Stress can have quite a wide ranging variety of effects, so it’s worthwhile to have a think about the kinds of things you might be able to do about it. We’ve got 3 practical suggestions for you to try – let us know what you think!
Stress can have long or short term effects, and it can make an already-existing health problem even worse. Long-term stress can affect nearly every single system in your body, like your immune system for example. It can also speed up the aging process, increase the risks of heart disease and strokes, cause digestive problems, mental illness, weight problems, skin conditions, sleep problems. It can even actually make changes to your brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression in future.
So what can I do about it?
You can do three big things. The first is to learn how to manage stress. The second is learn how to relax, and the third is to learn short-term quick stress relief.
Manage – You might not be able to control the stress itself, but you can control the way you respond. You can take charge of you thoughts, emotions, schedule, environment and the way you deal with problems. Change the situation when you can, change your reaction when you can’t, take good care of yourself, and always make time for rest and relaxation. Also make sure you maintain a good support network, as well as hobbies and activities that relax you.
Relax – The body has a handy ‘anti-stress’ response called the relaxation response, and it’s activated when you practice techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing. Regular exercise might seem like an added stress to fit into an already full calendar, but in the long run it will help neutralise all those unhealthy chemicals floating around your system. Knowing how to relax also boosts your positivity in everyday life, and makes you a more resilient person.
Stress relief – Stressful situations might still come up. If you have a tool that you can use whenever something stressful happens, you can beat it ‘in the moment’. Sensory stress-busting techniques are fantastic for this. Things like breathing, stretches, self massage, pressure points, or even eating or smelling something particular delicious or fragrant. If you can employ one of these techniques, you may be able to squash the stress before it even really begins to hit, and that’s by far the best plan of all!
So there you have it, the low-down on stress. If you want little tips and suggestions on how to minimise stress, visit our ‘Manage your stress’ intents in Be Intent. And if you want information on how to be happier overall (an excellent combatant of stress!) then read our blog on five ways to happiness here: http://blog.beintent.com/Happiness.