Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Having A Social Outlet
Many hobbies lend themselves to group activities: golfing rotations, knitting circles, and creative writing groups are good examples.
Hobbies that connect you with others can bring the added benefit of social support, which can bring stress relief and meaning to life in a fun way. The friends you have fun with can become some of your best friends, so hobbies that bring you closer to others are well worth your time.
Best Ways To Manage Stress
Meditation can trigger the antidote to stress, called the relaxation response.
Goal setting and relaxation techniques reduce stress and ease the physical and emotional burdenit can take.
Stressful experiences come in many forms, such as a demanding job, a chronic disease, or an argument with a loved one. But all types of stressorseven stress from positive experiences,such as planning a partycan result in the same physical and emotional burden on health, especially when you’re an older adult. “As we age, our immune systems are less efficient, and adding stress to that can lead to disease progression or the onset of disease,” says Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
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Obesity And Disordered Eating
Some people binge or stress eat as a result of high stress levels rather than practice intuitive eating. When this happens over longer periods of time, it can result in obesity, related health conditions, and eating disorders.
Other people experiencing chronic stress eat less, which can result in undernourishment.
Government Of Canada’s Role
The Government of Canada works to help Canadians maintain and improve their mental health, including coping with stress. Within its jurisdiction, the Government of Canada works to:
- generate and disseminate knowledge, and support both knowledge generation and dissemination activities undertaken by other organizations
- strengthen the capacity of the primary health care, home care and acute care sectors to effectively deliver mental health programs and services
- provide leadership and governance
- develop social marketing campaigns
- conduct surveillance on health trends in the population
- In 2007, the federal government provided funding to establish and support a Mental Health Commission to lead the development of a national mental health strategy.
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Get A Good Nights Sleep
Sleep and stress tend to cause a vicious cycle if youre stressed, then you cant sleep, which makes you ill-prepared to handle the stressors of the next day, leading to more stress. To relieve stress before bed, try some relaxation techniques and disconnect from technology as much as possible an hour before bedtime. To ensure the proper amount of rest , set an alarm reminding you to go to bed.
Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
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Social And Job Issues That Can Cause Stress
- Your surroundings. Living in an area where overcrowding, crime, pollution, or noise is a problem can create chronic stress.
- Your social situation. Not having enough money to cover your expenses, feeling lonely, or facing discrimination based on your race, gender, age, or sexual orientation can add stress to your life.
- Your job. Being unhappy with your work or finding your job too demanding can lead to chronic stress. Learn how to manage job stress.
- Unemployment. Losing your job or not being able to find work can also add to your stress level.
Types Of Stress And What You Can Do To Fight Them
The extent to which stress impacts our lives is hard to fathom. This is more true than ever in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, 78% of American adults say the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives.
Although levels of stress have increased globally in the past few years, the conversation around stress is growing. And with this growing conversation comes more insight into the causes of stress and how we experience stress differently.
You may think of stress as simply a feeling of being overwhelmed. But there are different types of stress, each with its own physical and mental consequences.
Lets explore the different types of stress, their causes, and what you can do to fight them. Effective stress management begins with recognizing the specific types of stress affecting you.
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Look Through Happy Photos
Looking at images of loved ones and happier times is proven to help reduce stress and decrease anxiety.
Images can serve as a simple reminder that were loved and cared for, which then makes us feel safe.
You can also try looking at images of great sceneries, cute animals, the ocean, and even architectural patterns.
Tip : Connect To Others
There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the bodys defensive fight-or-flight response. Its natures natural stress reliever . So make it a point to connect regularlyand in personwith family and friends.
Keep in mind that the people you talk to dont have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.
Of course, its not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to lifes stressors.
Tips for building relationships
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Its Time To Commit To Yourself
Stress and anxiety doesnt have to be in control of you and its definitely not the norm. That doesnt mean that youll never feel stressed. On the contrary, life is messy and stressful things happen.
But you CAN manage stress and anxiety, be more resilient to stress and even prevent much of it.
Take back control of your life by implementing the above practices so that you can naturally relieve and prevent stress. And be sure that youre consistent with your practices !
And if youre serious about decreasing your stress levels, dont forget to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions for proven mindset and stress management strategies that will decrease stress, increase resilience and help you take control of your thoughts .
Grab your copy here here:
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
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Whats Causing So Much Stress
Lets face it: work demands are getting worse. Youre expected to do more and work harder with even tighter deadlines.
And if youre anything like my ambitious clients, you set high standards for yourself .
Additionally, your life is jam-packed with personal obligations that constantly pull at you. This always-on-the-go lifestyle leaves little time for personal renewal.
So, how can you juggle it all yet stay positive and relatively stress-free? What you need are simple, effective strategies that work quickly to naturally reduce stress, get you back on track and keep stress levels low.
Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.
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Know Which Types Of Stress Need Professional Help
Stress is a recurring condition within our lives. But it doesnt need to become a long-term problem. Dont be too hard on yourself.
By looking for ways to reduce our stress, developing good habits and stress management techniques, we can reduce the chances of suffering from the long-term health impacts of stress.
If you feel that you cant manage your stress or stress-related symptoms, its important to obtain professional help.
Learn more about how BetterUps expert coaches can help you. Dont let stress get the better of you.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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How Can You Avoid Stress
Stress is a fact of life for most people. You may not be able to get rid of stress, but you can look for ways to lower it.
You might try some of these ideas:
- Learn better ways to manage your time. You may get more done with less stress if you make a schedule. Think about which things are most important, and do those first.
- Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress. Be honest about what works and what does not. Think about other things that might work better.
- Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Don’t smoke. Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Try out new ways of thinking. When you find yourself starting to worry, try to stop the thoughts. Or write down your worries and work on letting go of things you cannot change. Learn to say “no.”
- Speak up. Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse. Assertive communication can help you express how you feel in a thoughtful, tactful way.
- Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better.
Sometimes stress is just too much to handle alone. Talking to a friend or family member may help, but you may also want to see a counselor.
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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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.
Easy Ways To Relieve Stress Right Now
Have you ever been running late for an important meeting only to find yourself stuck in a traffic jam? Or you ask the kids to do their chores for the millionth time, but theyre still not done? Or maybe you find yourself quarantined to your house for the foreseeable future?
Stress comes in all forms.
When were stressed, our body thinks its under attack and switches to fight or flight mode. Our brains release a surge of chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to help us survive the perceived attack. This reaction is whats helped us survive for so long, and its what helps some people react well in an emergency situation.
The problem is that many of us are in that fight or flight state too often in our daily lives. Stress levels in America are continuing to rise under normal circumstances, let alone during a pandemic. And prolonged exposure to these stress chemicals can have adverse effects on our health.
Excess cortisol, in particular, is a chemical that many experts believe to be linked to heart disease, digestive problems, and weight gain, among other diseases. While fine in moderation, stress hormones arent something we want pumping through our bodies in excess.
Luckily, there are a few stress-relieving tactics you can do anywhere that are quick, easy, and effective. So, the next time you feel yourself clenching up into a stress ball, try one of these:
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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.