get started with the day.
Make sure to reward yourself for your efforts, too. After you get a good chunk of work done, take a break to watch a funny video, catch up with your friends, or swap selfies with your partner.
Thinking in terms of rewards rather than punishments can help you encourage yourself, too.
- Instead of: If I dont work out tonight, I cant watch the next episode of Lucifer.’
- Try: Ill go for a jog after work, and then Ill watch an episode of Lucifer before bed.
If youre a long-time procrastinator, breaking the habit may require a little extra support.
Connecting with a therapist may be a good next step when procrastination:
- affects your performance at school or work
- creates problems in your personal relationships
- leads to feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, or makes existing symptoms worse
A therapist can help you identify and explore possible emotional triggers. They can also provide more insight into any underlying mental health concerns contributing to procrastination.
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Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Years of research have found PMR helps reduce anxiety and calm breathing. Lie down and relax, and then tighten, hold and then release each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting with your toes and moving up to the crown of your head. Do this slowly and methodically, and dont forget the muscles of your face. It may be more relaxing to listen to someone else walk you through the exercise. Visit this link to find audio, video, and scripts that you can record and then playback to yourself.
Connecting With Your Child
Many children with special needs are nonverbal or have severe speech and social delays. When this is the case, it can be hard for parents to make a connection. This can be extraordinarily difficult, as it’s hard to know what your child needs, wants, or feels.
Condon, who worked for years as a speech therapist before becoming a life coach, often works with parents to develop strategies for communication. Even the most basic communication can change the way parents engage with their special needs children.
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Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
Are Rage Rooms Good For You
Unfortunately, no. The evidence around anger, rage and aggression is clear: Dealing with your rage through aggression simply reinforces the rage. Channeling anger and frustration in quick, violent bursts can make this expression your default reaction. What you choose to do after feeling any intense or uncomfortable emotion becomes your default coping mechanism.
If you choose to be angry when someone cuts you off in traffic, or to become enraged at the umpire at your daughters Little League game, or to throw a temper tantrum when you get a paper cut, your body wants to make these responses automatic in future incidents. So, the next time you get cranky or frustrated, your body will respond with the same physical, aggressive response.
As I mentioned, rage rooms are fun. But when used as a mental health tool, they can make the problem of anger or rage worse. There are much healthier ways to manage anger, heal from our rage, or deal with anxiety beyond throwing a fit.
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Staying In The Present Is Hard
Even long-time meditation practitioners find it challenging.This may come as a surprise, but even those who have been meditating for years can find it hard to stay present. This is perfectly normal for anyone. It’s all part of meditation, so don’t let it discourage you.
Find What Relaxes You
There are already things in your life that relax you. You may find it beneficial to make a list of things you enjoy and that help you to relax so you can reference it when symptoms of anxiety arise. When you notice your anxiety rising turn to those activities to help stop symptoms before they escalate.
For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait, draw a bath, maybe light some candles or add a few nice scents and get in. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, skipping stones at a park, getting a massage – if it works, do it right away, rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by your anxiety.
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Autoregulation Exercise And Stress Relief
Regular physical activity keeps you healthy as it reduces stress. But another special sort of exercise known as autoregulation exercises can also reduce stress.
Stress comes in many forms and produces many symptoms. Mental symptoms range from worry and irritability to restlessness and insomnia, anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic.
Mental stress can also produce physical symptoms. Muscles are tense, resulting in fidgetiness, taut facial expressions, headaches, or neck and back pain. The mouth is dry, producing unquenchable thirst or perhaps the sensation of a lump in the throat that makes swallowing difficult. Clenched jaw muscles can produce jaw pain and headaches. The skin can be pale, sweaty, and clammy. Intestinal symptoms range from “butterflies” to heartburn, cramps, or diarrhea. Frequent urination may be a bother. A pounding pulse is common, as is chest tightness. Rapid breathing is also typical, and may be accompanied by sighing or repetitive coughing. In extreme cases, hyperventilation can lead to tingling of the face and fingers, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
The physical symptoms of stress are themselves distressing. In fact, the body’s response to stress can feel so bad that it produces additional mental stress. During the stress response, then, mind and body can amplify each other’s distress signals, creating a vicious cycle of tension and anxiety.
Practice Doesn’t Mean Perfect
Regular practice matters more than “perfect” practice. This means that, rather than concerning yourself too much about what position to sit in, what technique to try when you sit, how long to sit, or what time of day, you should just sit and meditate. The rest will fall into place if you just begin, but if you feel the need to work these details out before you can start, you may find it more challenging to get started.
There really is no “wrong” way to meditate anyway any meditation is better than none.
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How Does Exercise Reduce Stress Surprising Answers To This Question And More
How does exercise reduce stress, and can exercise really be relaxing?
Rest and relaxation. It’s such a common expression that it has become a cliche. And although rest really can be relaxing, the pat phrase causes many men to overlook the fact that exercise can also be relaxing. It’s true for most forms of physical activity as well as for specific relaxation exercises.
Exercise is a form of physical stress. Can physical stress relieve mental stress? Alexander Pope thought so: “Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.” Plato agreed: “Exercise would cure a guilty conscience.” You’ll think so, too if you learn to apply the physical stress of exercise in a controlled, graded fashion.
Herbal Tea Helps Promote Feelings Of Warmth And Calmness
Sometimes it’s the feeling that food or drinks induce, not their nutrients, that helps reduce stress. Drinking a warm cup of tea is one way to help make yourself feel calmer, says Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, an online nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Kentucky.
Past research has suggested that holding and sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of interpersonal warmth and friendliness. There’s a soothing effect of sipping a warm drink, regardless of the flavor but certain herbs, like lavender and chamomile, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on their own, Meyerowitz says.
Figueroa agrees herbal tea is great for winding down but says green tea is perfectly fine when you need a small jolt of caffeine because its full of flavonoids, which studies show support brain health. They can help protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, suppress neuroinflammation, and promote memory, learning, and cognitive function, according to previous research.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a cup of brewed green tea contains between 25 and 29 milligrams of caffeine versus black brewed coffees 95 to 165 mg per cup. Therefore, green tea can also be a preferable choice compared with coffee if youre looking to chill out.
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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.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine might be the most commonly consumed drug in the world, but its psychological effects are often underestimated. While low to moderate doses can make you feel more alert and energetic, too much can leave you feeling jittery and anxious.
It is important to remember, however, that everyone’s tolerance for caffeine is different. Some people may be able to drink a moderate amount of coffee each day, around four or five cups a day, without noticing any ill effects.
For other people, just a small amount of caffeine can cause feelings of shakiness or nervousness. If you feel like caffeine might be contributing to feelings of anxiety, consider gradually reducing your intake. Slowly lowering your intake over time can help minimize the unpleasant symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
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Spend Some Time In Nature
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.
Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
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Physical Activity Reduces Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the most recent ADAA survey on stress and anxiety disorders. When the American Psychological Association surveyed people in 2008, more people reported physical and emotional symptoms due to stress than they did in 2007, and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
Its impossible to eliminate, but you can learn to manage stress, and most people usually do. According to a recent ADAA online poll, some 14 percent of people make use of regular exercise to cope with stress. Others reported talking to friends or family sleeping watching movies or TV , as well as eating and listening to music .
While all of these are well-known coping techniques, exercise may be the one most recommended by health care professionals. And among ADAA poll takers who exercise, a healthy percentage is already on the right track: Walking , running , and yoga are their preferred strategies.
Exercising Body and Mind
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
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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