Let’s delve into just how stress impacts the body and mind, and how reducing your stress levels can do everything from improving the mood to strengthening immune function, and longevity.
Why managing stress is Important
The brain undergoes both chemical and physical changes when you become stressed which affects its working capacity. During periods of high stress, other chemicals within the brain, including neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, begin to increase, allowing the adrenal glands to release greater quantities of these and other “fight-or-flight” hormones, such as adrenaline.
When these chemicals are released they lead to many physiological effects, including accelerated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and a compromised immune system. Prolonged stress can contribute to the development of many health conditions, like stomach ulcers, stroke, asthma, and heart disease, if left unmanaged over time.
Among the popular physical reactions to stress is muscle tension, which can eventually cause tension headaches, migraines, and other disorders in the musculoskeletal.
Stress can also go hard on your digestive system, because it influences which nutrients your intestines retain, determines how fast food passes through your body, and can cause you to consume more or less than you usually do. Disrupting the normal digestive processes in your body can lead to discomfort, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea.
Besides the different physical effects of stress, It may also lead to a variety of mental and emotional problems, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. Such emotional stress can make concentrating, thinking things through, making choices, or remembering things difficult.
Stress can also cause irritability, make you agitated and impatient with others, and even lead to depression, hostility, feelings of anxiety, and disputes over relationships. Although the many physical consequences of stress can be daunting, these psychological effects mustn’t be overlooked because they often play a major role in general health and vitality.
Techniques for managing stress
What would you do to change your stress level to a more balanced pattern and low-stress levels? Meditation is one of the most powerful and motivating techniques which helps you to calm your mind and explore your inner self with a perspective of honesty and empathy rather than judgment and criticism.
Managing stress begins by recognizing the causes of stress in your life. That is not as easy as it sounds. Although recognizing major stressors including changing jobs, or going through a divorce is easy, it can be more difficult to recognize the causes of chronic stress. You may be aware of your constant work deadline worries like work demands but you rarely consider how your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors like procrastination are contributing to your stress levels. Your stress level will remain outside your control until you take responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it.
Practice the 4 A’s of managing stress
The 4A’s – Avoid, Alter, Adapt, Accept
While stress is an involuntary reaction from your nervous system, certain stressors come up at regular times: for example, your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family reunions. You can either modify the situation or change your reaction when handling such predictable stressors. It’s helpful to think about the four A’s when deciding which choice to select in any given scenario.
Engaging in a daily workout program such as yoga, walking, or swimming is another technique that has been proven to alleviate stress as exercising releases beneficial stress-busting endorphins and may improve self-confidence and decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with it.
Understanding when to let something go and thinking about your life positively tend to protect you from getting frustrated over small issues and feeling that you are not good enough. Supervising the thought process is just part of the fight, but if you collaborate with a healthy diet and lifestyle adjustments to reduce tension, you will effectively prevent anxiety issues.