The perfect blend and level of stress are essential for us to be more productive every day. However, mismanagement of stress will result in a more severe problem. Although stress is a normal phenomenon a person feels, it is still important to know how to manage it.
Our body is very responsive to the stress around us. It affects our physical and mental health. High levels of stress mainly attack our immune system. The inferior immune system makes us weaker and more susceptible to illness.
What is stress?
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It is our body’s response to the danger our mind perceives. When our brain recognizes the threat, our body releases hormones that make our mind more alert and bring more tension in our muscles. This is completely normal, and it is good because it is our body’s first defense of danger.
The stress our body feels must be in moderation. Mishandling our everyday stress will cause high levels of stress in the long run. This kind of stress is called Chronic Stress. We acquire chronic stress when we have problems that become permanent and recurring every day. The most common sources of chronic stress are work or school pressure, failed relationships, and financial difficulties.
Signs of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress affects our whole body for a prolonged period. It changes the way we function, and it is unique in every person.
Here are some signs and symptoms of Chronic Stress:
Inability to think and concentrate
Depression and anxiety
Rapid heart rate
Change in appetite (eating too much or too less)
Other Mental and emotional health problems
Stress overload is a serious problem for every individual. Good thing there are effective ways of stress relief to help you cope up.
Stress relief Skills
When our body experiences stress, we need to do some stress relief activities to avoid stacking it up. Every person has a different level of stress tolerance and different ways of coping up with it.
Knowing the stress management techniques that will work best for you is important. Here is the list of the most effective stress relief skills to help you find the best fit for you.
Relax. Relaxation techniques can vary from the simplest breathing exercises to Autogenic relaxation. Other activities that relax us are yoga, massage, meditation, music, and art therapy. Relaxation calms our body, slows down heart rate, improves our concentration, reduces muscle tension, and lowers our blood pressure.
Healthy Diet. No doubt on how a healthy diet can help your body manage the stress. How our body responds to stressors is dependent on what we eat.
Foods to include in your diet:
Oatmeal. Simple and complex carbs that boost Serotonin production
Oranges. Vitamin C rich foods that curtail stress hormone production and improve the immune system-
Spinach. Magnesium deficiency causes headaches and fatigue. Eating a cup of spinach will give you enough magnesium for the day. If you are not a fan of spinach, other green leafy vegetables can be a substitute.
Salmon. Fatty fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are good for keeping your heart healthy, fighting depression, and preventing the excessive production of stress hormones.
Nuts. Healthy fats present in nuts help you prevent stress and diabetes. It also lowers your cholesterol.
Avocados. Avocados are rich in potassium that is essential in lowering your blood pressure.
Give yourself and your mind a break. Having a good sleep and rest after a stressful day is necessary to keep yourself in balance. We must take time to distance ourselves from stressors. By giving ourselves a break, we allow ourselves to reset, calm our minds, and be ready for the next days.
Talk to others you trust. Building strong, healthy relationships with others is also an effective way to curb stress. Having someone to share your problems will help you in managing stress.
Bear in mind that these are skills, and like other skills, mastery is achieved with practice. You must also learn to apply these skills whenever necessary. Also, trying different methods will enable you to find the techniques that will best help you cope up with stress.