Your Attitude Can Increase Or Reduce Stress And Tension
Dealing with stress and tension should begin from within you. External causes might be the trigger for them, but in most cases, your attitude and thoughts are the real causes.
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You might not always be able to deal with external condition, but you can certainly teach yourself to change your attitude.
With a change of attitude, stress and tension would be reduced and might even disappear, irrespective of your external conditions.
Take two different people, with different mental attitudes, and put them in the same situation.
If you observe their behavior, you will see two different behavior patterns.
- One might get stressed easily, feels exhausted, and dwells on negative thoughts.
- The other person remains calm, relaxed and happy, and at the same time also energetic.
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There Are Two Ways to Deal with Stress and Tension
There are ways to release stress and tension after they appear, and there are ways to prevent them from being created.
There are certain things you can do when you experience stress and tension, something like first aid, and there are methods that prevent stress and tension from coming into existence.
The first aid method, consists of certain small things that reduce the stress and tension, while the second method, requires inner work, over a period of time.
Go Ahead And Stress Bake
Baking checks so many stress-reduction boxes: It can be a sensory experience it is a project that requires planning, concentration, and mindfulness, which activates your brain and if you enjoy it, its fun. Kate Merker, Good Housekeepings Chief Food Director, loves this amazing blueberry sweet roll recipe, but if youve had enough sugar, move on to a healthy pizza recipe. It feels comforting and you can literally put anything on top of pizza dough, she says. My kids help shape the dough, which is just fun, and they get a kick out of me twirling it in the air. And if youre stressed by the fact that no eats the same thing in your house? Everyone can pick and choose their own topping, Merker adds.
How To Better Cope With Stress In The Moment
Pay attention to these signs. It is important to recognize the physiological signs of stress and address these symptoms in the moment to alleviate the potential harmful effects, Dr. Sieka says.
The goal of stress management here is to acknowledge the feeling and then dial down those physiological changes and approach the challenge rationally with your mind , explains Melissa Dowd, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the San Franciscobased therapy lead at PlushCare, a virtual health platform.
If your reaction to stress sticks around even after the trigger is gone , short-term stress can become chronic, Dowd says.
Stress that is not handled well and continues without relief can lead to chronic stress and contribute to physical concerns, such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and high blood pressure, and mental health problems, such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and substance use, Sieka says.
Dowd says some people are more prone to chronic stress. This can be due to genetics, life experiences, and unhealthy coping mechanisms, she says.
Its good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help you de-escalate stressful situations quickly, such as squeezing a stress ball, distracting yourself with fidget spinners, cueing up a mindfulness app, and trying deep-breathing exercises.
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Point Your Brain At A Problem
If the stress is more mental than physical and you feel your mind looping around itself, give yourself a discrete task, such as organizing your shoes or doing a word puzzle. When youre stressed, your brain may be saying, weve got a problem to solve so it keeps spinning. Thats a good time to engage your mind, says Kissen. If you give it a task to focus on, youll feel calmer and be better able to deal with whats actually stressing you out.
How Can You Help Yourself
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.37 It is therefore important that we manage our stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and minds.
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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.
Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress
“Its key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,” Dr. Stoll says. “We all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.”
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.
1. Re-balance Work and Home
All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
2. Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
4. Connect with Supportive People
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.
5. Carve out Hobby Time
Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.
6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga
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The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Stress can be normal, especially that it is already part of our daily lives. When you experience stress, a part of your brain, specifically the hypothalamus reacts, allowing the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones are the same hormones that make you sense the fight or flight response of your body.
When you are threatened, stressed, or having an intense emotion, you will feel that your heart is beating fast, as your heart rate increases. Your breath also becomes faster, your muscles start to shake, and for some, it leads to uncontrollable shedding of tears.
Chronic stress can affect your body, both in terms of your physical health and mental health. If left untreated or unmanaged, it may result in consistent irritability, anxiety disorder, depression or major depressive disorder, insomnia, headache, back pain, shoulder pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, and nausea and vomiting.
