Stress. Everyone deals with it. Whether it’s due to increasing responsibilities at work, a death of a loved one, or a big life transition, stress is almost inevitable during some time of your life. But it’s when stress starts to stick around daily that it begins to affect your health, physically and mentally.
But even if you think that your stress is only affecting you, it can also cause problems for the people around you and the relationships you have. Here are the three main ways that chronic stress can manifest in your life:
Do you find yourself feeling constantly anxious or moody? Maybe you’re more irritable than usual. Stress can sometimes be so overwhelming that it can be difficult to feel motivated to do something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. When you’re not at your best mentally and emotionally, that can lead to difficulties in your relationships at home and at work.
If you suffer from stress, and especially from chronic stress, you may experience some of the following physical effects:
- Stomach aches (including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and ulcers)
- Insomnia and trouble staying asleep
- Pain and tension in muscles (especially in the neck and shoulders)
- Chest pains
To try and cope with stress, some people turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. For some people, stress can lead to overeating or undereating. Some people self-medicate to deal with stress by using alcohol or drugs.
If you see yourself experiencing any of the above things, here’s the good news: you’re not alone, and there’s something you can do about it.
A Few Things You Can Do About Stress
When you’re under constant stress, there is a tendency to ignore it or turn to unhealthy ways of coping because that’s all someone might know. There are a lot of methods out there to manage stress, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Start a Fitness Routine
Regular fitness helps boosts your mood. Even if you can only find time to workout a couple of times a week, that boost in endorphins will help you deal with stress. Some people even find it cathartic to channel their stress into their workout routines. Even a quick walk around the block will give you the benefits of exercise and a breath of fresh air.
Contrary to popular belief, self-care doesn’t always mean a trip to the spa (though that definitely can help). Take some time to do something that makes you truly happy, like curling up with a cup of tea and a favorite movie, or take your dog (or your friend’s dog) to the dog park. Even just a little bit of time dedicated to decompressing can help you manage with the rest of the stressful week.
Talk to Someone
There is no shame in needing to get some of what you’re carrying with you off your chest. Consider taking some time to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your stress, or if you feel like you need more help, therapists can be very helpful with helping people manage their stressful lives. There is no shame in doing what you can to better your physical and mental well-being.
Use Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
Personalized breathing techniques are proven to decrease stress significantly. If you have a CalmiGo, take it with you everywhere you go as a reminder to stop and take a few deep breaths. For people experiencing long-term stress, it is recommended that you use CalmiGo 3 times a day for 3 minutes a day. Other types of relaxation techniques that focus on the breath such as yoga and meditation can also be helpful.Remember – it is not your fault that you are experiencing stress. It happens to just about everyone. But there are things that you can do about it – and with time and dedication, it can get better.