We live in a seemingly ever-growing, ever-complex world. Technology, increased pace of life, and a heightened level of day-to-day responsibilities often cause us stress. You may find yourself overwhelmed by an overbearing workload, a fast-approaching deadline, contentious relationships, pressing health concerns, or financial instability.
Stress is an all-encompassing term that refers to a complex encounter we experience when put in situations where demands outweigh our ability to cope. When this happens, our sympathetic nervous system ramps up and releases hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. All of this can then cause physical and emotional distress, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness.
Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress
‘Feeling the pressure of the world getting to you? We all know how it is to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Unfortunately, stress can lead to a host of physical and mental issues if it goes unaddressed. To keep your mind and body healthy, try incorporating some simple strategies into your daily routine. Here are some healthy ways to relieve stress:
i. Benefits of Exercise – Exercise is a great way to boost endorphins and clear your head. It can help to improve energy levels and increase your overall mood. Exercise also helps alleviate muscle tension and can reduce stress hormones. Additionally, physical activity might even help to strengthen your resilience and bring more balance to your life.
i. Benefits of Meditation – Meditation can be a powerful tool to help with relaxation and stress relief. Even a few minutes of practice can help to create a more mindful attitude. It can also boost levels of mindfulness and reduce stress, which can lead to improved emotional regulation. Regular meditation can help to move toward a calmer, more positive emotional state.
i. Benefits of Nutrition – Eating the right kind of foods can help to keep your body strong, nourished, and balanced. Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods that provide energy and essential vitamins and minerals is key to keeping your mind and body functioning. Eating nutritious foods also helps to keep your mood balanced and can even help to reduce stress.
By using some of these strategies on a regular basis – such as exercising, meditating, and eating nutritious foods – you will be able to cultivate habits that can help to ease stress and create a calmer, more harmonious mental state. ‘
Unhealthy Ways of Coping With Stress
A. Drug/Alcohol Abuse
When faced with the everyday stress of life, it’s all too easy to turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of escape. While it may feel like the stress is melting away for a moment, it’s only a temporary reprieve. Drowning your worries in alcohol or drugs is an unhealthy way to cope with stress, as it can lead to addiction, or even worse. Not to mention, using these substances as a form of coping with stress can lead to adverse reactions with any medications you may be taking.
Food can also be used as a way to soothe stress, but much like drugs and alcohol, overeating can become a dangerous habit. Not only are you not doing your body any favors by consuming too much food, but you are also introducing more unhealthy habits, not less. Eating too much can also lead to bigger issues down the line, such as an inability to lose weight and an increased risk of developing certain diseases.
It might be tempting, when stressed out, to just ignore it and try to put it on the back burner. But this isn’t a healthy option and can even impede your ability to cope with stress in the longer-term. Withdrawing from friends and family can lead to feeling more isolated and lonely. This can increase your stress levels, as there is no support network to turn to in tough times. Additionally, it might even lead to more serious mental health issues, such as depression.
In this blog post, we explored how to cope with stress and how to use specific techniques to help reduce symptoms of mental distress. We discussed the importance of self-care, such as being mindful of your “me” time and staying active. We also emphasized the benefits of talking to yourself in a kind and positive way, and reflecting on the things that you can control and accept the things that you cannot. Additionally, we highlighted the value of having supportive contacts in moments of distress and encouraged people to pay attention to the support from others around them.
The takeaway from this blog post is that finding breathing room for yourself, amid stressful times, is essential for maintaining optimal health. Stress can have a damaging impact on our physical and mental well-being, so it’s important to know ways to protect yourself from negativity. Learning how to take a step back, check in with yourself, and practice optimistic self-talk are key for creating space for calming relief. Now, put on your tennis shoes and go for a walk! Take a moment to consciously practice deep breaths and get back in tune with your body.