What To Do When Dealing With Chronic Stress
Stress is the body’s natural way of responding to demanding situations. However, chronic stress affects your daily life in the long term. Financial struggles, high-pressure jobs, and complicated relationships are potential culprits. It’s also worth noting that chronic stress can impact your mind and body. You can do many things to put yourself back on the road to good mental and physical well-being. Here are some things you can consider.
- Stay active
Undertaking physical activity can positively impact your mood and limit stress. Walking, jogging, dancing, and swimming are simple ways to stay active. However, hiring a personal trainer is a good thing if you want to take your fitness routines to the next level.
- Prioritize sleep
Sleeping enough is essential for your well-being and stress management, so keep this in mind. When you boost your sleep quality, your brain will undo much stress. Therefore, rest well and train your brain to sleep longer for optimal mental health benefits. It also helps to avoid caffeine and intense physical activities before bed. Consider taking a warm shower, reading a book, and listening to music to unwind before you sleep.
- Practice mindfulness and breathing techniques
You may practice mindfulness and meditation to help manage stress. Use breathing and thought techniques to create awareness of your body and surroundings. Research shows trying mindfulness can positively affect stress, anxiety, and depression. The Harvard Medical School prescribes belly breathing as a powerful tool to heal your body after a stress response. Likewise, deep breathing or abdominal breathing helps regulate your heart rate, enhancing blood oxygenation and releasing tension in your body. The good news is that you can do this anywhere, anytime. Lay down and take a deep breath through your nose and chest until your stomach expands before you inhale. Experts encourage individuals to do this routine for 10 to 20 minutes daily. You may experience relaxing effects after taking a few breaths, so feel free to consider this.
- Seek professional help
Monitor your stress symptoms and seek support to manage the condition. Even with good self-care, sometimes you may require additional professional support to overcome stress. A mental health professional or behavioral health expert can be an incredible resource, especially if self-harm has ever crossed your mind. You don’t have to sail through the situation alone. Severe cases of chronic stress require treatment from professionals who can put you through the right therapy measures. They can prescribe different psychotherapy techniques to treat your chronic condition. These procedures may include cognitive-behavioral, integrative, psychoanalysis, and humanistic therapy. A medical practitioner may also prescribe medications to manage your symptoms. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to wait until the situation is severe before you reach out to healthcare professionals. The sooner you seek expert help, the sooner you can get support. People may receive treatments according to their symptoms. For example, they can recommend changing your diet or reducing stress if you have digestive issues. Whatever the case, addressing the problem in time with preventive approaches helps.
- Identify the triggers, signs, and symptoms
Identifying stress triggers can help you with recovery. So, take note of them and develop coping mechanisms, which may involve limiting exposure to stressors. These indications may vary from person to person, so learn to recognize yours to improve your management strategies. Common signs and symptoms of chronic stress may include sadness, fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, low confidence, disorganized thoughts, irritability, and nervousness. This condition impacts your entire body, creating severe psychological and physical symptoms, so keep this in mind. Chronic stress exerts pressure on your system for prolonged periods, increasing your risk of developing other illnesses.
- Avoid self-isolation
It helps to stay connected with people who care for your well-being. Avoid isolation and speak to friends and family. They can offer emotional assistance and motivation to prioritize self-care. As a tip, schedule a day to call your loved ones or organize a brunch date to enjoy their presence.
- Set limits
Limiting yourself to task obligations you can manage is important if you are dealing with work-related chronic stress. Determine what is crucial for survival and shun the nonessentials. You may contact supervisors and partners to let them understand you need to reduce your workload. Delegate responsibilities to other parties, and don’t accept further tasks when you know you are mentally and physically exhausted.
Chronic stress can affect your life, but you can overcome it. Take these steps today to benefit your mental and physical health and break the vicious cycle.