Stress can no longer be ignored from our daily lives, we all sometimes suffer from it.
A little stress on its time can do no harm at all, but when you are stressed often or for a long time, it has unpleasant consequences.
Stress can cause and exacerbate all kinds of physical complaints.
Do you want to reduce stress and combat these symptoms? Discover 14 healthy tips by skin club in this article.
What does stress do with your body?
Most people think that stress is the same as pressure from work or education.
However, did you know that stress is actually a survival reaction? Stress causes the production of the hormone adrenaline.
This makes your heart beat faster, your muscles tighten, your blood pressure rises and you breathe faster.
Adrenaline also slows your digestion.
You also produce the hormone cortisol, which slows down your immune system and increases your pain threshold. In short, your body is getting ready to flee.
But is it useful to us today?
You can’t solve most stressful situations by running away.
It is therefore important to listen carefully to your body and to intervene on time if you notice that your stress causes physical complaints.
Physical complaints with long-term stress
Research has shown that almost all Dutch people sometimes experience physical symptoms without being able to pinpoint a clear cause.
A cause that they often overlook is stress.
This is a common cause of:
- Sleep problems
- Neck, shoulder and back complaints
- Digestive problems such as abdominal pain or intestinal complaints
- muscle strain
- Increased blood pressure or heart rate
- Reduced immunity (which makes you sick more quickly)
You previously read that your body produces the hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the event of stress.
It doesn’t hurt much if you make these hormones occasionally or only for a short time, but if your body is exposed to stress hormones for a long time or often, you can almost expect things to go wrong.
For example, that you keep having high blood pressure, or that you get shoulder complaints due to the increased muscle tension.
You also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease if you are often stressed.
The influence of cortisol on your immune system can also cause problems.
The longer you experience stress, the greater the chance that your resistance will deteriorate as a result.
You notice this because, for example, you have a cold or flu more often and it takes longer for this to pass.
Do you recognize yourself in one or more of these complaints? Then read on for tips to reduce stress and thus to combat your symptoms.
Psychological complaints due to stress
Not only your body suffers from stress. You can also experience various complaints mentally. Often these are the complaints that are also noticed by your environment.
For example, consider:
- Concentration problems
- Get irritated or frustrated faster
- Be more emotional, think of crying more often or be angry
- Sadness or listlessness
- Worry a lot
- Anxiety or panic
If the stress persists too long, you have an increased chance of becoming depressed or getting burned out.
A large part of the symptoms of depression also occur during a burnout.
That is why it is sometimes difficult for doctors to determine which problem you are having.
Nevertheless, it is important to make a good diagnosis, because the treatment varies per complaint.
Another difference is the influence that you have. Depression can also occur by itself or by other factors.
A burnout is always a result of long-term stress and over-tension.
You can read more about how you can relax and thus reduce the chance of a burn-out, later in this article.
The relationship between stress and being overweight
You now know that stress sometimes causes physical and mental complaints.
But did you know that stress also has a major impact on your lifestyle and the development of overweight? As a result of the stress you are more likely to eat unhealthily.
If you have a lot on your mind and need to do a lot, you often have less time or energy to cook healthy and varied, and a takeaway is quicker and easier.
This is usually a lot healthier than a home-cooked meal.
The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol contribute to the risk of being overweight.
Adrenaline slows your digestion, because the energy that normally goes there is now used to prepare your body for flight.
This is a survival reaction that is actually superfluous these days.
In addition, cortisol promotes the growth of fat cells, but breaks down muscle cells for more energy.
Long-term stress can therefore cause you to have a thicker abdomen, while your arms and legs become thinner.
Behavioral changes due to stress
Finally, stress sometimes causes you to behave differently. For example, you are going to do things that you would not normally do.
To feel more relaxed, for example, you drink a glass of alcohol more often or you smoke more. For some people, stress is even a reason to use drugs (more often).
