Friday, December 2, 2022

What’s Good For Stress

Tense And Relax Your Muscles

Stress – What is Stress – Why Is Stress Bad – What Causes Stress – How Stress Works

One of Dr. Saltzs favorite de-stressing techniques actually involve tensing your muscles, holding them in that tense position for 5 to 10 seconds and then releasing, creating a near instant feeling of relaxation. This practice reduces stress through the mind-body connectionwhen we’re feeling very stressed, we tense up our bodies, says Dr. Saltz. And when we tense up our bodies, it reinforces the message to your mind to be stressed. It’s a signal of physiological arousal. Doing what you can to relax your body helps relax your mind.

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.

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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Spend Time With Friends And Family

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.

Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .

Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.

Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .

summary

Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.

Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:

  • Relieving your stress response.
  • Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.

In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (

Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.

summary

Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.

Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.

One way to do this may be to say no more often.

Causes & Risk Factors

Reduce Stress by Following Simple Ways

Stress often results if a person feels that there are high pressures or demands, that there is a threat to their well-being or that they don’t have enough resources to cope with the demands.

Common sources of stress include a person’s physical environment , relationships, work, life situations and major life changes. These situations can include negative events such as financial problems, relationship breakup, difficulties at work or school, injury, illness or death and grieving. However, situations leading to stress can also include positive changes, such as work promotions, getting married or buying a house.

Because stress is a normal part of life, everyone experiences it. However, the intensity, frequency and duration of stress will be different for each person. Numerous factors can make the experience of stress worse, such as when people:

  • have limited social support
  • have difficulty regulating or balancing their emotions
  • have difficulty tolerating uncertainty or distress
  • lack self-confidence or do not feel they can cope with the stressor
  • interpret the stressor negatively, so that they feel powerless, overwhelmed or helpless.

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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.

Researchers Find Out Why Some Stress Is Good For You

Overworked and stressed out? Look on the bright side. Some stress is good for you.

You always think about stress as a really bad thing, but its not, said Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance.

New research by Kaufer and UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby has uncovered exactly how acute stress short-lived, not chronic primes the brain for improved performance.

In studies on rats, they found that significant, but brief stressful events caused stem cells in their brains to proliferate into new nerve cells that, when mature two weeks later, improved the rats mental performance.

I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert, she said.

Kaufer, Kirby and their colleagues in UC Berkeleys Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute describe their results in a paper published April 16 in the new open access online journal eLife.

Brain cells called astrocytes appear to be key players in the response to acute stress. Stress hormones stimulate astrocytes to release fibroblast growth factor 2 , which in turn lead to new neurons . Image by Daniela Kaufer & Liz Kirby.

Less is known about the effects of acute stress, Kaufer said, and studies have been conflicting.

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Early Contributions To The Study Of Stress

As previously stated, scientific interest in stress goes back nearly a century. One of the early pioneers in the study of stress was Walter Cannon, an eminent American physiologist at Harvard Medical School. In the early part of the 20th century, Cannon was the first to identify the bodys physiological reactions to stress.

Make Time For Leisure Activities

What Is Eustress? The Difference Between Good Stress and Bad Stress

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.

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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.

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.

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Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration

Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.

Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.

Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.

Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?

The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.

Take a break from technology

Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.

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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When To See A Doctor For Anxiety

If experiencing anxiety and stress, it is always best to seek out a specialist, such as a psychologist.

Sometimes, a doctor or psychologist may recommend talking therapy or CBT to manage anxiety and stress. They may also prescribe medications, such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , or benzodiazepines.

People should follow the doctorâs instructions when using these drugs, as they can have severe and possibly life threatening adverse effects.

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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Quick Ways To Reduce Stress

Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.

1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.

2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.

3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.

4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.

8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.

12. Be Alone

Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue

there’s good and bad stress

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!

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How Good Stress Can Become Bad Stress

Good stress can become bad for you if you experience too much of it. This is because your stress response is triggered either way, and if you’re adding that to chronic stress, or several other stressors, there is a cumulative effect.

Be in tune with yourself and acknowledge when you’ve had too much. You may not be able to eliminate all stress, but there are often ways that you can minimize or avoid some of the stress in your life, and this can make it easier to handle the rest.

If you can avoid the most taxing forms of stress, you’ll have more resilience against other types of stress that are unavoidable.

Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It

Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.

The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.

Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.

StepChange

StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.

Mind Infoline

Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .

Rethink Advice and Information Service

Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .

Samaritans

Specialist mental health services

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