Stress can impact our lives in many negative ways, decreasing joy to cherish the good things in our lives. Not only is your mental health affected by unmanaged stress, but also your physical health suffers due to constantly being in a fight or flight response.
According to Healthline, “Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs”.
It is unrealistic to think that you can completely eliminate stress from your life. If financial worries are taken care of, relationship worries would come up or some other problems.
So, the only way to deal with this dilemma in life is to manage your stress in a healthy way. Unmanaged stress can impact your livelihood and those around you. Learning how to deal with stress in healthy ways can help you move forward in life with ease.
Here are some practices you can include in your lifestyle to be more mindful of your stress and feel less anxious.
The mind loves to do anything but stay in the present moment. It would jump from the past to the future and keep you from being in the present. Practice awareness, and become aware of your thoughts. Instead of staying in the past traumas or worries of the future, bring yourself back to the present.
You can do this by grounding yourself in the present. Whenever you catch yourself drifting away, simply bring yourself back to the center by:
Noticing: 4 things that you can see.
3 things that you can touch.
2 things that you can hear.
1 thing that you can smell.
Be Physically Active
Move your body regularly. Any movement, whether walking, jogging, gym, or yoga, increases endorphins in the body. This helps lower the cortisol levels (stress hormones) in the body and increase blood flow, which is good for health and brain health.
Do Not Isolate Yourself
It is natural for most people to lock others out while they go through stress. This only adds up more to the stress and makes things worse. Stay connected with friends and family; they might not be able to solve your problems, but they can provide you with emotional support. Social connections and community are crucial for stress management.
Be compassionate towards yourself. Take one day at a time or an hour if necessary. It can be rough. Focus on stacking one small positive thought on top of another. It doesn’t have to be overambitious, over-exciting thoughts but something as small as “I feel better today. I will use this energy to take a walk” or “I will take a relaxing bath to cleanse my energy.”
Nutrition plays an important role when it comes to reducing stress. Include mushrooms, bananas, fresh vegetables and fruits, and fresh meat in your diet. Avoid having foods that are highly processed and contain high sugar.
Avoid alcohol to the best as it can be the worst stressor for the mind and body.
Don’t feel bad saying “no”. Understand your limitations, and don’t add to your plate more than what you can chew. Overcommitting can lead to increased stress. It's okay to say no to additional responsibilities when you're feeling overwhelmed.
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