Join An Online Forum Or Chat
During those times when you feel like you need to talk with someone right away, you might want to consider an online forum or chat with a group tailored to your needs.
Aside from providing you with people who understand what you’re struggling with, you also have the option of sharing details anonymously.
Sometimes people really appreciate the immediacy of an online forum or chat. Plus, communicating online can help take away any apprehension and help people with social anxiety relax and share.
Healthy Ways To Handle Lifes Stressors
When stress becomes unmanageable, try these evidence-based tools to tackle it in healthy ways.
Healthy ways to handle lifes stressors.
Stressful experiences are a normal part of life, and the is a survival mechanism that primes us to respond to threats. Some stress is positive: Imagine standing in front of a crowd to give a speech and hitting it out of the park. Stressful? Certainly. But also challenging and satisfying.
But when a stressor is negative and cant be fought off or avoided such as layoffs at work or a loved ones medical crisis or when the experience of stress becomes , our biological responses to stress can impair our physical and mental health.
Fortunately, there are many evidence-based tools to help combat the negative effects of stress in healthy ways. They recommend that you:
How Can You Keep Oily Skin Under Control
Since high cortisol levels kick start the skins oil glands, you might find your face is oilier than usual. If you find yourself looking super shiny, Dr. Shamban suggests using exfoliating pads once a day like the ones from her product line AVA MD. Swipe the pad over a clean face starting once a week and move up to two or three times at night before bed, she says. Theyre made with pure 5% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid. These are the best basic ingredients for acne prone skin and they help banish blemishes with regular usage.
For a quick fix, both dermatologists are fans of oil-blotting papers because no matter how many times you gently dab one of these sheets on your face, theyre not going to make breakouts any worse.
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Know Your Paid And Unpaid Leave Policies
Speaking of which, knowing family leave policies in the country and your state are an important piece of offering employee support.
Whether or not your company decides to offer unlimited vacations, you will have to consider the varied needs and circumstances of your team. For many people, workplace stress actually centers around the difficulty of fitting life events around work such as pregnancy, family death and illness, and childcare.
Strategies For Stress: Talking About It
CREDIT: This article was first published on Nuffield Health, written by Sharon James, senior health and wellbeing physiologist
When it comes to stress, many people overlook the simple strategy of talking. Heres how it can help you to reduce stress and improve your health and wellbeing.
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Take Some Steps On Your Own
Get organized. Ã¢Less clutter in your physical surroundings, email inbox, and to-do bucket will help your mind be more at ease,Ã¢ Braslow says. You donÃÂ¢t have to tackle it all at once. Make a plan to work on one area at a time.
Make new goals. Is there something youÃÂ¢ve always wanted to do, or a place you want to go? Create a step-by-step, realistic plan to make it happen.
Do something meaningful. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Braslow suggests trying poetry, music, photography, or design.
Read a good book. ItÃ¢s a great way to relax. ThereÃÂ¢s even research that shows that reading books on spirituality or psychology may boost your mood.
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How To Ask For Stress Leave From Your Doctor A Break May Be Better Than Burnout
One in five Canadians experiences mental health problems every year according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. And workplace stress is one of the biggest contributors to this statistic.
Did you know 1 in 4 Canadians leaves his/ her job because of stress? Still more consider quitting due to stress.
Workplace stress has to be expected to some level, any reasonable person would say. After all, deadlines, performance targets and responsibility will all cause stress. However, sustained or undue stress points to something greater. It could be a warning sign for an endemic organizational problem.
Stress leave is, unfortunately, not codified in Ontarios laws. However, the importance of provisions for stress leave Ontario cannot be ignored. After all, stress leave could help you regain your balance and keep your job.
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Stress Management Isnt Just About Stress Relief
Heres the thing: learning how to reduce stress wont help all that much if you cant keep stress levels low for the long-haul.
Stress has a ripple effect . The key to effective stress management is to help reduce much of this ripple effect. That will ultimately help you to remain calm, think rationally and respond appropriately so that you can more quickly bounce back instead of allowing stress to take control of you and emotionally react.
