Are you more stressed out than you think?
Stress was actually fundamental in allowing us to evolve and survive; from the very first men on earth to the present day. The rush of adrenaline that accompanies stress led us to take the necessary action at the right time (e.g. in the presence of hungry sabre tooth tiger).
Unfortunately, in today’s modern world, we find ourselves in a multitude of stressful situations - and the amount of stress is beyond what our bodies and minds were designed to bear.
Types of stress: eustress vs distress
Beneficial stress (the one that releases what you need to evaluate and take action) is called eustress. Distress, on the other hand, is the type of stress that really doesn’t lead anywhere apart from anger or exasperation, both of which generate unhealthy reactions.
Stress can also be ongoing (chronic stress), or it can be occasional, happening only in peak situation (acute stress). Difficulties at work, financial problems, or long term relationships that don’t work out as planned are all stressors that are regularly present.
This means you won’t get rid of the permanent stress routine unless you change things. The good news is that, even though this is hard, the change and reduction of this stress depends on your actions, therefore you can change it. You can get a new job, you can get aid in projects, and you can seek counseling to your relationships: unlike the other types of stress, which pile on you unexpectedly.
Events such as speaking in public or dodging a car accident are stressors that lead to immediate action and then they are over. You reach your stressors peak, respond to it and then its over. The repetition of these peaks, however, can also be menacing to your health.
Stress that is left unattended can result in requiring medical attention. Headaches, chest pains, sleep loss, increased blood pressure and an gastrointestinal problems are some of the manifestations of stress, that in some cases can lead to ulcers, heart disease or strokes.
Accumulated stress reduces your ability to think and causes your muscles to be in constant tension and contraction. Here are some immediate solutions - and some long term ones - to address this problem.
* Practice meditation
Relaxing reduces hypertension and anxiety, promoting the way your metabolism and immune system work. By meditating and learning how to relax you’ll improve your mood and concentration, reducing your fatigue and strengthening the mind to cope with the next stressful episode much more effectively.
When you really get into the practice of meditation you’ll find you can actually be less impacted by stressors, with a stronger ability to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand.
* Get regular exercise
Physical activity releases tension and promotes the release of endorphins - your natural feel good chemicals. Through regular exercise, your body becomes less able to waste energy on being stressed, in turn easing your anxiety.
* Antigravity & massages
This is a great exercise to decompress and reduce muscle tension at the same time; strengthening and giving further resistance to your core. For best results in muscle and back contraction, use a warm wrap around your shoulders to promote relaxation and reduce the tension knots. All those little massage gadgets, be it tennis balls or a scalp massager, can be useful resources if they help you feel lighter and calmer.
* Choose happiness
Laughing isn’t just fun, it lowers the body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Having a good giggle relieves pain and helps you immune system function better, relaxing the muscles and leaving you with a sense of personal satisfaction. So how can we achieve happiness? Start by looking at the pleasing and fortunate things in your life - and valuing them. Doing this stimulates a sense of gratefulness; not only making you feel great about your life, but increasing your chances to fight that pesky stress efficiently.