What Makes Us Stressed
Many things that can lead to stress: bereavement, divorce or separation, losing a job or unexpected money problems. Work-related stress can also have a negative impact on your mental health. People affected by work-related stress lose an average of 24 days of work due to ill health.
Even positive life changes, such as moving to a bigger house, gaining a job promotion or going on holiday can be sources of stress. If you feel stressed in these situations you may struggle to understand why or be unwilling to share your feelings with others.
The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms For Stress
People may also develop methods for coping with stress. A coping mechanism is a response that develops over time to help someone deal with an overwhelming external force, like stress. Some coping mechanisms work as healthy tools for managing stress. Many others are unhealthy and can magnify the negative effects of stress instead of reducing them.
A few examples of potentially harmful coping mechanisms for stress include:
- Drinking alcohol to excess
Therapy can help people identify an unhealthy coping mechanism for stress and develop a healthy one to use instead. If a person uses an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with long-term stress, they can end up with a secondary mental health issue.
Individuals may start using an unhealthy coping mechanism to lessen physical, mental, or emotional pain caused by stress. However, continued self-medication or self-soothing using the method may then lead to a reliance on it for coping with stress. In the case of addiction, this can lead to more stressful life events, like physical illness or unemployment. Other unhealthy coping mechanisms may cause people to develop mental health issues as a result of feeling hopeless, isolated, or ashamed.
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Look At Your Lifestyle
The choices you make about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it. Try to:
- Find a balance between personal, work, and family needs. This isn’t easy. Start by looking at how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don’t need to do at all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays.
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Dont Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today
Although this is a basic rule for achieving peace of mind, we donât always follow it. Sometimes you fall victim to laziness and when you get home, all you want to do is lie down and rest. But taking a few minutes to get your priorities in order and make preparations for the next day allows you to fall asleep without distractions.Indeed, prepare the clothes for the next day, make a list of things you do not want to forget, tidy your living room before going to sleep â¦ These small gestures help the mind to stop thinking about details that, if not controlled, generate anxiety and make you turn over in your bed.
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How To Develop A Support Network
A support network is a group of friends or confidantes that you can turn to. You can cultivate friendships by participating in activities where you are likely to encounter like-minded individuals. Volunteering for causes you believe in, group sports or exercise, or taking classes are all ways to meet people.
Once you have met some people, strengthen those new relationships by being the type of friend you would want to have. Stay in contact, express your gratitude for them, celebrate their successes and be there for them during their tough times.
A Tea That Helps You Wind Down
Never underestimate the power of a good cup of tea. Its not a panacea for all the ill in the world, but sipping on a warm, fragrant drink is a pleasantry that can lift your mood and help you find calm. The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavors of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds.
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Talk To Someone You Trust
Talking to someone you trust about something upsetting may help you to:
- Sort through the problem.
- See the situation more clearly.
- Look at the problem in a new or different way.
- Release built-up tension this can help you to gain new insight into the situation that is causing the problem.
- Find out that you are not alone you may find that many other people share your feelings.
- Identify options or solutions you hadn’t thought of before.
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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Now Explain This To Kids
Its helpful to explain stress as something that challenges us. And we need challenges to grow and achieve our fullest potential. The more we overcome challenges that we come across in our lives, the better we get as humans the more skills we learn, the more adaptable we become. Allowing children to feel challenged is the very best training manual for helping them unlock their superpowers.
Its essential to be there for our kids to listen to them and validate how theyre feeling without judgment. This creates an environment for them to talk to us about anything and trust us as a mentor, role model, and teammate in there lives whos going to support them through mistakes and failure. Because everyone makes mistakes. And thats how we learn. The trick is to fail fast, fail early, and fail safely. Creating an environment where children can fail safely is really important.
A big part of failing safely is providing strategies for our kids to cope with challenges. Here are some suggestions.
- Embrace each challenge as another opportunity to grow and become harder, better, faster, and strong.
Explain that stress responses may look different in different people, like friends, siblings, or adults. Be honest about how stressful events affect you, whether you get short-tempered, youre overeating, or you have trouble focusing. Share different ways you fight stress, your stress busters, and help brainstorm ways your child can identify when theyre stressed, too.
Venting Vs Talk Therapy
As one leading researcher on anger put it, Venting to reduce anger is like using gasoline to put out a fire. Venting anger and anxiety can erode relationships by making others feel responsible for your behavior. Talk therapy the process of discussing and clarifying your emotions with a professional counselor can give you deeper insight into your emotions and help you identify and practice more constructive ways to manage your anger, anxiety and stress.
If youre dealing with an unusual amount of stress, its important to get it under control before it leads to serious health problems. Theres no right way to manage it, but there are definitely many wrong ones. If the positive steps youre taking arent enough, or if youre struggling to free yourself from harmful stress relievers, schedule an appointmentto talk to an MDLIVE counselor in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
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How To Help Someone With Stress
First up, let them know that youve noticed how stressed they are, and that youre worried that theyre not coping very well. Maybe they just need to vent, and knowing that they can talk about things with you might help. Talking stuff through may help them figure out whats bothering them. Here are some suggestions you could make.
Make things more manageable
Schedule time out
Its theyre super stressed out they might not be taking any time out for themselves. Theyll probably benefit from thinking about ways to relax.
