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How Unwanted Stress Can Affect Your Mood and Health

Updated on April 14, 2015
nancynurse profile image

I am a wife, mother, Nana and Christian first. I graduated from UNCC with a BSN in Nursing and a minor in Psychology.

Getting Some Fresh Air Goes a Long Way to Fight Stress



You can listen to this music as you read. To help you relieve immediate stress take a few moments and enjoy this beautiful video and music. Push back your chair. Pay attention to your breathing. Relax your muscles. Notice if your teeth are clinched. You will be surprised by how much relaxing like this just a few times a day can dramatically change your life. You will begin to become more aware of your body and how you tense it throughout the day. Give it a try. Just relax.!!!!

A Beautiful Relaxation Time

Faces of Stress and Depression


Symptoms of Stress

How Stress Effects Us

Stress can effect our bodies in many ways. It is something we can not escape . It is the nature of the beast. We can not live without stress . There is good and bad stress. Good stress tends to effect us in either a negative or good way. It is more about how we react to stress that effects us. There are things we can do to help stress to be a positive thing rather than negative.

Symptoms of stress on your body

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of motivation to go on

Changes in your mood

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression

Changes In Your Behavior

  • Overeating or under eating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Abusive behaviors
  • Tobacco use
  • Not wanting to get out with your friends often leading to a disease called Agoraphobia or fear of the market place.
  • Over use of pain killers or other addictive drugs
  • fatigue
  • guilt
  • inability to finish projects
  • Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed.

Stress can be acute, an unexpected house guest, a sick child, a barking dog, an unexpected broken appliance or it may be chronic, a difficult job, , caring for a sick relative, a stressful marriage, a problem with one of your children, a chronic illness, things about your job you can not change like a difficult boss, negative coworker or job overload.

Too many people have a negative attitude about getting help when stress leads to depression. I have known many friends that have lost a loved one through suicide because they felt they could do it themselves. They felt seeking help somehow made them weak and they could control their negative thoughts. This is all adding to their stress.

Don't let people that say you should not take medication influence your decisions. Depression can and often is a chemical imbalance of either serotonin or dopamine. These are two of the important brain chemicals we need in balance to for our brains to function correctly. Our brain is an organ too. There is so much about the brain we don't understand that it has been labeled a weakness to get help when it is not working correctly. This would be like not taking insulin when your pancreas are not secreting the correct amount of insulin. They can both be killers.

Don't ever take yourself off an antidepressant without the help of your doctor and avoid self-help chemicals like St. John's wort, samE without talking to your physician. These are drugs even if labeled natural or homeopathic. There are many interactions with these supplements that can cause severe and even lasting damage.

As you try to cope with depression and stress take time for yourself. Try to learn not to be a people pleaser. Do things because you really want to and not because you are afraid of what someone might think if you say no. More often than not you are probably making the correct decision and someone that really has the time will step in.

Too often we are led by guilt. Guilt can be an ugly thing. It can affect our moods and even our physical health. Let go of yesterday and live for today. Try to live in the present as much as possible.

As stress factors increase in our life we often lose sleep leading us down a vicious road to even clinical depression.

There are some self help tips for loss of sleep. You can try melatonin up to 5 mg. The B vitamins often help with stress. Even just taking a single multiple vitamin and trying to improve your diet will increase your B vitamin intake.

Drink more water. So often we feel overwhelmed, have a headache, etc and our body is craving water.

Getting out of the Stress and Depression Mood.

