Stress is a normal part of life, but it can become harmful when it’s chronic.
We all feel it from time to time. It is a natural reaction due to difficulties that we face. But when it becomes chronic, in that case, it significantly affects mental and physical health.
Chronic stress can cause many problems, including sleep problems, insomnia, depression, and heart disease. It also makes it very difficult to focus and enjoy life.
But there is good news, as there are methods that we can follow to overcome it, and we will discuss them in this article.
What is Stress?
Stress is a physical and emotional response to a perceived threat or demand.
When we feel stressed, our bodies release hormones such as endorphins that prepare us for defense or feeling mode.
It leads to many different physical symptoms, such as high heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension.
It also causes many emotional symptoms, such as insomnia and difficulty concentrating.
Types of Stress
There are two main types of stress: acute and chronic stress.
- Acute stress
It is a short-term response to a stressful event. It is often caused by public speaking, taking a test, or giving a presentation.
Acute stress is usually not harmful and can even be beneficial sometimes. For example, acute stress can help us to perform better at a task or to avoid danger.
- Chronic stress
It is a long-term stress resulting from exposure to stressors such as work, relationships, financial problems, or health problems. Chronic stress can negatively affect an individual’s mental and physical health.
How It Affects Our Health?
Chronic stress can have several effects on our health. Some of the most common include:
- Anxiety and depression
Chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are the most common problems most people face.
- Sleep problems
Chronic stress can make it difficult to fall asleep. It can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
- Weight gain
Chronic stress can lead to weight gain. Because it can increase our appetite and make us crave unhealthy foods.
- Heart disease
Chronic stress can increase our risk of heart disease. Because it can damage our blood vessels and increase our heart rate.
- Immune system problems
Chronic stress can weaken our immune system. It makes us more susceptible to infections and diseases.
How to Manage It?
Many ideas we can follow and apply to manage it, including:
- Doing exercise
Sports is one of the first applications we can apply in our daily routine to control it and improve mood.
You must exercise at least 30 minutes a day. So, you will see the best psychological and physical effects!
- Relaxation techniques
techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing work to improve mood and eliminate the negative impact of stress.
You will find many relaxation techniques available to you. You must choose the appropriate one and do not be lazy to try it!
- Social support
Spending time with loved ones can help to reduce it and make us feel better. Set aside some time each day for social activities, family meetings, and with friends
- Eating a healthy diet
Eating healthy food affects mental and physical health. So, you ought to eat plenty of plants, vegetables, and whole grains. You should also limit sugary drinks, fast foods, and unhealthy fats.
- Getting enough sleep
It is essential for physical and mental health. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and stick to a sleep schedule as much as possible.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can worsen stress and anxiety. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol or limit your intake.
- Identifying and changing negative thought patterns
Our thoughts affect stress levels. If you have negative thoughts, try to defend and replace them with more positive ones.
- Seeking professional help
If you want to manage it by yourself, it is necessary to seek professional help. The therapist will help you develop an appropriate plan for you to overcome it.
Firstly, we must know that stress is a normal state in life that we all go through, but we shouldn’t ignore it or let it affect our mental and physical health. We discussed together the many ways that we can follow to manage stress and achieve good mental health.
In addition to the methods discussed in this article, some additional tricks may be helpful:
- Get some rest during periods of the day. When you feel stressed, you should take a break for a while. This simple time will help you get over what you are feeling. Get up and move around, or step outside for some fresh air.
- Learn to say no. It’s okay to say no to things that we don’t have time for and will add to our stress levels.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. These things can all help to improve our mental health.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy. When you feel stressed, you should spend time on the things you love, such as reading, writing, listening to music, or sitting quietly.
Through the steps discussed in the article, you will find the right way to control it, enjoy good mental and physical health, and overcome it.