We all face stress in our lives, whether it comes from our work, our families or even our own habits. You may find yourself distressed by significant life events or changes, like separating from a significant other or changing careers. Even smaller, everyday sources of frustration, like traffic, a messy home or loud neighbors can accumulate over time and take a toll on your outlook. Managing your stress and learning how to handle stressors that you encounter day to day can help you live a more peaceful, fulfilling life.
What can cause stress?
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension that can be caused by any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry or nervous. Stress is, of course, caused by stressors, which may be internal, like memories or fears, or they may be external, like job loss or family pressures. While some people are more sensitive and reactive to stress than others, we all experience stress at some point in our lives, and it’s important to know how it can affect us.
Effects of stress on the mind and body
Although stress is an evolutionary adaptation that can help you sense danger and keep yourself safe, our modern world can cause excess stress to run rampant. Whether you’re dealing with stressors big or small, internal or external, stress left untreated can manifest as physical and psychological symptoms that affect your daily life.
Physical symptoms include:
- Stomachache and nausea
- Aches, pains and tense muscles
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms include:
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic
- Increased risk of depression
One of the best, most immediate ways to remedy stress is through exercise. Physical activity reduces stress hormones like cortisol and may help stimulate the production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Getting regular exercise can also help improve your sleep and your self-esteem.
Meditation can work wonders for stress management. In our busy world, we’re always online — browsing social media, chatting with friends and consuming content. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed thanks to this near-constant stimulation. Take some time to unplug, disconnect and listen to your body and mind. Meditating is a great way to clear your mind and get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings, allowing you to relax and reflect.
- Make sleep a priority
Sleep gives your body a chance to recover from the day by repairing cells, restoring energy and releasing molecules like hormones and proteins. Most notably, your levels of growth hormones increase while cortisol, the stress hormone, decreases. Sticking with a regular sleep schedule calms and restores your body, regulates mood and sharpens judgment. When you’re well-rested, you’re less prone to stress altogether. And when stress does bubble up, you’ll be better able to process it and cope with it.
Best ways to ease stress
Luckily, your body and mind are extremely resilient, and there are a number of different ways to manage and ease your stress and the symptoms that come along with it.
Learning how to manage stress
Tackling your stress might seem like a tall order, but what’s important is that you take steps to make your life a little easier and your stress less exhausting. If you’re ready to conquer your stress and live a healthier life, be sure to sign up for our April Group Visit focused on Stress Recovery on Tuesday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Whether you’re struggling with stress, low energy or a lagging metabolism, we can help you nourish and energize your body for the days ahead. Call 303.327.7300 or request a consultation online today to learn more.