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Have you ever found yourself stressed the F out and you just couldn’t shake yourself out of it? Stress can sneak up on you. Sometimes it takes our bodies reacting before our mind realizes what’s going on. That’s how panic and anxiety manifest in my house. So, if you’ve been feeling overly stressed lately, I just want you to know that you’re not alone. Right now, feeling stressed out seems to be the national pastime. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just affect us physically but also, had a profound effect on the mental health of most of the population. Add to that the fact that job satisfaction levels are at an all-time low among many and it’s easy to see why we’re all so stressed out.
Why Is Stress a Problem?
Many people assume that high levels of stress are not a big deal and accept it as just a part of living. However, this is not the case. In reality, it’s not healthy to deal with massive levels of stress in your life. Stress can manifest in all kinds of physical ways that will have you Googling symptoms and self-diagnosing with WebMD. Don’t do it. Here are some of the key ways that stress can impact you that you do need to be aware of.
First, stress can manifest in forms of chronic pain. Pain like this can impact virtually any area of your body. Due to this, it’s important to make sure that you are working to heal your mind as well as your body. Chronic pain can make it difficult to function effectively on a daily basis. If you are in severe pain, you might assume that it’s a physical issue. In reality, the route of your pain could be connected to a mental health problem.
Depression and Anxiety
Stress can also make other mental health issues more likely or more significant. This includes possibilities such as depression and anxiety. If you are stressed, you are always going to find it more difficult to deal with certain aspects of life including problems that you are currently facing. This can lead to people becoming depressed or growing more anxious than usual. This is one of the reasons why levels of stress are often more significant to your well-being and your mental health than most people realize.
Chronic Health Conditions
You could also find that you are more likely to develop issues with chronic health conditions if you are more stressed. Various research has found evidence that stress increases the symptoms of certain chronic health conditions. This includes conditions such as RSI, tinnitus and even diabetes. Other research has provided evidence that stress is somewhat linked to certain severe conditions including particular forms of cancer. This is not surprising when you consider that tension will impact every aspect of the body including your muscles as well as your mind.
One of the main ways people tend to deal with stress is by binge eating or engaging in another unhealthy habit. As such, it’s possible that stress is going to have a ripple effect on your diet. This is one of the reasons why you should absolutely think about monitoring what you are eating and drinking if you do feel as though you are under a lot of pressure. You don’t want to get into a situation where your diet changes dramatically without you fully realizing it.
You could also find that stress changes your appearance. As mentioned, stress can have an impact on the physical aspects of your body and this does include your appearance. For instance, you might find that you notice changes to your hair. If you are overly stressed, you could notice that your hair seems a lot thinner or frailer. You could also notice that skin conditions tend to flare up when you are more stressed. This could include eczema, acne and dry skin or redness. The good news is that if you read articles like: Is eczema contagious: everything you need to know, you’ll find that you don’t have to worry about issues like this being too serious. The symptoms will gradually disappear over a few days if they are tied to your mental health.
You may also find that high levels of stress start to impact your sleep patterns as well. If you are overly stressed, you probably will struggle to sleep through the night. This could mean that you have difficulty getting the amount of sleep that your body requires. That in turn can lead to lower levels of energy than usual which will make it more difficult to function overall. You might even develop issues with insomnia if your stress is severe.
How to Fight Back Against Stress
Now that you understand some of the issues that stress can cause in your life, it’s important to consider some of the steps that you can take to combat it the right way. Here are some of the options that you can and absolutely should consider.
Identify Your Triggers
First, you should make sure that you are taking the time to identify the triggers of your stress. There can be lots of different types of stress triggers that you might need to consider here. For instance, high levels of stress could be due to your work or career. Alternatively, you might find that it’s something related to the people in your life. If people around you are toxic, then they can cause you a lot of stress.
Find Ways To Relax
Next, you should think about finding ways to relax throughout the day. There are lots of options that you can explore to try and relax when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. You might want to try breathing exercises. This helps regulate the level of oxygen that your brain receives each day. As such, it can help you think more clearly and solve problems far more effectively over time. Of course, this isn’t the only option that you can consider when you are trying to relax a little more.
You might also want to consider exercise as a way to relax. Exercise will allow you to work off the tension that is troubling you. Again, this can help ensure that you are able to think far more clearly overall and ensure that you are not plagued by issues.
The good news here is that there are lots of different types of exercise that you can explore which could be beneficial to you. As such, you don’t need to just focus on something like lifting weights. Low-impact exercises such as yoga can be highly beneficial.
Improve Your Diet
Next, you should explore the best ways to improve your diet. While stress can change what you eat, stress can also be partially caused by a poor diet. If you are not eating the right foods on a regular basis, then you won’t be giving your mind the fuel that it needs to function effectively.
This could mean that you struggle to think clearly when you are faced with a problem or a task. That could be why you constantly feel as though you are overwhelmed. There are lots of ‘brain foods’ that could help with this. However, in general, you should make sure that you are getting your five a day and a relatively balanced diet. This will help ensure that stress doesn’t become a major issue in your life.
Make Changes to Your Life
Once you have identified the issues that are causing you stress, it’s important to be ready to make some changes. There are lots of positive changes that you can explore here. For instance, you might want to work on setting a schedule for yourself throughout the day. This will allow you to stay on top of targets and avoid a situation where you feel as though things are starting to build up or grow out of your control.
Alter Your Environment
It’s also worth considering whether or not your environment is contributing to higher levels of stress than usual in your life. This could relate to both your home and professional environment. For instance, it’s possible that your home isn’t set up for good mental health. This can be the case if your home is overly cluttered and filled with things that you don’t need. Research also suggests that keeping a high air quality can improve stress levels and ensure that you will be able to think far more clearly overall.
Finally, if you are struggling with high levels of stress and tension in your life, then you should think about seeking out support. It’s possible and indeed likely that your stress is tied to trauma or a deeper aspect of your past. If that’s the case, then it’s in your best interest to make sure that you are doing something about this. Speaking to a professional can help because they will encourage you to tackle a type of trauma like this head-on.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you can take to fight back against high levels of stress in your life to ensure that it doesn’t have a severe impact on your well-being. In doing so, you can get your life back on track and focus on things that truly matter.