This may make you feel better in the short term, but in the long term smoking, drinking and drugs aggravate your symptoms and you run a greater risk of developing an addiction.
Therefore, be careful and do not use alcohol or drugs as a means to better deal with your stress.
How do you reduce stress and physical complaints?
Now that you know which physical symptoms can cause stress, you want to know what you can do to combat them.
Below you will find all sorts of tips to help you with this.
The basis is a healthy lifestyle.
If you eat healthily, exercise regularly and sleep well, you will help your body stay healthy and thus be more resistant to stress.
In addition, relaxation and good social contacts help you to reduce stress.
Also make sure that you get any financial problems under control. Your relationships and your family life have to suffer under your money worries .
# 1 Ensure a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is very important if you want to function well during the day.
Do you notice that you are often tired or that you do not sleep well? Try to take more rest and get used to a fixed sleeping ritual.
After a while it becomes easier to fall asleep, you feel more energetic during the day and you can deal with your stress better.
# 2 Do not eat or drink anything before you go to sleep
You must already prepare a good night’s sleep in the evening.
Do not drink coffee, energy drinks or soft drinks with caffeine in the hours before you go to bed and do not smoke in the evening.
In addition, try not to eat solid food two to three hours before you go to bed. This way you prevent your digestive system from making your body restless.
It is also wise not to drink alcohol.
A drink might help you fall asleep, but the alcohol disrupts your sleep rhythm, making you sleep less deep and therefore waking up tired.
# 3 Think of physical and mental relaxation
The light from smartphones, tablets, laptops or other devices disrupts the production of melatonin.
This fabric ensures that you get tired and fall asleep more easily. Therefore, switch off your devices at least an hour before you want to go to sleep.
In the time before you go to sleep you can, for example, read a good book, listen to relaxing music or take a bath.
Physical and mental relaxation not only help you to sleep better, but also to reduce your stress.
Particularly if you lead a busy family life, family stress can lead to relationship problems or a burnout.
Learning to deal with stress is therefore a healthy investment in yourself.
# 4 Ensure a good night’s sleep
Finally, your bedroom plays an important role in the quality of your sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool.
Often you sleep better if you teach yourself to use your bedroom only for sleep.
Do not use smartphones or tablets in your bedroom.
It is best to keep this outside of your bedroom, so you will not be tempted to check your e-mail or social media anyway.
Finally, a comfortable bed helps with a better night’s sleep.
# 5 Watch what you eat every day
In difficult times when a lot is being asked of you, you are more likely to eat unhealthily.
However, due to the influences of stress hormones you will arrive faster. Therefore, even if you have a lot of stress, make sure you eat healthily.
Especially drink water and tea without sugar . Soda and fruit juice contain too much sugar.
It is best not to drink coffee in moderation, because the caffeine exacerbates your stress and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
Consider your daily portions of fruit and vegetables. The vitamins in this support your immune system.
Your immune system can use this boost during stressful periods.
Opt for whole grain products. These contain more fiber and good nutrients than refined grain products.
This gives you a full feeling for longer and makes you less inclined to snack.
Make sure you have healthy snacks with you. Do you know of yourself that while working you are snapping thoughtlessly or that you get hungry between meals?
Prevent this by, for example, bringing nuts, fruit or sweet tomatoes.
This is better for you and prevents you from falling into an energy dip after a while.
Prepare your own food. You may feel that you have no time or desire to cook, but it is better to still do it.
A home-cooked meal is often healthier than a warm-up or takeaway meal.
You can also see the cooking of your food as a moment of relaxation. Also try not to be busy with other things during dinner, such as your telephone or television.
Ensure regularity . If you use yourself to eat at set times, you often notice that you have less appetite in between.
You can also schedule your snacks.
# 6 Move enough
Sport, exercise and lots of fresh air. Doctors and specialists cannot say it often enough.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day is recommended from all sides. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym right away.
A short cycling or walking tour often works wonders.