For some, stress is diverted to overeating, substance abuse , as well as social withdrawal. It can even lead to certain illnesses and serious health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, heartburn or acid reflux, erectile dysfunction for males, and irregular, heavier, or more painful menstruation for females.
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.
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Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Roll Breathing To Relieve Stress
Roll breathing helps you use your lungs better and gets you in touch with the rhythm of your breathing. You can practice it in any position, but it’s best to lie on your back, with your knees bent. Practice roll breathing daily for several weeks until you can do it almost anywhere.
When you are roll breathing, always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. As you breathe out, make a whooshing sound.
Caution: Some people get dizzy the first few times they try roll breathing. If you begin to breathe very fast or become lightheaded, slow your breathing. Get up slowly.
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Can Stress Be Positive
Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.
Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4
How To Use Stress Medicine
It’s important to remember that you should never take any anxiety drugs alone, and you should try to avoid them if possible.
Medications are not evil – certainly not as evil as many people will tell you. But mental health medications have downsides. It’s more than just side effects. Medications can actually harm your ability to cope with stress in the future, because of:
- Physiological Dependence That’s when the body requires the medicine because it’s adapted to the effects. Your brain starts to depend on it, to the point where your natural stress coping ability gets even worse. If you stop taking the medication, you’ll suffer from intense side effects. You have to wean off it slowly, and you have to take it every day even if you’re not feeling anxious that day.
- Psychological Dependence Perhaps more troubling is psychological dependence. This is when you depend so much on the medicine that you don’t do anything else to cure your anxiety. When you stop taking the medication and experience some stress, you’re going to want to go immediately back to medication, and this type of behavior can make it much harder to cope with anxiety.
It’s important to keep that in mind. You need to make sure that you’re only choosing a medicine as a last resort because of these risks, and even if you do choose a stress medicine and feel better, make sure that you’re still learning proper coping strategies so that your anxiety doesn’t come back when you stop taking the medicine.
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Exercise For At Least 20 Minutes Every Day
Exercise is an amazing stress-reliever. It can lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, and give you more energy, according to the American Heart Association.
But you don’t need to go all-out in high-intensity training every day to get the benefits: Even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours, says the American Psychological Association . So hit the gym for 30 minutes to work off your stress, or try a new fitness class.
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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Snag 15 Minutes To Yourself Every Single Day
When youre dealing with coworkers, friends, a partner, and kids all day, every day, it can be helpful for your stress to just take a few minutes to yourself each day. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes of me-time every day, the AHA suggests, and do whatever you want. You can simply sit in your car and breathe deeply or listen to music before you go inside for the night or spend that time on your porch with a cup of coffee in the morninganything that helps you relax.
Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
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Tip : Recognize When Youre Stressed
It might seem obvious that youd know when youre stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that weve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance: when were calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when youre stressed by listening to your body. When youre tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When youre happy, you laugh easily. And when youre stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your bodys clues.
Observe your muscles and insides. Are your muscles tense or sore? Is your stomach tight, cramped, or aching? Are your hands or jaw clenched?
Observe your breath. Is your breathing shallow? Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Watch your hands rise and fall with each breath. Notice when you breathe fully or when you forget to breathe.
Do Something To Make Yourself Laugh
Think back to the last time you laughedand I mean laughed . You probably felt way less stressed in that moment, right?
There’s a reason: People often hold a lot of their stress in their face, and laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension, according to the APA.
That’s why Chapman says scheduling time to interact with friends and family on FaceTime or by playing virtual games on apps like Houseparty, should be a regular events during physical distancing. Talking to and laughing with family and friends will get rid of those not-so-positive thoughts that can come with feeling isolated.
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How To Reduce Stress Anxiety And Depression
Too much stress can result in chronic anxiety and depression. Yet, it does not mean that we cannot control them anymore. Of course, stress can be normal or destructive. So, we do not want stress to rule over your life. In this sense, we provide you with the top seven tips to reduce or relieve these disturbances.
Focus On What You Can Control
“Engaging in present-focused awareness and what is happening right now is effective for managing strong emotions,” Chapman says.
He recommends using a meditation app like Headspace to get you in that self-focused mindsetthen move forward with your day with the awareness that you can only control what you do .
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