Stress is a normal occurrence of life. Some level of stress is normal. Stress often helps to make you resilient and better able to handle circumstances in life. It also can push and motivate you to succeed. However, like most things, too much stress isn’t good for you. High levels of stress can lead to emotional and physical problems. Since stress is normal but shouldn’t get out of hand, learning when you’re too stressed and finding healthy ways to deal with it is vitally important to your health.
The Consequences of Prolonged Stress
Although stress might help you meet a deadline at work or help you to deal with the ups and downs of a relationship, too much of it has adverse consequences. When stress reaches chronic levels, it can lead to physical effects like heart problems, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, skin issues, body aches, diabetes, and infertility. Chronic stress can also lead to emotional issues that include irritability, inability to focus, anger, reduced productivity, social withdraw, depression, and anxiety.
Those with chronic levels of stress often turn to vices like drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. However, what starts off as masking the stress of the day can quickly lead to addiction. Addiction is a harmful disease that not only ruins the addict but their families and professional lives as well. If you’ve turned to this method of coping with stress, attending an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program can help.
Methods for Coping with Stress
Yes, everyone has stress. It is also a fact that stress is unavoidable. However, as you can see, when stress is a constant staple in your life, it can reach high levels which can result in both physical and emotional problems. When you find yourself under an extreme or prolonged amount of stress, here are some healthy methods for coping:
- Get Rest – Your body is under a lot of stress every day and sleep helps the body and mind to replenish. When you’re not getting enough rest, it can make things more complicated to deal with.
- Exercise – Need a healthy way to improve your mood? Exercise does the trick every time. Although you may not have thought of weightlifting and Pilates as a way to put a smile on your face, vigorous physical activity actually boosts your endorphins which are “feel good transmitters” that travel to the brain.
- Take a Break – Whatever is stressing you out, try to take a break from it for a while. Whether it’s the job or at home, there are ways to remove yourself – even if it’s only temporarily. Take a day or two off from work and do something you enjoy. Get a hotel room by yourself for the weekend just to spend time away from your responsibilities at home. Just give yourself a moment to breathe as this can help you to deal with things in a new light.
- Meditate – Meditation is a practice designed to help the mind, body, and soul refocus its energy on more positive things. Through time alone, careful breaths, and cleansing thoughts you can essentially become more mindful and reduce a lot of your stress. Meditating for about fifteen minutes at the start and finish of each day can be beneficial.
- Do Things You Enjoy – Doing too much of what you believe you must do and not enough of what you want to do can make life a lot more stressful. If you want to reduce the stress in your life, try finding time in your day to do something you enjoy. Read for a few minutes every day before the kids wake up, take a ride around a park during your lunch break, go to a dance class, treat yourself to something at the mall, or whatever it is that puts a smile on your face.
Stress is an ongoing emotion that will remain ever-present in your life. Though stress can be good at times, too much of it could send your health on a decline. To avoid unhealthy coping methods like using drugs and alcohol or reckless behaviors, it is best to find healthy alternatives. Removing yourself from the stressor, getting some sleep, doing things you enjoy, exercising, and meditating are all healthy options for combatting stress. Should you find that these methods don’t work or you feel yourself relying on vices getting help is advised.