Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health


Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Here’s How Stress Impacts Your Mental Health

Stress is common to every human. Starting from disciplining your child to managing finance, and maintaining challenging relationships with your loved ones, stress becomes inevitable. While a little bit of stress is absolutely fine but too much stress can lead to both physical and mental illness adversely. To prevent stress from affecting your body, you need to know the reasons or factors leading to stress. Once you get to know the reason you need to observe the symptoms that arise in times of stress.

First of all, you need to learn how you can recognize that you are stressed. As many times, people don’t realize that they are stressed unless there comes a breaking point. For example, when someone dies in your family you feel sad and broken and unable to express the sorrow immediately then afterwards it becomes difficult not to feel that person’s absence in the family. And it stresses you thinking about what to do when a family member dies. Thus, it’s better to realize beforehand and work effectively towards handling them.

What is stress?

Stress can be defined as a reaction of the body to a harmful situation irrespective of whether the situation is real or perceived. When you feel threatened or shocked by some incident, a sort of chemical reaction takes place in your body which instigates you to act in such a way as to prevent injury to your body or surrounding. The reaction is followed by tightening muscles, quick breathing, increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This is how you protect your body from stress.

However, stress varies from person to person, what triggers stress in one person might be of little concern to other people. Some are good at handling stress while some react violently as an effect of stress. A little bit of stress is helpful as mentioned previously and is required in your life as it is beneficial to you. It might sound weird to you.

Let’s understand this with an example when you are driving a car suddenly you slam breaks to avoid any unwanted accident and you did this out of fear for life which stressed you. Thus, this can be regarded as a positive side of stress. Whereas this kind of small stress can be handled easily your body is not trained to handle chronic stress without bearing serious consequences.

How to help yourself when you are stressed?

  1. Actively participate in physical Activity

Moving your body consistently would be a great way to deal with stress. Studies from 185 universities have shown that people were able to overcome all the perceived stress by participating in aerobic exercise twice a week. With little time it has also proven itself in lessening self-reported depression.

Further studies have shown that physical activities are quite beneficial in reducing stress levels followed by improving mood. Whereas if you increase in activity that would cause poor mood, disturbance in the sleep cycle, and most importantly stress.

Regular exercise can be effective for improving mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is advisable not to be inactive unless you are ill. Sticking to these regular exercises would keep you away from stress, anxiety, or depression.

  1. Follow a healthy diet

Your diet affects your mental health. Studies have shown that people who intake added sugar and ultra-processed food are more likely to experience more stress. Long-term stress might instigate you to overeat palatable food which would cause more harm to your health and mood.

On the other hand lack of nutrient-dense whole food would cause a deficiency of nutrients such as magnesium and Vitamin B are essential for the regulation of stress and mood.

Cut back intake of highly processed food and beverage. Replace those food items with vegetables, beans, fruits, seeds, etc nutritional food items to keep your body fully nourished. This would keep you healthy as well as strengthen you to overcome stress.

  1. Reduce using Phones and screen time

In the contemporary world when technology is so advanced, it has become unavoidable to use phones and laptops for most of the day. Increased use of phones stresses our eyes as well as brain cells. Addiction to the usage of the phone causes mental health issues in addition to stress. And the screen timing also affects your sleep cycle. Hence overuse of phones is not recommendable for the sake of your mental health.

  1. Reduce intake of caffeine

Caffeine is effective for your health in energizing you for a productive day. It is a chemical that is found in chocolate, tea, coffee, and energy drinks that stimulates your central nervous system.  Intake of too much coffee has adverse effects on your body such as lack of sleep, and anxiety. Hence overconsumption of coffee can harm daily life. Different people have different tolerance to caffeine if you feel that coffee is making you anxious and not letting you sleep then replace coffee with decaffeinated tea or water. Whereas studies have shown that coffee is good for your body to a certain extent, it is advised to limit coffee intake to 400gms a day which is 4-5 cups a day.

Practice avoiding procrastination

If you practice avoiding procrastination you would be able to reduce a lot of stress. Procrastination causes more stress due to the pending number of work. Procrastination affects your productivity and also harms the body. Procrastination can be caused by the burden of work, laziness, parenting, undesirable punishment, and rejection which causes tremendous stress. If you see yourself procrastinating too much try making a to-do list and keep realistic targets on daily basis. This will help you to reduce procrastination within a short period. Focus on the target work of a particular day and try to complete one work at once as attempting to perform more than one work is stressing in itself.

Closing Statement

The above-discussed points are evidence-based tips for reducing stress. Chronic stress caused by unexpected situations like the death of dear ones, sudden rejection, or financial loss makes you numb for a certain period. You find it difficult to figure out how to inform loved ones of death as you are unable to process things for a certain period, and how to manage these losses, which ultimately keep on stressing you until you get out of that situation finally. Indulge yourself in exercise, physical activities, spending time with your pet, friends, and families, and reducing the use of phones which will be beneficial in reducing stress resiliently.

Author Bio:

Hello, I’m Erika Rhein, a professional writer, and blogger by profession. I write on various topics, including automotive, home improvement, fashion, etc. I always endeavour to provide users with helpful and informational articles in a readable format. I aim to achieve a difference through my writing.