Being human means that you will experience stress; it’s an aspect of life everyone has to overcome at some point. However, if left unmanaged, science reveals that ongoing stress can lead to other mental health issues as well as physical illness. Here we will discuss healthy ways to deal with the inevitable stresses of life.
What Is Stress?
Have you, or someone you know, endured stress together with more than your fair share of physical illness? Stress is your body and brain’s response to any change that requires your body to adjust or respond. It causes your brain to trigger your body to release a flood of stress hormones that produce physiological changes. These changes can cause illness because it may inhibit your body’s ability to fight off diseases, so learning to manage them can significantly impact your quality of life.
Stress isn’t always caused by something traumatic happening. We often think of “bad” changes causing stress, but “good” changes, such as planning a wedding or a work promotion, can also produce stress.
Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress
Although you can’t avoid stress altogether, you can set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy ways to deal with stress into your lifestyle, which can help you recover quicker. All of the following suggestions are critical aspects of self-care that can reduce your stress levels.
1. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are an effective way to reduce the impact of stress on your mind, emotions, and body. They include techniques such as:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided imagery
- Music and art
2. Get Physical Activity
Getting thirty minutes of physical activity 3-4 times per week helps your body metabolize stress hormones and promote more quality sleep. It’s a bonus if you can get that exercise outdoors.
3. Be Mindful About What You Put Into Your Body
It’s tempting to over-consume caffeine, particularly when you aren’t sleeping well. But caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that will only exacerbate your stress levels, so try to limit them.
We can also turn to sugar when we’re stressed, but the “sugar-rush” is followed by a much longer-lasting “sugar-crash.”
Stay hydrated with plenty of water and stay nourished with healthy foods to combat stress.
Restorative sleep can be so elusive when you’re under stress, so we understand that you can’t just command yourself to sleep. Stress causes a lack of sleep, and lack of sleep increases stress. It can feel like an impossible cycle. Incorporating the tips in this article or trying out deep pressure stimulation with a weighted blanket or sleep pod.
5. Incorporate Fun Into Your Day
There is truth to the adage, “Laughter is good medicine.” Laughing not only reduces stress but also benefits your physical health.
6. Pay Attention to Your Inner Dialogue
Negative self-talk is very defeating when it comes to stress. Pay attention to the negative messages you say to yourself and replace them with positive messages. For example, instead of telling yourself you’re stupid because you don’t know how to do something, instead tell yourself you have an opportunity to learn a new skill.
7. Talk to Someone
We aren’t designed to deal with the stresses of life alone. We need community and connection. Talk with someone you feel safe with, such as a trusted friend or mental health professional.
Eunoia Can Help
At Eunoia, we have helped many people learn healthy ways to deal with stress. Our compassionate therapists are available to discuss your unique needs. Contact us today and get equipped with the tools you deserve.