Stress can manifest itself in different ways depending on the person, but there is always one common factor: Stress is an emotion you feel when you’re out of balance or under pressure. You might experience this feeling when your workload becomes too heavy, if you’ve just had a big argument with someone close to you, or if you’re struggling financially and don’t know how much money will come into the bank account next month.
The feeling of stress is a natural emotion. It’s a healthy human response that first appeared over two million years ago, when early humans faced threats from wild animals and other tribes. But today it’s not as necessary as it once was, since we no longer live in an environment where physical threats are prevalent. In fact, nowadays the biggest cause of stress is from the demands we put on ourselves, as a result of work, family, relationships and other factors.
What happens when you’re stressed?
You can experience different physical symptoms when you’re stressed, such as Tension headaches Upset stomachs Feeling tired or exhausted Difficulty sleeping (insomnia) Tight or stiff muscles Relationship problems
When stress is experienced in an acute way, it often leads to what are called ‘stress hormones. These are chemicals that are released by our bodies when we feel under pressure or under threat. They can have a number of effects on the body, both good and bad. For example they:
help us respond quickly and efficiently to danger reduce the energy available to other parts of the body, making us want to rest reduce inflammation throughout the whole body, helping prevent infection reduce stomach acid production, which is good if you have indigestion reduce blood clotting, which is good if you’ve injured yourself
But stress hormones can be harmful too. For example, if they are constantly released over a long period of time, they can reduce your fertility. They have also been linked to disorders such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Short-term stress vs long-term stress
There are two main types of stress: short-term and long-term. Short-term stress is when you feel instantly under pressure over a short period of time, such as when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work and you’re already late for your first meeting.
Long-term stress tends to build up over a long period of time. It’s often caused by ongoing problems or difficult situations – such as debt or unemployment – which never seem to go away and which reduce your quality of life.
The feeling of stress is something that many people are familiar with. It can be caused by all sorts of things, from work to relationships to family life. However it’s important for everyone to know how they can reduce their levels of stress in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid any health problems which may arise as a result.
Here are 12 ways you can reduce your level of stress:
1. Get plenty of sleep
It’s recommended that adults get around eight hours of sleep every night to reduce stress levels and keep your body healthy. Being tired can cause high stress so it’s important you try getting an adequate amount each night. If you feel exhausted, even during the day, try taking a quick nap which should soon improve your energy levels.
Staying fit and healthy can reduce stress as it releases endorphins which leave you feeling more relaxed. It’s important to try and exercise for at least thirty minutes a day, whether this be going for a walk or joining a sports team. Start exercising today if you don’t already do so to reduce your stress levels.
3. Eat well
Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining good energy levels and avoiding the feeling of tiredness which can cause high levels of stress. It’s recommended that you stick to eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy products to reduce your stress. Try out new recipes or buy healthier alternatives to reduce your stress levels.
It’s important to acknowledge the cause of your stress, whether this be through talking or writing down your feelings in a journal. Once you’ve identified what is causing you stress, you can work on coping with it better and reduce any negative feelings which are making your level of stress higher than it should be.
5. Avoid caffeine
Caffeine can reduce the speed at which you can sleep and reduce your energy levels, both of which make high stress more likely. Instead of drinking several cups of coffee during the day, try cutting down to reduce stress and ensure a healthier lifestyle. You should notice a difference almost immediately if you reduce how much caffeine you’re drinking.
6. Listen to music
Listening to your favorite songs can reduce stress levels as it takes the focus off any problems which are causing you to worry or anxiety. You should try listening to soothing melodies, whether this is through putting on a CD or using an app such as Spotify.
7. Spend time with family and friends
Strong social connections reduce stress as they reduce feelings of loneliness and give you a sense of purpose. Try spending time with your loved ones or going out, whether it be to a party or simply watching a film at home. You should notice the benefits almost immediately if you reduce how much time you spend alone.
8. Turn off your phone
It’s important to reduce your stress by practising good phone etiquette and putting down your mobile phone during times which you need to reduce stress. If you’re spending time with friends and family, try turning off your phone to improve the quality of your social interactions and reduce feelings of annoyance or anxiety.
9. Practise yoga
Yoga exercises reduce stress and improve flexibility and strength, both of which reduce the risk of injuries. It’s recommended that you try yoga at least twice a week to reduce stress levels and ensure a healthy lifestyle.
10. Try taking up a new hobby
You don’t have to reduce stress by doing yoga or going to the gym; you can also reduce stress by trying out a new hobby such as blogging or baking. It’s important to reduce stress by challenging your mind and keeping your body active to reduce the risk of health problems developing.
11. Take a break from alcohol
You might think that drinking can reduce stress levels but it actually makes them worse. If you’re worried about how much you drink, try taking a break for a week or two to reduce stress and ensure a healthier lifestyle. You’ll notice the benefits almost immediately if you reduce how much alcohol you drink.
12. Improve your sleeping habits
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, it’s important to reduce stress by improving your sleeping habits. If possible, try going to bed at the same time every night to reduce stress levels and reduce the risk of health problems developing. You should notice the benefits almost immediately if you reduce how much sleep you lose every night.
Thank you for reading this article! I hope you were able to find it useful, informative, or otherwise interesting. Remember, don’t let stress control your life!