How To Manage Stressors
There are several techniques to successfully manage stress. The next time youre feeling stuck and overwhelmed, try these suggestions from Little Rock, Arkansas-based psychiatrist Rhonda Mattox, M.D.:
- Calm your body. Pay attention to thoughts and breathing patterns. Many times when we are stressed, our breathing patterns shift to rapid and shallow, says Dr. Mattox. Prioritize slowing your breathing down and breathing from your diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing has been proven in studies to lower your cortisol and reduce physical signs of stress. This is done by laying on your back or sitting up with one hand just below your ribcage and one on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through parted lips, and your diaphragm should rise while your chest remains still the entire time.
- Practice your boundary setting to avoid yes stress. Many times we have overcommitted, and that is the main culprit of our stress, Dr. Mattox says. People pleasing is at the root of not feeling comfortable saying no, or yes stress, she adds. Address this tendency honestly to better maintain your personal boundaries. Seeking therapy may help, since guilt and manipulation may affect your inability to say no.
- Break big tasks down into smaller to-dos, and dont be afraid to delegate. Dr. Mattox says the use of planners and journals can be particularly helpful in proactively addressing and managing stressors.
Youre Constantly Bombarded With Notifications And Noise
If you’re constantly looking at your phone and/or checking notifications, you never have time to clear your head – which means it’s always busy. Always filled with a bunch of thoughts and unproductive noise if we’re being noise.
It feels like everything is important and needs your attention now, but you ask yourself: Do you really need to reply to that text message or email right now? Can it wait? Can you set certain times of the day when you check for notifications ?
Solution: Whenever I’m doing something that doesn’t require any Internet or screen time, I hide my phone . Out of sight, out of mind. Admittedly, I’m still kind of attached to my phone . You’d be surprised at what a difference it can make to just put your phone out of your sight and immediate reach.
Also, turn off your notifications! Trust me, you’ll end up checking your Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, email inbox, or whatever else you frequently go to, you won’t be missing out on anything.
Their Empathy Score Is High
Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.
People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.
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You’re Trying To Run On An Empty Tank
I can relate to this one all too much.
Have you ever tried driving your car on an empty tank? Of course not, right?
So why do we do that to ourselves?
Y’know what I’m talking about. Pulling a few all nighters here and there to get a project done, not taking any days off, constantly being plugged in and thinking about work.
Just a friendly reminder : You’re not a robot or a machine. You’re not suppose to run on autopilot and be productive all the time.
So give yourself a break.
Take a few days off every time you finish a big project. Get your 8 hours of sleep. Unplug from your phone and laptop you do not need to be constantly plugged in. Journal and let your imagination roam free. Eat a snack. Refuel your tank.
Youre Not Setting Healthy Boundaries For Yourself
I get it – you want to make everyone else happy and you can’t stand the thought of someone not liking you. I was once a huge people pleaser too, and sometimes it can be hard to say no.
But what happens when you say yes to everyone and everything?
You leave no room for yourself.
When was the last time you truly did something just for yourself? …where you felt free to do whatever you wanted without having to think about everyone else?
Don’t overcommit yourself.
If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed, you have to learn to stop putting so many things on your plate. Ask yourself what your top priorities are . But let’s be honest, we can not have 50 different top priorities.
You can do anything, but not everything all at once.
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Bringing Work Stress Home With You
Work seems like an obvious thing to be stressed about. But this is about more than just work. Its also our relationship to the workplace and what we take home with us.
Employers are constantly pushing the envelope on whats acceptable for infringing on your life. You need to be the one to set down firm boundaries and ensure they are not crossed. Unfortunately, the softer your boundaries are, the further they will push.
Granted, abusive employers may use your boundaries as a reason to try to get rid of you. But if youre in an abusive employment situation, youd want to be looking for an exit, anyway.
Do you answer emails or check your work devices off the clock? Stop doing that. You only exist from the time you clock in until the time you clock out. Before or after that is your time, not theirs. They arent paying you for that unless youre on-call or something like that.
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about work off the clock? Stressed about going back in tomorrow? It would be good to work on mindfulness and grounding yourself in the moment. You want to keep yourself in the present, so youre not thinking about work in your downtime.
Do you find yourself talking with your fellow employees off the clock? People have different opinions about how to relate to coworkers. If you want to make friends, cool. Just dont spend your off-time complaining to each other about how much the job, the boss, or the people suck.
Dealing With The Symptoms Quickly And Effectively
The best way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety quickly is to calm yourself with the aid of a . You can listen to the soothing voice of a professional hypnotherapist in the comfort of your own home.
Best of all, each time you listen, you not only reduce the symptoms right away, but you build on its success bringing you one step closer to recovery.
At the same time, challenge yourself to continue to take steps out of your comfort zone in the morning, afternoon and evening.
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Stress And Your Health
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
Stress is your bodys reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?
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You Arent Getting Healthy Sleep
The importance of sleep to your mental health cannot be understated. A lack of good, quality sleep prevents your brain from reaching the deeper stages of sleep. The brain produces many mood-balancing chemicals that it will use in the coming day while in these deeper stages of sleep. So, if youre a shallow sleeper or youre depriving yourself of sleep, youre going to have more stress than someone who doesnt.
Improving your sleep hygiene can be a significant way to reduce your stress. Trying to sleep on the same schedule as your circadian rhythm can help you stay in tune. For example, dont use electronic devices for an hour before you go to bed. Dont eat or drink a couple hours before bed, so youre not up at 3 A.M. to use the bathroom. A comfortable bed, pillows, and environment to sleep in should be a top priority.
