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Everyone experiences stress at some point or another. When it comes down to it, stress is an evolutionary reaction that we have developed over centuries to help us survive. In the past, stress would have triggered a fight or flight response to dangerous situations, allowing us to combat or run away from threats. Nowadays, however, we don’t tend to have quite so many life or death experiences in our day to day lives. Instead, we may experience stress as a response to less threatening situations that are merely causing us discomfort. Common sources of stress include work, money, relationships and other problems that can actually be tackled without the need for severe levels of worry or concern. The issue? Stress can actually prove pretty bad for your overall health and wellbeing. In order to minimise the impact of stress on your health, you need to know how to identify it and how to deal with it in a healthy manner. Here’s some information and advice that can help you to achieve this!
How Stress Can Impact Your Health
Stress can impact your health in a number of ways, most notably, through physical, mental, emotional and behavioural consequences. In terms of physical consequences of stress, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, sleep problems and more. In regards to mental and emotional repercussions, you may experience anxiety, irritability, restlessness, periods of sadness, procrastination or a lack of motivation. This can all result in behavioural issues, such as emotional outbursts, social withdrawal, undereating or overeating and more. Of course, you don’t want to experience any of this, which is why dealing with your stress head on is extremely important.
How to Deal with Stress
Now, there are a number of different ways to deal with stress and, sometimes, different methods will suit different people better. For the time being, though, here are a few ways to overcome stress that will work for the vast majority of people.
1. Identify the Cause of Your Stress
To effectively deal with stress, you first need to understand what is causing your stress. By doing this, you can then take steps to resolve the issues and lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. There are countless potential causes of stress out there - and some may not be as obvious or clear as you might think - so take some time to really get to the bottom of your concerns. If you’re feeling under pressure or overloaded at work, let your manager know. If your partner has upset you, talk to them about it. If you are struggling with debt, make a plan to organise your finances and clear it at a realistic pace. Whatever your problem, you can rest assured that there is a solution.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Adopting a nutritious and balanced diet can really help you to manage your stress. By ensuring that your body is getting everything that it needs in the right proportions, you can ensure that it is well set up to tackle any issue that it may face. Rather than falling prey to eating unhealthy comfort foods while you are stressed, or not eating enough at all, you should keep in mind that there are a number of different nutrients that can really help your body through periods of stress. Some to consider adding to your diet include:
If you struggle to get enough of these nutrients and want to supplement your diet, there are a number of different supplements that can help - ranging from specially formulated Stress Relief supplements to multivitamins for men and multivitamins for women.
3. Get Sufficient Sleep
Sleep is also a really important factor when it comes to reducing stress. A good night’s sleep - like a healthy, balanced diet - can make sure your body is ready for whatever the day throws at it. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand hand, can increase stress levels and you may feel impatient, agitated and irritable. Do your utmost to get between seven and eight hours’ worth of sleep each and every night. If you are struggling with this, there are countless things you can do to make nodding off a little easier. Cut out caffeine, put devices away before winding down for bed, make sure you have a supportive bed and comfortable mattress and try meditation or mindfulness activities once you’re in bed.
4. Seek Professional Help
If you are suffering from stress and it is beginning to impact your health, wellbeing, behaviour, relationships or other important aspects of your life, it’s absolutely essential that you reach out for professional help. Severe or constant stress can be a symptom of an underlying physical or mental health condition that may need to be treated. Your doctor will be able to determine this and provide therapy, medication or a combination of the two to help you on the path to recovery. Remember that you are not alone. There are also support groups, helplines and other sources of support out there for you too!
Sure, you may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life, but it shouldn’t be something that you find yourself dealing with every day. Always bear in mind that stress really can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing and do your utmost to acknowledge and deal with it! Small steps can make a big difference, so they’re always worth trying out.