And thats what control is really all about. Controlling your thoughts and emotions. You cant be in control of your life if you dont first learn to manage your stress levels.
Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
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Sometimes It’s Like You Forget To Breathe
You’re sitting there in class and you get a mediocre test grade. All of a sudden you’re convinced that you’ll never get into college and that your future is over. Your emotions can spiral out so fast that you actually feel light-headed, or slightly tingly, or straight-up shaky. So what’s up with that? Sometimes when you’re all worked up you literally hold your breath to keep the tears down and/or the emotion in. And it’s not something you should ignore. “Research has shown that there is no such thing as a spontaneous panic attack,” says Ehrman. “Holding your breath, rapid breathing, a little dizziness these can and will get worse over time.”
So What Can You Do About It?
First off: Make sure to get enough rest and ~breathe~ . “It’s important to create space in your day for your brain and body to be in a state of calm,” Ehrman explains. “That keeps the stress from piling up.” Aside from catching all of the you can, building in five-minute brain breaks every day where you sit and count your breaths or picture yourself in your happy place will help, too. And if the symptoms of stress and that sense of being SO overwhelmed don’t let up, talk to an adult you can get real with, whether that’s your mom or a school counselor or your doc. They can help you figure out a plan to lighten your load and deal with the pressure you’re feeling.
Talk To Someone It Helps
It turns out, talking to someone about your experience is scientifically proven to help. Several studies to date have looked at how shared emotional experiences help reduce emotional stress.
For example, one study, published in the pages of the Journal Social Psychological and Personality Science tested the stress levels of participants leading up to a simulated public speech.
In this study, researchers paired groups of participants with a partner as they waited for a stressful event to happen. The researchers analyzed each participants stress level to assess how much of a threat they experienced.
They discovered that when the participants shared their emotional experience with others, even extremely fearful participants had lower cortisol response and lower reported stress levels. Talking about their problems truly did alleviate some of the stress they faced.
Furthermore, it turns out that even talking to yourself might help reduce stress as well. A study performed in 2017 and published in Nature, investigated if quiet self-talk in the third person could help process challenging experiences and emotions.
The authors conducted the study in two phases. In the first phase, researchers subjected participants to disturbing images and then asked the participants to reflect on the image using first-person or third-person self-talk. For example, I found that image very upsetting, or John found that image very upsetting.
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What Are Some Tips I Can Use To Help Manage My Reaction To Stress
Try some of the following steps:
Other mental fitness tips include:
- Give yourself permission to take a break from your worries and concerns. Recognize that dedicating even a short time every day to your mental fitness will help you feel rejuvenated and more confident.
- “Collect” positive emotional moments – Make a point of recalling times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence or other positive things.
- Do one thing at a time – Be “present” in the moment, whether out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and your mental “to do” list.
- Enjoy hobbies – Hobbies can bring balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it.
- Set personal goals – Goals don’t have to be ambitious. They could be as simple as finishing a book, walking around the block every day, learning a new hobby, or calling your friends instead of e-mailing. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.
- Express yourself – Whether in a journal or talking to a wall, expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension, and boost your body’s resistance to illness.
- Treat yourself well – Take some “you” time to help relax- whether it’s cooking a good meal, mediation, participating in sports, seeing a movie, go for a walk, play with your family and pets – do something that brings you joy.
Where Do I Go From Here
BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use InformationVisit www.heretohelp.bc.ca. See our section on managing stress including our Wellness Modules. The Modules are full of information, tips and worksheets to help you understand stress and take care of your mental health.
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division Visit www.cmha.bc.ca or call 1-800-555-8222 or 604-688-3234 for information and community resources on how best to manage stress, including workbooks and courses.
Resources available in many languages:*For each service below, if English is not your first language, say the name of your preferred language in English to be connected to an interpreter. More than 100 languages are available.
HealthLink BCCall 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms youre worried about, or talk to a pharmacist about medication questions.
Crisis lines arent only for people in crisis. You can call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to. If you are in distress, call 310-6789 24 hours a day to connect to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. The crisis lines linked in through 310-6789 have received advanced training in mental health issues and services by members of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information.