Things you can do to alieve the stress cycle

  • Avoid negative people that bring on anger, sadness and even guilt
  • Try to set a regular sleep pattern, turn off computers, TV before bed and instead take a warm bath, spend some special time with children or spouse, read. (I find that reading always leads me to sleepiness) There is an old wives' tale with some truth that the sleep before midnight is more restful!!!!!
  • Try to get out and see your close friends or even just make a phone call
  • Start small. Set some goals for yourself. If a cluttered house is causing stress. Do one thing in the morning and one in the afternoon that will help you to feel better about your home.
  • Turn off the tv during the day, especially if noise is causing stress. Instead turn on some music you enjoy. Studies show fast music actually does more for our mood than slow.
  • Don't live in the future. This is one of the biggest causes of stress. Everything will get done whether you worry or not. Don't obsess about Thanksgiving Dinner for instance, Try to focus on what you enjoy about the holidays.
  • Only decorate as much as you want. Don't try to keep up with the neighbors.
  • Turn off your phone during the day if telemarketers are driving you crazy.
  • Delegate to someone else the things that stress you, like paying the bills.
  • It's sometimes difficult to make yourself do it but try to get a massage at least once a month or even weekly. Some agencies will offer discounts if you pay in advance. Look on Groupon and living Social for deals on acupuncture and massage.
  • Sometimes a doctor's written order is all you need for insurance to help out with massage therapy or acupuncture.
  • Take some things off your to do list.
  • Take a nap and live longer.
  • If your child won't nap have him read books or watch a tv program you are comfortable with while you relax
  • Sometimes just getting a puppy will give you a reason to get up in the morning. Medical Studies have shown people with pets actually live longer.
  • Don't ever let yourself feel overwhelmed by exercise. Just a few minutes of stretching and several 5 minute walks add up to a fairly nice workout and will actually increase endorphins, the feel good hormones in our body.
  • Our bodies also need vitamin D3 and going outside for a few minutes a day will help with that and your overall mood
  • The farther from the equator you live the more your need for Vitamin D3. It is also an antioxidant and will help with free radical damage. (Damage to our cells caused by various stressors.
  • Make yourself eat a little in the morning even if you don't feel hungry. Your blood sugar has dropped through the night and left you feeling physically low. That is where we got the term Break Fast.
  • Try to live for today. Think "Do the Next Right Thing" . One thing at a time so you never feel too overwhelmed
  • Pray and/or Meditate.
  • Did you know 99% of the things we worry about never happen?
  • I love to garden for stress. Not only does it relax me but it gets me outside and gives me exercise.

Take time for yourself. Start small at first. Put on some makeup after your shower. You will feel better about yourself. It is amazing how changing a few small things in our lives can make a huge difference.

Depressed and Overwhelmed by Houseguests

We all have those times when we wake up and don't want to jump into the day. Sometimes we have to make ourselves do the 'next right thing'. Live one step at a time. Live for today. Try not to think far into the future. We have no control over the future anyway so there is really no reason to worry or obsess. Overwhelmed by house guests??? Try to give yourself some mini-breaks during the day. Send your guests out on their own. Try to prepare coffee etc. the night before and sleep in one day. You can't take care of others without taking care of yourself first. Escape to your room for a nap or to read for an hour or so. Some alone time does amazing things for you when you are over stressed from house guests.

Take A Short Break Just for Yourself



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    • profile image

      JonahTree 2 years ago

      I love to take out some time to watch a slow moveing video like this one:

      It brings me back to the ground on a busy day.

      I believe listening to music can clear your mind too.

      Its true, that this can have a great impact on your life.

    • Mountain Blossoms profile image

      Marianne Kellow 4 years ago from SE Thailand

      Another excellent article! Thank you so much. I do think exercise daily is important, but sometimes hard to achieve. Walking round the garden is just so simple. Thanks. MB

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 4 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thank you so much. I am glad you are feeling well and the herb is working!!!!

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thanks for sharing. So glad you are having good results with St Johns wart.

    • Laceylinks profile image

      Mary Green 5 years ago from Alabama

      I do take St. Johns Wort and find it to be highly effective for maintaining a positive mood and for stress relief. I am careful about supplementing, however, but since I don't take any prescription meds I felt it would be safe to use. I did some fact gathering on this herb before trying it so I was aware of possible side effects. I have not experienced any with this supplement. Great information here, voted up and useful.