Use positive coping strategies
Without even knowing it, people often adopt unproductive coping strategies, such as wishful thinking, self-blaming, excessive worrying, ignoring the problem, and keeping things to themselves. On the other hand, positive coping includes things like:
Tone down the stress factors
Sometimes people are just totally overloaded with work and activities. In these situations, it may be worth brainstorming what things they really have to do, and what things they can forget about or postpone.
Set Aside Time For Self
In todays busy world, its often necessary to schedule self-improvement sessions so you can always be sure that you have time for them. This means that even having conversations with yourself must be scheduled. Think about it like a get-together with friends, except youre spending time with yourself! That needs to go in your calendar if you want to make sure that you keep that date. This will ensure that you dont skip out on critical stress-reducing conversations. Itll also make sure that you dont feel stress build up when you have time for those sessions. This time should be considered sacred and shouldnt be canceled or moved around. Its just as necessary as all your other appointments!
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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.
How To Get A Doctors Note For Stress Leave
First things first, you may not require a doctors note for stress leave if you are availing of your sick days. In that case, even a brief consultation with a doctor should suffice. Just explain your symptoms and how workplace stress is affecting your well-being. If your symptoms are severe and you are seeking longer time off from work, a doctor will ask you to undergo tests before he or she will certify you as suffering from a stress disorder.
Workplace stress is a growing problem, unfortunately, and there is not enough awareness of the subject yet. At Soni Law, we advise employers and employees on all matters of employment. We explain stress leave Ontario laws simply and offer practical advice for their stress leave.
About The Author: Rahul Soni
Rahul founded Soni Law Firm, a boutique employment, labour, and human rights law firm, with the goal of taking his Downtown Toronto litigation experience and making it accessible to Ontarios Main Street employees and employers.
Getting Help For Depression
If you think you might be depressed, take a depression screening. Print out the results or e-mail them to yourself and then show them to a counselor or doctor.
To get help, start with your student health center or counseling service on campus. Most community colleges provide limited free mental health services and can refer you to local providers for longer-term treatment. You can also talk to your family doctor. Your local Mental Health America affiliate can refer or in some cases provide services as well. To find the nearest MHA affiliate, call 800-969-6642 or go to Find An Affiliate.
Remember, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the help of a mental health professional to beat depression. Talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination can be very effective.
In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
Curcumin An Herb Component That Can Boost Your Mood And Help Offset The Impact Stress Has On Your Body
Curcumin is the most active compound in the turmeric root. Youve probably heard about the vast range of health benefits curcumin and turmeric can provide. In fact, here are 600 reasons turmeric may be the worlds most important herb.
But you may not be aware that this magical herb can help relieve stress and anxiety.
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Introduce More Hops To Your Routine
Hops might be most well known as one of the main ingredients in beer, but the plant has also been used as an herbal remedy for stress for centuries.
Although hops doesnât appear to lower cortisol levels directly, the bitter acids that give hops their signature taste have a calming effect that can help alleviate stress and the muscle tension that comes along with it.
In addition, hops can interact with the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA plays a role in brain signaling and nervous system activity and can contribute to an overall calming effect.*
People To Talk To When Stressed
- Post author
When we are all stressed out from work demands, family issues, or just some personal concerns, we often look for venues to deflect all the stresses. Oftentimes and expectedly, we indulge in the food weve always craved, go on an unscheduled trip, watch TV the entire day, see a random movie and sleep while watching it, or go shopping, if we can afford to do so.
We do these things for a few minutes of withdrawal from the stressful triggers in our life. Luckily, these things allow us to forget, or better yet, they actually allow us to recover and eventually renew our faith in the positivity that this life has to offer.
As Ive mentioned above, these stress-relievers can come in many forms. All we need to do is choose which one suits our personal preferences and our current situation. Personally speaking, whenever Im having a bad day, I tend to eat or go on a random trip. I often visit a restaurant Ive never been in or find a new food cart business around town. Also, Ive had times when Id take the first bus that stops in front of me, get on it, put my headphones on and get off when Im the last passenger around. Ive been into these stress-relievers for quite some time now, but recently I have found that talking to others is another effective way to let go of stress.
1. Your so called best friend
2. Your colleague
3. Your pet
4. A kid
5. Random People
The author is a blogger and a blabber. Find out more about her rants at essayjedi.com
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Acute Versus Chronic Stress
The experience of stress can be either acute or chronic. Acute stress usually occurs in response to a short-term stressor, like a car accident or an argument with your spouse. Acute stress can be very distressing, but it passes quickly and typically responds well to coping techniques like calming breathing or brisk physical activity.
Chronic stress occurs when stressors dont let up. The roots of chronic stress can vary widely, from situations people can control or avoid to difficulties that are hard to escape . Because people respond differently to stressful circumstances, a situation that one person might find tolerable can become a source of chronic stress for another.
Chronic stress can damage both mental and physical health. Being chronically stressed may leave you feeling fatigued, sap your ability to concentrate and cause headaches and digestive difficulties. People prone to irritable bowel syndrome often find that their symptoms spike with psychological stress.15 Though acute stress can heighten certain immune responses, the wear-and-tear of chronic stress is bad for the immune system.16 Chronic stress can also affect cardiac health, with multiple studies finding a link between chronic stress and the development of coronary artery disease.17
The American Psychological Association gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Beverly Thorn, PhD, in developing this fact sheet.
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