What to do when stress is taking over your life.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like there is just too much going on, too much you have to handle, and it never seems to stop.
Stress sucks. Unfortunately, life gets stressful. For everyone! If anyone ever tells you they do not get stressed out, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU!
Everyone at some point feels stressed. It’s natural. But why is it that some people seem to be less stressed out than the rest of us?
The answer is simple. They just manage it better.
Now don’t become stressed out because you don’t know how to manage your stress. I’m here to help!
What is Stress
I think we all have a pretty good idea of what stress is. Or at least know what it feels like.
The feeling of being mentally or emotionally strained. Becoming overwhelmed to the point where it gets hard to think or focus on what you need to.
When you become stressed, your brain releases chemicals which affect your body.
Life gets hectic. Many of us take on more than we probably should. I know my husband is always telling me that I do.
In some cases, it is just what I need to do in order for things to get done. In other cases, such as writing this blog on top of everything else I have going on, it adds to the stress levels.
There is always so much to do and so little time to get it all done. And for some reason life just seems to get busier and busier.
Why it’s Important to Manage Stress
It is so important to manage stress because, like I just mentioned, it affects your body in multiple ways.
Chronic stress can greatly increase the risk of illnesses such as cancer and heart attacks. Prolonged stress can cause tension, tension headaches, and migraines.
I’m sure many of you have experienced tension, such as the kind that builds in your neck where it feels stiff or soar and you can’t seem to relieve it.
If I am being honest, I feel that in my neck right now as I write this.
Constant stress can also affect your digestive system. It can cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, acid reflux, and diarrhea.
Are you a stress eater? Or maybe you eat less when you feel strained. Maybe your stomach just gets upset. This varies from person to person, but you should pay attention to your body and what it is telling you.
There are also many psychological side effects of stress. These can include making you irritable or easily frustrated.
It causes anger, depression, anxiety, and even panic attacks.
I’m sure you have seen some of these indicators in the people around you as well. Recognizing them in others can help you to become aware of them in yourself.
These symptoms can make it hard to live your everyday life and can put a huge strain on your relationships and your productivity.
I’m guessing you haven’t given any of that too much thought. The next time you have any of these symptoms, I want you to stop and think about what is causing it.
Then use the tips we are going to talk about to help manage that anxiety.
Stress Management Techniques
There are several different options you can utilize to help you manage your stress. One technique that can greatly improve your stress levels is to meditate.
Meditation in when you clear your mind and reflect on your life. This is done with an open mind and is not meant for you to make judgments about yourself, but rather learn about yourself and motivate you to make positive changes.
Mediation can take some getting used to. Sticking to it can have many benefits and greatly reduce your anxiety.
If you are hoping to try meditation but don’t know where to start, this beginners book might be right up your alley and you can buy it by clicking on the picture.
And for more information on meditation, check out my post Meditation: How to Up Your Health & Fitness Game.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that mediation is not for you. I get it.
It can be hard to just sit for 15 minutes and clear your mind. Heck, some of you might not even be able to get 15 minutes of quiet in your household.
There are other options besides meditation to help with your stress, such as journaling.
This can be a lot like mediation because it allows you to reflect. It is private so you can be as personal as you want and even vent about any issues you might be having.
Journaling also gives you the opportunity to write down goals or lists. By writing it down, you no longer have to try to remember it and you can get it off you mind, thus reducing stress.
Getting organized can also help to reduce you stress levels. Making list, setting goals, and decluttering are great ways to easy some of the burdens you might be having.
Writing things down means you can get it off your mind. By setting goals you have something to reach for thus not having to worry about what you should be getting done.
Decluttering allows you to get rid of the stress of what you don’t need.
To learn more about organization, see my post, What Does Organization Have to do With Health and Fitness.
Exercise has also been proven to help reduce anxiety as well. I am not saying you have to go to the gym every day for hours, but regular moderate exercise can help put you back on the right track.
When you workout, your brain releases endorphins which can help relax you and make you happier.
Exercise has many other health benefits that can be linked to stress. For example, it you are feeling tense, it can help to relieve that tension.
Many people find yoga to be very relaxing! Click on the picture and get a yoga mat to add that to your box of tricks to manage your stress.
If you want to start by learning more about yoga, read Improve Your Health & Fitness with Yoga.
The last tip is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Stress can keep you awake at night.
Thoughts constantly running through your head. It can make it next to impossible to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Anxiety can make you feel physically exhausted. That compounded with the lack of sleep can make matters worse. It will enhance the effects of your stress.
To help get the sleep you need, make sure your give yourself enough time to wind down before bed, put your phone away, and limit your caffeine intake.
If you need some extra help, get this sound machine. It has several different white noises that can help you relax and fall asleep faster.
The Take Away
Yes, we all encounter stress, sometimes on a daily basis. That does not mean that we have to be a slave to it.
Prolonged stress can cause many physical and mental health issues. These can include depression, anger, acid reflux, and nausea just to name a few.
Fortunately, there are many techniques to help you maintain your anxiety.
Meditation and journaling can help you clear your mind and reflect.
Exercising releases endorphins and reduces any tension you might be feeling.
Finally, getting enough sleep can help you to recharge and focus.