Or take a look at a sports club in your area. Choose a sport that you like.
This way you make it easier for yourself to keep up the sport.
# 7 Relaxation exercises against stress
Relaxation exercises are a form of exercise that is often advised against stress .
With relaxation exercises you focus on your body and for a moment you are not concerned with all the worries in your head.
Lessons also help you to relax at a fixed time.
On the internet you will find all kinds of videos showing the exercises. You only need a yoga mat.
Another aspect of relaxation exercises that helps with stress is the emphasis on correct breathing.
During the exercises you learn to breathe deeply and calmly, which also makes you calmer yourself.
You can also use these techniques in daily life if it all gets too much for you.
# 8 Outdoor sports
Exercising does not have to be expensive.
A simple and easily accessible way to get to your daily exercise is for example taking a walk or bike ride.
Walking around after dinner or during your lunch break already helps you to relax.
Do you live close to work? Go by bike.
The movement and fresh air give you more energy, so your working day often feels less stressful.
# 9 Talk about it with family and friends
It sounds cliché, but a lack of communication plays a major role in all kinds of psychological complaints.
Stress is no exception.
If you take care of yourself and do not ask for help, there is a good chance that your stress symptoms will worsen.
Eventually you can even get a burn-out because of this. Therefore, talk to someone in your area about what concerns you.
For example your partner, a colleague, friend / girlfriend or a family member. He or she can think along with you and maybe help you.
# 10 Therapy to reduce stress
It is no shame to get help if you suffer a lot from stress.
A coach or psychologist not only offers a listening ear, but also helps you to put things into perspective and to look at your problems in a different way.
You do not always need a referral from your doctor.
You can always approach a coach yourself. Conversations take place confidentially and a good coach never condemns you.
An appointment with a psychologist is reimbursed from your basic insurance if you have a referral letter from your doctor.
Do you not want to go to your doctor? Even without referral you can go to some psychologists, but then you have to pay for the consultations yourself.
# 11 Stand up for yourself
A common problem with people who suffer a lot from stress is that they don’t dare say no.
Not only in the workplace, but also in private life. This way you quickly go beyond your own limits and you only build up more stress.
Therefore, learn to stand up for yourself and say ‘no’ more often when people ask you to do something that you can’t actually have at that moment.
This is difficult in the beginning, but in the long term you help yourself enormously with this.
Saying no is not the only thing you can do to be stronger in your shoes.
For example, do you have the impression that you are being given too many tasks or that people expect too much from you?
Indicate this and try to find a solution together.
# 12 Provide more relaxation
Stress leads to over voltage and over voltage leads to a burnout.
It is often difficult to make time for relaxation during stressful periods, but if you do not, the long-term adverse consequences are greater.
Try to take a moment for yourself every day, even if it is only half an hour.
# 13 Listen to relaxing music
Various studies have shown that classical music helps you to relax, but also to concentrate better. You can try listening to quiet music while working.
Does this distract you too much? Maybe music during sports or other activities is more for you.
# 14 Make time for fun things
Wherever you experience your stress, whether it concerns your work, education or relationship, leisure and relaxation often make it more bearable.
Try to choose at least half a day for yourself every week.
Even if you think you have absolutely no time for it.
For example, go out to dinner with friends or go to the cinema. Or get a massage.
When your body relaxes, your mind relaxes too.
In short, to relieve tension and stress you need relaxation; grant yourself this.
Reduce or prevent stress? Remember yourself!
You read above about the various psychological and physical symptoms that stress can cause, and what you can do about it yourself. Do you recognize yourself in the complaints? Don’t wait any longer and help yourself to deal with it better.
Say no more often and stand up for yourself to prevent more stress.
You also reduce your stress complaints by taking good care of yourself, by eating healthily, sleeping, exercising and maintaining social contacts.
If you can’t figure it out yourself, a coach or psychologist may be able to help you further.
With the right dedication you will naturally feel comfortable again.