About the author
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How Stress Affects The Body
The human body responds to events that provoke stress by activating the nervous system and specific hormones.
These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. The physical changes prepare you to react quickly to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. This response improves your ability to perform well under pressure.
When To See A Doctor For Stress And Anxiety
Ever hear the saying, Stress is the enemy? Well, thats not always the case. Finding yourself a little sweaty and extra alert before a big presentation or solving a problem at work can be a good thing. But most of the time, if you had to choose between being relaxed and happy and being stressed out well, its a pretty easy choice.
Stress and anxiety can look very different for every person. Too much for some people is no big deal for others. How do you know whats normal and when its time to talk to a professional about managing stress? Here are the basics.
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What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is when you feel overwhelmed by the physical and mental feelings of fear the signs listed under What do fear and anxiety feel like? People who have panic attacks say that they find it hard to breathe, and they may worry that theyre having a heart attack or are going to lose control of their body. See the Support and information section at the end of this booklet if you want help with panic attacks.
Manage Stress: Strengthen Your Support Network
Emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with lifes difficulties, while loneliness has been associated with a wide variety of health problems including high blood pressure, diminished immunity, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.
Manage stress: Strengthen your support network.
Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life but too much stress can affect your emotional and physical wellbeing. According to APAs 2015 Stress in America survey1, average stress levels today are slightly higher than they were in 2014. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is “a great deal of stress” and one is “little or no stress,” American adults rated their stress level at a 5.1 today, up from 4.9 in 2014. But worrisomely, a significantly greater percentage of adults reported experiencing a stress level of 8 or higher on the 10-point scale. Twenty-four percent of American adults reported this extreme level of stress in 2015, up from 18 percent the previous year.
Emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with lifes difficulties. The 2015 survey found the average stress level for those with emotional support was 5.0 out of 10, compared to 6.3 for those without such support.
The good news is that there are ways to seek out such support, and to nurture your supportive relationships.
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Be Completely Honest When Talking To Your Boss About Feeling Stressed
Stress affects us all differently. So, simply telling your boss that youre feeling stressed due to work isnt going to cut it. You need to be completely honest about how work-related stress is affecting your health and wellbeing both at home and in the workplace. After all, honesty is the best policy.
Perhaps youre dreading going into work every morning. Or youre feeling sick at the thought of a looming deadline. Or youre struggling to sleep at night due to work-related stress. Now is the time to get it all off your chest. Your employer can only help you if he/she understands what youre going through.
I Think I Have A Mental Health Problem Who Can I Talk To
If youre feeling stressed, anxious, angry, or sad, youre not alone. At times, everyone feels emotions like these. They are a normal part of life.
But sometimes anxiety, sad moods, or stressful thoughts become too intense or happen too often. They may become hard to cope with. This can keep you from doing and feeling your best. When that happens, it might be a sign of a mental health problem that needs care. Or it might be a sign that you are going through a difficult time and need support. Getting help now can prevent things from becoming worse.
Whether you have a mental health problem or you just need support through a tough time, it helps to talk with someone.
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Betterhelp Wants To Help Your Mental Health
After reading this article, if you’re considering meeting with a therapist to help you, we’re glad. You can get the emotional support and help that you need. Finding a therapist is a great first step to helping yourself! If you’re struggling with mental health issues, anxiety, depression, or dealing with a bad breakup, these are all concerns that the counselors at BetterHelp understand and can help you with. They want to help support you through these obstacles. You can talk to them about whatever challenges you’re experiencing and get the guidance and empathy that you deserve. The counselors here at BetterHelp are waiting to support and help you in the way that you deserve.
“Rebecca has helped me sort out things and reflect on things in a way I have never experienced with a face-to-face counselor. I can be way more open through messaging than face to face, so this works perfectly for me. She addresses and helps with many different aspects at once. She sees the overall picture and helps me to do the same. The way I look at things has changed, and my quality of life and the quality of my children’s lives have improved very quickly in a short time.”