Your credit card was hacked, the kids won’t stop screaming, your boss has been rude to you for things out of your control, you’re skipping a vacation this year because you owe the IRS money.
Let’s face it – you’re seriously stressed out.
Every April since 1992, teams of experts have teamed up to increase public awareness about stress including the causes of it, the negative effects it can have on the mind and body, and how to relieve it.
Since most people will experience stress at some point in their life, it’s important for us to inform you of the horrors it does to your mind and body.
Did you know that more than half of Americans say they fight with friends and loved ones because of stress? In addition, according to WebMD, more than 70% of Americans say they experience real physical and emotional symptoms from stress.
What causes stress?
Every single person to walk this earth has different stress triggers. However, work always tops the list in surveys.
There are a variety of factors that cause stress – like a sudden traumatic event or the simple expectations of daily life.
Here’s a brief list of some common stressors:
- Being unhappy in your job
- Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
- Working long hours
- Facing discrimination or harassment at work
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Emotional issues (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, or low self-esteem)
- Taking care of sick or elderly family member
- Traumatic events (natural disaster, theft, sexual assault, or violence)
Sometimes, stress can even come from within rather than an outward factor. For example, you can stress yourself out just by worrying and overthinking.
Stress and Your Health
When you become stressed, your nervous system springs into action – also known as the “fight or flight” response. Your heartbeat speeds up, your breathing gets faster, your muscle tense up, and you start to sweat. This is an acute form of stress and is short-term. Your body recovers quickly from this form of stress.
However, if your system stays activated for a long period time it shifts into chronic stress which can lead to serious health problems.
The constant deploy of stress hormones can cause your body to age more quickly and make you more prone to illness.
Acute Stress Physical Symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Upset stomach
Chronic Stress Physical Symptoms:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Hardening of your arteries
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heartburn, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome
- Upset stomach (cramps, constipation, and diarrhea)
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in sex drive
- Fertility problems
- Flare-ups (asthma or arthritis)
- Skin problems (acne, eczema, and psoriasis)
Reducing stress in your everyday life is vital for maintaining your overall health, as it will improve your mood, boost immune function, promote longevity and allow you to be more productive.
Here are 5 simple ways you can reduce stress TODAY:
Physical activity really helps get rid of the extra hormones pumping around in your body during that “fight or flight” state. A brisk walk in the fresh air will help calm you down. When you engage in regular moderate exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming – you will reap the proven stress-reducing benefits because exercise releases positive stress-busting endorphins and can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Stress can physically wear out your body, and without sleep, you will feel the effects of it much more.
According to the Cleveland Clinic studies have found that the list of health benefits associated with giving are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased self-esteem
- Lower stress levels
- Less depression
- Greater happiness
- Longer life
Manage Your Time
Don’t get overwhelmed with tasks. Manage your time by creating shorter to-do lists of three actionable items. Start the list over once you complete the first three items, and so on.
“Committing to just 15 minutes of daily meditation and breathing is a simple step that has profound benefits,” said Dr. Isaac Eliaz of Mind Body Green. “Understanding the real damages of stress in your life will help you maintain motivation to incorporate consistent practices which reduce stress.”
We hope this blog gives you some insight into how to manage stress properly. We’d be Dlyted to know what some of YOUR go-to stress-reducing tips are! Visit us on social and let us know.