As a person gets older, they come into contact with stress frequently and it can come from work, school, family, relationships, loss, death and more. The term stress was invented by Hans Selye, defining it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. Stress can also be generally defined as being under a lot of pressure. Pressure to meet goals at work and school, pressure to take of yourself and save adequately at the same time, pressure to please people and more. A study from 2015 found that 59% of adults reported experiencing high levels of perceived stress.
Stress affects you mentally and slowly, starts to affect you physically and unfortunately, some people cannot easily recognize stress and so, they easily call it being tired. ‘How do I know I am stressed?’ one may ask. Today we will take a look at common signs of stress and how to manage it the right way.
Some signs of stress can include having a short temper, high blood pressure, insomnia, headache, digestive problems, and appetite and weight changes. Remember that stress needs to be managed intentionally and patiently. Like any other mental health challenge, it does not go away in a day. Stress does not go away by getting drunk, over-eating, smoking, gambling, abusing drugs or having excessive sex. These are all unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Some healthy ways to deal with stress are:
Healthy Eating: When dealing with stress, it is important to always put yourself first and eating healthy is a great way to start as it reduces the risk of diseases. Protect your immune system when you are stressed by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water. These give the brain the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function properly.
Exercise: Spending time in the week to stretch out your muscles is an effective way to reduce stress. Research has shown that exercising can help improve your mood and release stress. Taking a 30-minute walk, riding a bike, taking a couple flights of stairs instead of the elevator are some light exercises you can start doing to help relieve stress.
Healthy sleep pattern: Having a healthy sleep pattern can help you relieve stress. When you sleep well, you are less likely to be stressed frequently because your body and brain are all well rested during the night. Always make sure you are well rested to avoid stress. A Harvard article says sleep deprivation can affect your mental health so always make it a point to be well rested.
Self-care: This is one of the most important ways of relieving stress. Simply treating yourself to something nice when you feel stressed, saying ‘no’ to people, swimming, treating yourself with dinner or spending time with family and loved ones are low budget ways to take care of yourself and should be done frequently.
Always remember to put yourself first when dealing with stress and always treat yourself with the utmost care and love. This way, you will feel the impact of stress less and less each day.