Stress and anxiety refer to your body’s reaction to challenges and demands. Stress can be positive or negative and there are healthy ways to deal with it. However, prolonged stress and anxiety can affect our general well-being negatively.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand. Everyone experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles to major changes like a divorce or job loss which most times triggers apprehensive action or reaction.
The Negative Impact Of Stress:
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress that goes unchecked over time can eventually lead to even more serious health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Stress has even been linked to other unpleasant physical symptoms like depression, fatigue, irritability, ulcers, allergies, migraine headaches, and can make pre-existing conditions even worse.
Anxiety And Stress; How They Relate:
The Anxiety symptoms are also symptoms of stress.
It can be referred to as anxiety symptoms because anxious behaviour is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become stressed and symptomatic.
When a person behaves anxiously too often, the body can become chronically stressed, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants. Chronic stress (stress-response hyperstimulation) can cause chronic symptoms.
To eliminate anxiety symptoms, we want to eliminate the stress that is causing them. As stress diminishes, symptoms of stress subside.
Causes Of Anxiety:
Since it’s those things that make us anxious that responsible for us being stressed out we must discover and deal with the causes of anxiety to eliminate stress.
Anxiety is caused by apprehensive behaviour – the anxious ways we think and act. Apprehensive behaviour can be regarded as an unhealthy lifestyle that one should try to desist from.
To reduce anxiety, we want to reduce apprehensive behaviour. Distraction from pleasant experiences can reduce apprehensive behaviour. Anything we do that distracts us away from behaving apprehensively will reduce anxiety and the stress it causes.
Tips On How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
For better living and a healthy and happier life let’s discover the ways we can reduce stress and anxiety.
Laughter Can Reduce Stress And Anxiety:
Laughter can be a wonderfully easy way to reduce stress and anxiety. Not only does laughter distract away from problems and change the mood, but it also stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn triggers the body’s natural tranquillizing effect.
Spend Time With A Good Friend:
Good friends are great stress reducers. Not only do they make you feel loved and appreciated, but they can also support you through difficult times.
Spending time with a good friend can significantly reduce stress and stimulation.
Taking deep breaths can be really effective at reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation on a physical and emotional level too. When you start to breathe deeply, chemical signals are sent to your brain.
The brain then alerts the rest of your body telling it to relax, lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and promoting overall relaxation.
Try Cuddling and Romance:
Most people know that both stress and anxiety can be reduced through affection. However, many are surprised to learn that cuddling, kissing, and even hugging can help too.
When you experience positive physical contact with someone, it releases both oxytocin and lowers your cortisol levels.
What does this mean for your body? Well, it reduces your heart rate and your blood pressure, both of which are elevated during times of duress.
Shockingly enough, human beings aren’t the only ones that like to cuddle for stress relief. When under pressure, chimpanzees will snuggle with a friend to reduce their frustration.
Prayer Can Reduce Stress And Anxiety:
If you are spiritually-minded, prayer has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Spirituality also improves mental and physical health
Developing your spiritual life could play an important role in reducing stress and anxiety, as well as improving your overall life experience.
Desist From The Triggers of stress And Anxiety:
If you are like most people, your life may be filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are the ones we have chosen. You can free up time by practising time-management skills like asking for help when it’s appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and reserving time to take care of yourself.
It’s okay to say “No” to demands on your time and energy that will place too much stress on you. You don’t always have to match or meet up to the expectations of others.
Many people become overwhelmed because they have never learned the fine art of saying no. Overextending yourself is a good way to burn out quickly. You must learn your boundaries and know when enough is enough.
Never be afraid to say no to someone when it is not possible. If you are going to be stressed out trying to help someone else, then help yourself and turn them down.
Eliminate or Reduce Your Caffeine Intake:
Caffeine is a drug that is used to stimulate the body. It’s known for revving up the body and providing extra energy. However, caffeine can also cause heart palpitations and anxiety. Moderation is key when drinking coffee and soft drinks.
Get A Good Sleep:
Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most important ways to manage your stress levels and give your body the needed time to replenish and restore.
Try to create a habit of getting into bed earlier and at the same time every night. Adults should aim for getting at least 7 hours of sleep but what’s needed can vary from person to person, but in all, it’s important to get a good sleep always.
Go For a Walk:
We often think that the more intense an exercise is, the more beneficial it is, but you can get amazing benefits for your body and mind from simply walking.
Any exercise will help relieve your stress, but a 2008 study centred around subjects with a sedentary lifestyle, found that participants who followed an exercise program walking, experienced a 20% boost in energy while their fatigue was reduced by a whopping 65%.
Walking can also boost endorphins, which can help to reduce symptoms of stress hormones, trigger a positive feeling in the body, and help with mild depression. Try walking outside for a minimum of 20-30 minutes 5 times per week to alleviate stress and give your mind a positive boost.
Listen to Music:
The healing power of music has been well studied and it’s an effective way to help reduce stress and anxiety.
And it’s been proven that instrumental styles of music such as classical or New-Age styles, can lower heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones, whatever tunes you enjoy can also provide a calming benefit. Nature sounds are stress-relieving too.