Stress is an every day natural occurrence and is your body’s way of reacting to any changes or demands around you. Stress can be a good or a bad thing dependent on the situation and how much stress your body is under. When under stress your body will release hormones and increase your heart and breathing rates. You may experience stress from your environment, from work or family, internally, and from other factors that are out of your control.
The body is designed to react to and control stress in many different ways. While stress can be a positive thing; i.e. pushing you to finish a project for a deadline or keeping you out of danger, chronic stress can cause a multitude of symptoms and negatively affect your overall health. Too much stress leads to what is known as distress which can cause negative physical effects on your body such as stomach problems, high blood pressure, headaches, problems sleeping, and tense muscles. Stress needs to be maintained so these negative effects do not get worse as time progresses.
While stress is something unavoidable there are many ways to manage it in everyday life and combat its negative effects. Every person is different and you may already have your own ways of de-stressing but here are some other ways to help you fight the every day stress you come across. Try going for a 10-15 minute walk; walking can help give you time to relax and increase endorphins which will reduce stress hormones. Another way to help fight feelings of stress is through breathing exercises. When you become stressed your breathing may become erratic, practicing breathing exercises or just simply taking deep breaths can help to calm you down, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
Something else that may help calm your nerves is music. Studies have shown that classical music especially has soothing effects. Music can help to slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress hormones. Research has also shown the beneficial effects in extremely stressful circumstances such as surgery. Stretching and yoga also have very calming effects on the body. Stretching your body helps to clear your mind and alleviate tension in places you might be feeling stressed such as your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Remember most importantly, if you are feeling the effects of stress, listen to what your body is telling you and take some time for yourself. Your health is most important and combating with and decreasing stress will lead to a healthier and better you.