Stress has become a watchword for many health challenges. To better manage it, it is a good idea to give it a definition. Fundamentally, we all face pressures. However, your reaction to it will define your stress level and how it impacts your body.
Watch Your Diet
When you are very stressed, it can be tempting to have an alcoholic beverage or sit down with a snack or treat as a method of escaping your stress. However, these ultimately actually put more pressure on your body.
Drinking can lower the intensity of your thoughts, but it will also make it hard to sleep deeply. It can also cause weight gain around your waist, increase your risk of heart disease and increase your risk of diabetes while damaging your liver.
A bag of chips or carton of ice cream may be tempting, but again, these foods increase the pressure on your body. Salty treats can lead to an increase in blood pressure and too much sugar can cause an insulin spike and sleepiness when you really need to be able to focus.
Own Your Consumption
Take a hard look at what you consume in terms of
- social media
If your favorite television show features murder and mayhem, be aware that your body and brain go through the same stress whether you see it on the news or watch it on a fictional television show. Violence is dangerous to humans, and we evolved to fear these risks. Our ability to understand the difference between fiction and reality is individualized within the brain, but your body may never learn to feel the difference.
Should you find that you are afraid of getting out in the world, cynical about the intentions of those around you, or feeling hopeless, it may be time to get away from the screens and make time for more face to face connections.
Strive to get in daily exercise. Even if all you do is take a ten-minute walk, these rounds of daily exercise offer several benefits and stress relievers. Walking and jogging can be considered habitual behaviors. Once your body is engaged in habitual behavior, your brain will automatically switch to a more creative method of thinking, which is optimum problem-solving time. If you are facing serious challenges that raise your stress level, your creative brain can help you solve these problems.
While boosting your exercise time, make sure you also work to boost your self-care plan. Schedule time with friends so you can kick back and get some laughs, schedule time with a massage therapist in Temecula or your current local, or spend time working on crafts to help you lift your spirits.
Volunteering is a good way to lower your stress level as long as you do not take on the problems of others. To help without adding to your burdens, consider signing up for
- a cleanup of local parks and amenities
- a walk with shelter dogs
- cooking food for a neighbor who needs a bit of help
If your city is trying to improve a local waterway or walking path, take your walk down there and wear gloves so you can pick up some garbage. Visit your local Humane Society and spend time with kittens and puppies that need more human contact. If a neighbor has had surgery, just come home with a new baby or is struggling with physical limitations from age, doing just a bit of work on their behalf can greatly improve your mood, lower your stress, and help them out.
Set a Quitting Time
For those facing financial challenges, it can be tempting to look for side hustles and work during every hour of the day in an effort to get ahead. However, this will make it nearly impossible to manage that financial stress.
Use a timer to manage the time that you work. Until the timer goes off, go ahead and push yourself as hard as you want to. When you get to the end of the time, take a dedicated break. Get away from the computer, step out of your car, or do whatever it takes to break away from the workspace and get a brain break.
Building a healthy response to stress can extend your life. These skills can do wonders for the enjoyment of your daily activities as well. Stress can be fatal. Relieving it and managing it well are key to a happy life.