What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
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Managing Stress In Daily Life
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isnt addressed. Its important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.
Physical Signs Of Stress
While stress may start with the mind, there are countless ways it appears in the body as well, such as sweaty palms or difficulty sleeping.
Stress impacts multiple systems in the body, primarily targeting the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and immune systems. When a stressful event occurs and creates a reaction, it sends a wave of changes through these systems, preparing the fight or flight response. The body then releases stress hormones and creates a new pattern of energy distribution, sending more energy to skeletal muscles and the brain. The body also activates cells in the immune system, while functions like digestion, growth and sexual hormones are put on hold to reserve energy. This is why a person might feel a change in appetite and a lower sexual drive when experiencing excessive stress. Chronic stress can result in consistent high blood pressure and vascular hypertrophy. Both conditions put stress on the heart and can damage the arteries and create plaque buildup.
Other common physical symptoms of stress, according to The American Institute of Stress, include:
However, not all signs of stress are bad. In some cases, stress helps the body prepare for danger. In others, such as in an emergency, during an important event, or while taking a test, stress helps motivate the body and mind, allowing a person to remain alert.
If you feel overwhelmed by physical symptoms of stress, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to discuss treatment.
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Take Care Of Your Body
A healthy body can help you manage stress. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy food, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. Go easy on the caffeine. Shorting yourself on sleep, and especially pulling an all-nighter, robs you of energy and your ability to concentrate. A healthy diet improves your ability to learn. Don’t skip breakfast.
What Causes Morning Anxiety
There is almost an infinite number of reasons why some people wake up anxious. However, there seem to be several main culprits that contribute to morning anxiety:
- The cortisol awakening response : This stress hormone is at its highest in the first hour of waking for those with excessive stress in their lives.
- Thinking about the future: Whether its 10 minutes or 10 hours down the road, thinking about what lies ahead and mulling it over can get your mind racing and lead to anxious thoughts.
- What you eat or drink first thing: Caffeine and foods high in sugar can increase anxiety symptoms.
- Low blood sugar: If you havent had enough to eat, this can also make anxiety worse.
- Chronic stress: Feeling stressed before you go to bed makes it more likely youll wake up feeling this way.
- Anxiety disorder: Morning anxiety could indicate that you have an underlying anxiety disorder.
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You Dont Get Enough Physical Activity
A recent study set out to link sedentary behavior to feelings of stress. With all of the technology around us and our hectic lives, many of us do not take the time for physical activity. We end up spending most of our time sedentary.
As we absorb the everyday stressors in our lives, day in and day out, our stress hormones build up, and our sleeplessness becomes more chronic. Poor sleep leads to more stress, and more stress leads to more inadequate sleep. Its a vicious cycle.
Couple that with a lack of physical activity, and you are bound to be left feeling stressed all the time, with little to no explanation.
Exercise and physical activity combat stress hormones in the body. Taking a brisk walk, going for a jog, a bike ride, or doing some yoga can all have incredibly powerful effects on your mood and mental state.
Exercise releases endorphins, which is a neurotransmitter that is known to make you feel good. It is also a natural pain reliever and can lower your levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.
Making the time to exercise also helps you clear your mind and offers a distraction to the underlying cause that may be temporarily causing you to feel stressed. And exercise has been proven to help improve your sleep, which we know is crucially important to our overall mood and cognitive function.
Why Are You Stressed
Id really like to hear from you all now. What makes you stressed? What has helped to beat that stress? Please leave a comment and let me know hopefully we can come up with a nice little resource for people. .
If you feel like your stress is getting too much please go and talk to your GP. They can give you advice on how best to treat it. It CAN be treated. If youre not ready for a doctor consider using a wonderful online support group like Beyond Blue. Theres help out there.
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When You Wake Up Panicking At 3 Am
Weve all been there a nightmare or stressdream causes you to wake up. The next thing you know youre lying thereoverthinking your finances and everything you have to do the next day.
When this happens, what can you do to getback to sleep?
- Stop watching the clock: Counting the minutes will onlyheighten your distress. Turn your alarm clock around and dont pick up yourphone.
- Try to relax your body: Use a relaxation strategy thathelped prior to bed to relax your body and mind.
- Get out of bed: If you cant fall back to sleepafter a stressful dream, then try getting out of bed to help decrease thefrustration. Dont spend time in bed hopelessly trying to get back to sleep orinterpreting your dream. Once you leave your bed,find an activitythat is uninteresting or boring. When you start to get drowsy, go back to bed.
Since dreams obviously arent measurable, theres no real answer to what meaning they hold in our day-to-day life. But we do know that we generally have control over daily stress, which can trigger weird or anxiety-clad dreams. Learning to control the crazy and manage your stress is your best defense to help you sleep peacefully.
Why Do I Cry So Much
Its one thing to feel the need to cry after a particularly hard day. But some people feel that they need to randomly cry, and others are shocked at how uncontrollable their tears are. It is as though a waterfall is coming from their eyes, sometimes at surprising times.
That instinct is often just emotion trying to find its way out. Anxiety is excitatory to the body it activates the fight or flight system. Your desire to cry may be related to the way your body is reacting to that system, with the intense emotions and stress during that time overwhelming the body.
Fear is scary, and your flight mode may trigger your body to produce large amounts of tears as a way to let out that stress.
To some, crying may also become a habitual response. Once you become used to crying as a way of relieving anxiety and stress, you may subsequently develop a habit of crying when you experience that stress because it provides emotional relief.
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