Many people deal with stress everyday. They have that constant feeling of heavy, abnormal pressure on their shoulders because of increased workload, tight deadlines, family and relationship conflicts, financial worries, and other issues that negatively affect important aspects of their lives.
If you are one of them, you will find that it takes a serious toll not only on your mental health but on your physical health as well. What can you do to not drown in hopelessness and despair? How do you keep your head above water and get out of this cumbersome situation alive?
What are the common signs of stress?
Stress can affect anyone. Before it completely messes up your life, it should be addressed right away. In order to do that, you should know what the usual signs and symptoms of someone who is stressed are. Below are what you should be looking out for:
- Having trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks at hand
- Constant feelings of anxiety and worry
- Being short-tempered all the time
- Always feeling restless or agitated
- Relying on alcohol, drugs, or tobacco to relax
- Difficulty getting enough sleep
- Eating a lot less or a lot more than usual
- Disinterest in sex
- A dip in self-esteem
- Experiencing muscle pains and aches
The moment you encounter any of these symptoms, you have to pay your doctor a visit right away. If not dealt with and treated, these warning signs can drastically affect your life, and bring about more severe problems in your health.
What should you do every time you feel stressed?
Find out what causes it.
Once you feel that negativity enveloping you, you should try to identify what triggered it. Usually, things that bring about stress can be categorized into three:
- 1 – can be fixed with a practical solution
- 2 – will eventually disappear
- 3 – are something that you cannot control
If the cause of your stress belongs in the 1st category, then do not delay finding a remedy for it. If it fits in the 2nd category, then just give it time to go away. If it falls under the 3rd, you should understand that there is literally nothing you can do to change the situation and it is better to just let go.
Assess your lifestyle.
Oftentimes, your life choices are the cause of your stress. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I taking on too much?
- Is there a more efficient way to do this task?
- Am I being short-sighted or closed-minded?
- Should I be asking other people’s help rather than do this all by myself?
- Is this something that I should really prioritize right now?
If you can reorganize your routines and make better choices to reduce the pressure you subject yourself to, you can live a happier and more positive life.
How do you prevent stress?
There are many ways to protect yourself against the burdens of stress. The following are examples of life habits and choices that you should be incorporating to yours to improve the quality of your life:
If you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing. You have a lower risk of infections, disorders, and diseases that can endanger your important bodily organs and systems. In addition, because you are not experiencing pains, aches, and discomforts, you are in a better mood and mental disposition, allowing you to perform day-to-day tasks more efficiently.
Quitting smoking and minimizing alcohol intake
A lot of people think smoking and drinking are activities that can help them relax and unwind. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and these habits can actually make their stress levels and other health problems worse. Cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol contain ingredients that are toxic and harmful to the body. For good health, you should stay away from them.
If you are physically active, your body releases chemicals that can make you feel happy. So, try to get into a regular exercise regimen to help lower your stress levels. Everyday, you should try to walk as many steps as possible. And, a few times a week, you can do more intense exercises, like running, cycling, swimming, and strength training to not only boost your mood but also improve your muscle strength, cardio health, immune functions, and others.
Taking a break
While working hard can bring in the money to pay for the bills and the quality of life that you desire, it can be detrimental to your health too. Spending too many hours at the office, hardly taking any time to eat, rest your eyes, or clear your mind can increase your stress levels, leaving you exhausted and drained all the time. Over time, these can result to poor health, and prevent you from living the life that you strive to work hard for.
Many people have difficulty enjoying sufficient and uninterrupted sleep every night. They spend hours tossing and turning in bed, and, before they know it, it is only a couple of hours away before they have to go to work again. For better stress management, you should make sure to give your body enough sleep every night. With at least 7 hours of sleep, your body can rest, repair, and rejuvenate after a long and tasking day. When you wake up the next day, you will feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to take on the challenges that come your way.
You should learn to love yourself, despite all the flaws. Every time you make a mistake, you should not be too hard on yourself or dwell on it for too long. You should understand that stressing over the past will not do anything good and will only worsen your stress levels. If you fall or stumble, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Be your own best friend, someone who is there to offer support and kindness when you need it the most.