With more things to worry about these days, people are having trouble dealing with stress. Drinking alcohol is at an all-time high, followed by overstimulating screen consumption that leaves people more drained.
People need a more sustainable way to relax and relieve stress. Studies show that natural therapies can have a more long-lasting effect on stress relief. Find out how you can alleviate stress in more natural ways so that you heal your mind and body better.
Understanding the Common Causes of Stress
tress in general is not a bad thing. Small to moderate amounts called “eustress” is good for us because it helps us to meet challenges. Chronic stress however is damaging to our well-being if left unchecked. It can affect the way we think and feel, causing unreasonable behavior at times.
Statistics show that at least more than half of all Americans undergo moderate stress. The top three triggers are money, family, and job issues. Other common identified stressors that contribute to chronic stress are:
– being a victim of bullying
– death of a loved one
– undergoing major life changes like moving or getting divorced
Upsetting events in the last three months can have a huge impact on your stress levels.
When needed, a health specialist may assess your situation and ask how you respond to home and work issues. They may also test you for signs of a mental disorder. Specialists will also study you to determine if you are in a state of grieving.
Recognizing the Signs of Chronic Stress
There are physical and emotional changes that can happen when chronic stress occurs:
– Emotional Changes
There will be moodiness, irritability, and restlessness. Some people fall into depression, and start to become unmotivated than usual.
– Physical Changes
You start experiencing headaches, muscle pains, and digestive issues. Most people don’t recognize these signs, because they’re common discomforts that will clear up on their own. Its only when people start experiencing a low sex drive or high blood pressure that people take their stress seriously.
Cultivating Healthier Responses to Stress
How you usually cope with stressors could make a difference. Unhealthy responses like:
– binge-watching shows
– withdrawing into isolation or intentionally having a jampacked social schedule
– consuming too much alcohol, smoking too much, or using illegal substances
– undereating or overeating
– getting dependent on pills for anxiety, sleeping, or muscle pains
– having emotional/physical outbursts that hurt oneself or others
– sleeping too much
Even seemingly harmless habits like spending too much time on your smartphone can contribute to stress. Any activity that hinders you from going back to a normal state of well-being, can take a toll on your health.
Research has shown that a healthier stress response can increase positive emotions. Here are some of the most effective and natural strategies to heal from the devastating effects of chronic stress:
1. Get better rest.
Sleep deprivation has a tremendous impact on stress. A sleep expert says getting poor sleep quality triggers stress hormones in the body. Watching shows will not help you completely relax.
If you have trouble falling asleep quickly, try gentle breathing exercises accompanied by the progressive muscle relaxation technique. Imagine each part of your body getting relaxed one by one. Do this between 20 and 25 minutes each day, for two weeks.
2. Use mediation and massage therapy to build resilience.
Unlike toxic coping habits, meditation and massage are two of the best ways to treat yourself after a long hard day. They have no side effects, and they will not leave you in the pits after. Meditation works to calm the mind while massage theraphy facilitates healing through pain reduction. People who engage in these activities are found to have improved sleep, are less prone to depression, and have a better life overall.
3. Eat foods that help heal the body and mind.
Forget the comfort food for a minute, they may even be making you feel more stressed. The book, “The Anti-Anxiety Diet” says that people need to eat less refined carbs and sugars to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes. They are said to be the leading culprit for physiological stress.
Substitute fatty and sugary food with more fresh, healthy food rich in healthy fats. These kinds of foods increase hormones that signal satiety. You’ll also have better mood regulation, energy, and sleep.
Living with stress is inevitable, but you can still thrive in spite of it. Choosing a healthier stress response is critical to facing challenges head-on. The good news is, the more we overcome life’s biggest upsets, the better we become.