We've all felt the weight of stress. It can come from trying to live up to the expectations of your family and employers, strains in a relationship, and even the transition to retirement.
Emotional stress is a very common cause of health problems. Problems arising as a result of emotional stress can impact everything from your work performance to your ability to function properly on a day-to-day level. Below are some of the most common causes of stress:
- Divorce or separation
- The sickness or death of a loved one
- Growing accustomed to a new relationship
- Commitments and to-do lists
- Job pressure or loss
- Complications in relationships with friends or family
Even though it's not a 'health condition' per se, stress can easily cause you many health woes. Constant, unrelieved stress can lead to a weakening of your immune system, which can cause you to get sick faster, for longer periods of time. If you have a chronic illness, it can also cause your symptoms to worsen.
Stress has also been linked to several severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, low sex drive and erection problems, and painful menstrual periods. Below are some of the most common signs that you're suffering from stress:
- An abnormal heart rate
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea
- Sweaty palms
- Constant heavy breathing
- Persistent headaches
- Depression or irritable moods
- Lack of sleep or an excess of sleep
- Panic and anxiety attacks
Easy, Natural Ways to Relieve Stress
If you're suffering from stress, there are several measures you can take to help alleviate it. Below are some helpful tips.
Relax: One of the easiest ways to relieve stress is to simply allow yourself time to cool down and unwind. Make sure to take time out daily to sit back and enjoy yourself. Go for a walk or read a book. Get a message or take a long hot bath. Finding a creative outlet such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument is another great way technique to help you feel calm.
Exercise: Exercise is a great way to boost endorphins and lower cortisol levels. It will help you feel more alive, energetic, and give you new strength with which to face the world. Consider joining a gym or starting an aerobics program. Even going for a daily walk can do wonders.
Eat Well: A Proper diet will help you feel better. Studies have shown that a junk food diet (especially fast food) can worsen your mood and cause lethargy. It's important to eat three square, healthy meals a day. Even better, eat four to six smaller healthy meals throughout the day. This will help you feel energized and less worn down by the end of the night.
Take Breaks: Don't forget to reward yourself for working so hard. Make sure to take time out to do the things you love to do. Also, consider taking a vacation. There's nothing like a few days away from all your responsibilities and pressure to help alleviate your stress.
Maintain/Scale Back Your Social Life: Depending on your personality type, you may want to consider either scaling back your social life, or spending a little more time with your friends. For extraverted individuals, spending time with others is a great way to boost your energy. But for introverts, social situations are exhausting and too much of it will wear you down. Just don't forget to keep a decent network of friends around at all times. Studies have shown that having stable relationships helps you feel accepted, and this alone can alleviate stress.
Get Organized: Sometimes all that's needed is a little bit more organization. Make sure your environment is clean, and all of your belongings are in easy to find places. Keep a calendar and make sure all your appointments are noted. This will create less chaos when you're in a hurry to get something done. While stress in life is unavoidable, it's also not hard to reduce the effects. These tips should have you on your way to a less stressful life in no time flat!