Stress, Go Away!

Stress, Go Away!From hectic schedules to unexpected challenges, our daily lives are becoming increasingly stressful. While there are many definitions of stress, a commonly accepted meaning reflects the physical, mental or emotional strain or tension experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed accessible resources. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at stress and explain better tactics for relieving the pressure, managing and coping.

When we feel stressed, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline hormones, the body’s automatic response to a threat („fight or flight“). Some physical signs of stress are fatigue, muscle tension, sleep problems and nausea. Emotional symptoms of stress include anxiety, restlessness, irritability and sadness or depression. If you often feel stressed, high levels of these hormones are continuously produced, and your health can suffer long term.

Our bodies naturally regulate ideal levels of cortisol, which greatly fluctuate throughout the day. Short term acute stressors like a surprise or accident cause a brief cortisol spike. Long term stressors like extended illness or an unhappy work environment elevate cortisol levels all day and eventually deplete nutrients and the body’s ability to produce vital neurotransmitters and hormones including cortisol. Imbalanced cortisol levels cause many problems. The effects of having too much cortisol include rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle weakness and severe mood swings. Individuals lacking cortisol may experience dizziness, fatigue and weight loss.

We can reduce the adverse effects of long term stress and improve our health. Wellness professionals emphasize good nutrition, vitamin supplements, enough sleep, physical activity and effective stress management techniques. A crucial element required for recovery is the identification of long term stressors. Taking a closer look at the roots of these stressors can empower you to actively take steps toward eliminating them.

Learn to say "NO“. If you say "yes“ to everyone all of the time, you will be overwhelmed and may find it impossible to get anything done. Take stock of your priorities and reduce activities that are unnecessary. Let unimportant tasks that you do not have the resources for, fall to the side. Shouldering too many duties decreases your ability to actually be present, productive and successful.

Prioritize and approach one task at a time. Daily workloads can seem like they exponentially grow, and this alone can feel overwhelming and paralyzing. Accepting that you can only take care of one task at a time and that your to-do list is always regenerating, can relieve the pressure. Start with one job, whether large or small, urgent or not; maybe it’s something you’ve been avoiding. Once you tackle that responsibility, cross it off, celebrate and address the next one. The satisfaction will motivate you to continue and before you know it, those insurmountable burdens in your head may be easily taken care of when directly resolved.

Self-care. Take time for yourself. Make a conscious effort to schedule in daily time to relax and refresh. The body and nervous system require regular breaks to rebalance. Whether it’s a nap, massage, meditation, bike ride or hobby, self-care is vital. Connect with your friends and family and allow them to love and support you. The stronger and happier your are, the more you will be able to accept and deal with the challenges life throws at you in a healthy way.

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