Who does not feel a little stressed out every now and then? It is not abnormal to feel worried, but do not let your emotions overwhelm you. People who cannot manage their daily stress can soon become victims of chronic stress.
Some people worry so much about every irrelevant thing that they end up letting their anxiety take all the control. In the end, it is not them who controls the way they feel. In lieu, it is their stress and anxiety that dictates how their day is going to be like.
No one likes to be in stress. Even, if you experience occasional anxiety, it is always better to know how you can unwind at the end of an exhausting day. If you are going through the same situation, you need to know you are not alone. The struggle can get real, and it feels daunting. However, a few tips can never hurt anybody.
In this article, you will find all you need to know about anxiety and how you can manage it.
What Is Stress?
Do you experience a fast heart rate when you are worried? Or do you start sweating when you feel nervous? All these responses are our body’s way of reacting to a particular situation.
Stress is not something that just affects your mind, but it so much more than that. Your thinking affects the hormones your body will release. If you are relaxed and think aesthetic thoughts, your body will respond positively. On the other hand, when you are stressed, your body will show a flight and fight response. Your body muscles will tighten and you will become more agitated.
The more stressed out you feel, the more alert your body will become, and that is not a good thing. When your body is releasing stress hormones almost all the time, it can have some severe implications on your health in the future.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress?
So, what are the symptoms of stress? Which ones should you take seriously? Here are some common stress symptoms. If you have been experiencing them lately, it means you need to cut some slack.
- Your heart rate becomes fast.
- Some people experience shooting pain in their chest.
- Some people cannot tolerate the stressful situation and develop IBS, which is also called Irritated Bowel Syndrome. A person with this syndrome often has stomach aches.
- Your stress and worries begin from your brain, so it is only natural that it starts to hurt as well. Headaches are very common signs of stress.
- Panic attacks happen to people who have chronic stress. A panic/anxiety attack can get extremely dangerous because some people are not able to breathe properly during this spell.
- When you worry a lot, your sleep is going to get affected, which is further going to cause more anxiety.
What Are The Different Types Of Stress?
This is a common type of stress and it is your body’s response to the most basic stressful situations.
For example, if you have an assertion with someone, or you make a mistake at work, you become stressed at once, but it will only last for some time. In severe cases, acute stress can also lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can occur when acute stress happens to the victims of life-threatening accidents.
Episodic Acute Stress
When a person experiences frequent episodes of acute stress, it is called episodic acute stress. People suffering from this type of stress often feel irate and irritated. They always seem to be under some kind of stressful situation.
This type of stress is not good for your health.
Once your stress becomes episodic acute stress that lasts for a long time, it can convert into chronic stress. Chronic stress is something that you cannot easily recover from. Even, when there is no crisis in your life, you still feel anxious.
Chronic stress can also happen when a person belongs to a dysfunctional family or is stuck in an unhappy relationship.
When chronic stress is left untreated, it can lead to heart diseases or self-destructive thoughts/behavior.
Some of the Common Reasons behind your Stress
While stress is a condition that is harmful to your health, it is not uncommon. People experience anxiety because of many reasons. Sometimes your work or studies can make you anxious. Some people are naturally more sensitive and can overthink everything.
Stress is also something that can pass on to you genetically. Some families have a history of mental illness, and these people are more prone to become the victim of depression.
How Can You Manage Your Stress?
There is always a way to manage your stress before it becomes chronic. Stress is a necessary part of your daily life, and the minute you give it more power than that, it will take away your peace of mind. There are plenty of ways to calm down, have a look!
1. Try Natural Remedies like Herbs and Plants
If you are taking any prescription drugs, it is better to get help from natural plants or herbs. These natural plants are far more effective and do not have any side effects.
Cannabis or marijuana is among these plants that have several properties and health benefits. Cannabis has also been linked with producing relaxing effects.
There are different ways you can use cannabis. Some people prefer to smoke it, and some people consume it in the form of edibles, by mixing it in the food. You can use a vaporizer for cannabis as it is easy to use.
Visualization is the method where you visualize your happy place and spend some time in it.
Everyone has a different idea of a place that can relax their mind. For example, some people find nature to be peaceful and serene. They often go on trips and vacations to mountains, to take a break from the hustle and bustle.
