Life can be stressful. Balancing work and family obligations can consume you, and lead to increased stress. Add on health concerns or personal struggles, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, once you recognize what stress looks like, you can implement techniques that help to reduce stressors, and lead a more carefree life.
Why We Get Stressed
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stress can look different for everyone, and while some pressure can be a good thing, as it motivates us to prepare for difficult situations through a natural part of our nervous system, too much stress can be destructive.
Increased and prolonged stress can lead to a multitude of health problems and should be taken seriously.
- Increased emotional responses, such as crying or quickly becoming angry
- Insomnia, or decreased (or increased) sleep patterns
- Issues with concentration
- Feeling hopeless
- Sleep distress through nightmares or sleep walking
- Changes in appetite
- Increased anxiety or fear
- Indecision, or feelings of being overwhelmed
- Physical pains
- Gastro Intestinal distress
- Substance abuse
- Fleeting feelings of mood suppression or depression
Now that we’ve identified how stress can manifest itself, it’s important to understand the techniques and behavioral modifications that can help mitigate the stressors in your life. While everyone has their own individual triggers, understanding general stress reduction can greatly improve your life.
How to Reduce Stress
Self-care: make sure to get adequate sleep, eat well, and exercise. The CDC states that healthy routines can eliminate stress, and calm the body down. Take a bath, read a book, or take the evening off. Small actions can yield major results!
Community: take time to enjoy an afternoon with friends. Studies from the American Psychological Association (APA) show that communal activities reduce stress and provide the support systems we need to get through difficulties. Not a group-activity person? That’s okay. Spending time with friends one-on-one provides the same stress-busting benefit!
Slow down: Don’t forget to slow down. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and walks around your neighborhood can eradicate stress and keep you grounded and peaceful.
Journal: Write down your feelings whenever you’re stressed. It may be as simple as a two-sentence practice of journaling that can make a difference. By checking in with yourself, you’ll be able to see patterns, reduce stressors, and have a greater understanding of your emotions.
Seek help: When stress overwhelms you, allow yourself the space to seek help. Seeking therapy for ongoing stress can be one of the most powerful tools in your toolkit. When you find providers that understand, you’ll be able to let go of the stress that surrounds you, and you’ll find freedom in that support.
At Mahajan Therapeutics, we understand how difficult stress can be. You’re not alone. Our therapists, counselors, and primary care providers are a phone call away. Schedule an appointment today. We’ll provide you with the techniques and strategies needed to thrive.