If you are like many people, you have a number of important obligations. You may be the primary caregiver at home, in addition to holding down a demanding job.
Your social life, while enjoyable, is also frequently made up of important obligations. At times, it may seem as though your plate is overfull and you are way too stressed out.
However, it is important to manage your stress levels, for your own health, and so that you are able to fulfill the demands and obligations that life places upon you.
Incredibly Detrimental Effects of Stress
Feeling stressed out is actually a normal response to situations where humans feel threatened.
The hypothalamus, located in the base of your brain, triggers a series of responses that elevates your heart rate and blood pressure and gives you a temporary boost of energy through increased glucose production.
At the same time, your immune, digestive, reproductive and growth systems are slowed or shut down.
This process makes up the “fight or flight” response that pumps adrenaline and cortisol through the body to allow you to respond appropriately to immediate danger.
However, chronic stress can impose a number of detrimental conditions onto the body.
Long periods of elevated cortisol and glucose production can result in digestive problems, weight gain, problems with memory and concentration, depression, sleep problems and heart disease.
Stress can also cause difficulties in managing ongoing health issues, such as high blood pressure or an ostomy that requires ongoing stoma care.
Stress Management Techniques to Avoid a Full Scale Meltdown
There are a number of self-help techniques that you can employ to minimize the detrimental effects of chronic stress.
For instance, try taking a few moments every day to enjoy a calming cup of unaffiliated tea or simply to sit outside to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
Starting and maintaining a yoga practice can also reduce stress levels and enable you to handle stressors that may arise during your day.
Maintaining a healthy diet and a regular schedule that allows for sufficient sleep and rest is also an important strategy in controlling stress.
While some sources of stress are truly upsetting – for instance, an automobile accident or a serious injury involving a family member – other circumstances are not.
Getting stuck in traffic or discovering that the store is out of your favorite brand of coffee is annoying, but not worthy of being stressed out to a full-scale meltdown.
Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family can also help you see the humorous side of things that get you down.
Ways to Keep Your Sanity if Feeling Stressed Out
When self-help measures fail to produce measurable relief from stress, you should consider seeking professional help.
Join a support group of people who share similar circumstances, so that you can discuss your circumstances freely in an atmosphere where others understand what you are dealing with. Individual counseling and therapy can also be helpful.
If you are a primary caregiver for an elderly relative, you should arrange for relief care, so that you can take much needed breaks from time to time. Remember, there is no shame in admitting that you need help to deal with circumstances in your life.
What kind of techniques do you use when feeling stressed out? Please share your tips with us!
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