For another person, their happy place can be the one where they have lived in the past. Some people calm down by thinking of a place that makes them feel nostalgic, for instance, their parents’ house.
In any case, you need to find that peaceful place and think of that by closing your eyes. Think of the setting of that place or how you want it to look like. Breathe in and out, and imagine smelling the familiar smell. Imagine hearing the familiar noises. If you are in a field or mountains, imagine the chirping of birds and the rustle of leaves of the tress.
After you are done, slowly close your eyes and get back to reality. After a few tries, you will master this technique.
You must know of massage and how it can instantly relax you. Massage targets the body muscles that tend to clench up even, without you noticing. You may not know it, but you can spend an entire day with stiff neck muscles and a clenched jaw. These are the subconscious responses to stressful situations.
Get a massage from an expert, or if you do not have time, you can do it on your own. You just need to target the pressure points that tend to hold tension. Make loose fists, and drum up and down on your back. Massage your temples with your fingers, and slowly work your way up to your scalp and the back of your head. You will instantly feel a little better.
4. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a great technique to bring your heart rate back to normal. If you feel agitated because of the stress, just close your eyes, put one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen, and inhale. As you inhale, your hand on your stomach should move. After that, exhale slowly. While exhaling, the hand on your stomach should fall.
If you have difficulty doing this exercise while sitting, you can do it lying down. Breathing exercise can always help distract you.
Ever feel like you do not want to talk to anyone and sit alone? You can use this feeling in a positive way by spending that time meditating.
Meditating is all about learning, how to control your thoughts and emotions. Once you sit down in a quiet and peaceful room and close your eyes, it is so much easier to practice meditation.
Meditation also teaches you how to be in the present, and not dwell on the past, or stress over the future. It takes the control back from your anxieties and fears and gives it back to you.
Yoga is an ancient type of exercise that originated in Asia. With the passage of time, yoga has been recognized as one of the great practices that can decrease your stress levels.
Doing yoga early in the morning, may not take more than 15 minutes, but the impact it will create will be much greater. You will feel a change, and you will not feel as tired at the end of the day, as you used to.
Yoga’s primary purpose is to bring harmony between heart and soul, something that can bring you true peace.
There is a certain sense of calm and peace that painting brings with it. The repeated strokes help you see things more clearly. Painting and drawing have also been linked with catharsis. It can help a person organize his thoughts as he expresses his emotions in a visual form.
Painting can also help you put things into perspective, so when later on, you are faced with a problem, you are better equipped to handle it.
When you find a hobby that is both enjoyable and productive, you will be well balanced.
8. Treat Yourself
There is no harm in treating yourself every now and then. Your health, both physical and mental, come first. It is even more important than your work, which is why you should always know when to take a break.
Even the smallest things can make you feel happy if you know what they are. Some people can cheer up when they eat their favorite food. Some people like to do window shopping as it can distract them. Some people love movies and go to watch one in a cinema with their friends. If you have a whole day to yourself, book a day at the spa. Treat yourself and live in the moment!
9. Go Out for a Walk
After you have spent a hectic day at your workplace, there is no need to stay cooped up in your house. Get out and get some fresh air. Staying indoors is not going to help if you are stressed. Going outside for a walk works for most people. It is also a great way to move your body muscles.
Brisk walking is a cardiovascular exercise that boosts endorphins. Endorphins are important when it comes to reduce stress hormones and alleviate anxiety.
Walking itself is something that everyone should add to their routine. It helps you stay active, and you get some time to yourself.
10. Ride a Bicycle
If you are not a fan of walking alone, you can ride a bicycle. My favorite outdoor activity is riding a bike as it is a great workout for the legs, and you enjoy the scenery while doing it.
Studies have supported the idea of cycling, especially for those who experience stress in their daily lives. The physical activity involved release happy hormones, which make you, feel better at once. It was studied that a person with depression had a significant decrease in stress levels if he pedaled a stationary bike for fifteen minutes.
Whenever you feel stressed out at the end of the day, it is important that you do the right activity. All the aforementioned stress management tips are quite helpful when you want to wind up after a long day. Use these tips and bring the much needed positive change in your life!
About the Author:
Jack is a psychotherapist and neurodegenerative disorders’ expert. He has been practicing in New York for 25 years now, and since then he has been fighting to make marijuana legal in the United States for it comes with numerous health benefits.