- Mental Health
Feeling Stressed - Dealing With our Feelings
Dealing With Stress
Stress seems to be a natural part of our world. We all deal with stress. There are many reasons we feel stressed and many benefits to being relaxed. There are different types of stress we may encounter. Some stress comes in brief spurts, some stress is persistent. Stress that is prolonged can cause emotional problems and affect our mental and physical well being. Our body naturally responds to stress through release of the flight or fight hormone. A study among college students showed an increase in acne when it was exam time, regardless of what they ate or how they slept. Temporary stress has short term physical effects. Right after exams were finished their acne cleared. This is known as situational stress. There are many physical conditions that can be attributed to stress.
Stress Has Many Negative Effects
The longer you endure stress the longer your body has to deal with the physical reactions of stress. Stress that goes on for an extended period of time can change the body’s immune system and age a person faster, and cause more serious health conditions. Stress has been found to impair the brain’s ability to block some toxins and worsen existing health issues, putting a person at greater risk for things like heart disease, depression, obesity, hypertension, cancer, high cholesterol, and a shorter temper to name just a few of the negative effects of stress. Stress can make it harder to recover from health problems too. A Swedish study found women who had heart attacks had a lower rate of recovery if they were also dealing with marital issues such as alcohol abuse, infidelity, a spouse’s psychiatric or physical illness. Managing stress can help considerably with recuperation and better physical and mental health for those who are dealing with stress of any kind.
Become Stress Self Aware
- understand the reason you feel stressed - speak to a mental health therapist so that you can find the cause of your stress
- take note of your moods by writing down your thoughts and feelings to gain better insight for yourself as to some possible causes of the stress
- take time for you - just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference and can help you adjust your mental outlook and alter the way your body responds to stressful situations.
- when you feel angry - walk away and count to 10 so that you can take a moment to look at the situation once again. Things like walking also help you work off steam.
- take a look at your lifestyle - prioritize, delgate and avoid putting undo pressure on yourself
- set realistic standards and reduce your need for perfection - have reasonable expectations of others.
Pay Attention to Your Sources of Stress
Stress can make a person feel overwhelmed and at the edge of their rope. In a survey done in 2007, about ⅓ of people in the United States are dealing with extreme levels of stress, and approximately 20% report that they are dealing with high levels of stress for more than half of the month.
Taking action to manage stress is beneficial towards our mental and physical health. Managing stress will allow us to modify the reactions we have and change to a more positive attitude and healthy behavior.
How people handle stress is very individualized. Everyone handles stress differently. It is helpful for you to recognize what you think and how you behave when you are stressed. Give some thought as to how your thoughts and behaviors differ between feeling stressed and when you are not. Pay attention to the sources of stress, triggers, and situations that make you feel stressed.
Some people react to stress by acting out, being irritable, angry, and moody. People can have physical symptoms such as headaches, trouble concentrating, loss of sleep, muscle tension, lethargy, and an effect on their appetite, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Look at your behavior and if you are making unhealthy choice it is beneficial to seek counseling and learn to manage your stress in a healthier way.
- talking to people you feel close
Take care of yourself. Try to avoid taking on too much. Even when it comes to changing your lifestyle, focus on one good habit at a time. Eat right, drink plenty of warter, get enough sleep, and having a positive attitude are important towards destressing and improving your mental and physical health. Vacations are a great way to give yourself a break from the things you are dealing with.
Getting support by reaching out to others will help greatly in dealing with the overwhelmingness you are feeling.
Learn How to Meditate
There are many relaxation techniques that can be used to reduce stress. You can help yourself cope better with the tensions and stress that happens in the course of a day. Relaxation techniques are a great way to improve your quality of life. There are no negative side effects to relaxation techniques and the benefits will relieve the anxiety and stress you are feeling. Your body, mind and soul will work at a more optimal level. There are real physiological effects you will benefit from. You will slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, your breathing rate will be slower, and your muscles will have increased blood. Pain and tension will also be reduced. You will have better concentration. Relaxation techniques can even improve your frustration tolerance and work on reducing your anger. You can boost your confidence and cope more positively. You may have an increased desire to exercise, get more and better sleep and have more patience for the people you care about Alternative and complementary medicine has many techniques for relaxation.
The idea of relaxation techniques is to change what you focus on by directing your thoughts towards things that wiil make you feel more calm and create more of a body-mind connection. Hypnosis, Meditation, Massage, Yoga, and Tai Chi are common relaxation techniques.
Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your Reaction
Stress will always exist in our lives. Learning to manage our feelings is an important tool in dealing with the stressful things we encounter. Relaxation techniques are useful to integrate into your routine. In addition to doing thing that relax us, it is important to understand our thought processes. The thoughts we have can magnify or reduce our reaction to the things we find stressful. We become attached to our thoughts and beliefs. It may be helpful to look at what affects our beliefs have on our reactions to the things that cause us stress. Change your thoughts and you may just change your reaction.
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