Stress refers to the body’s reaction to life-threatening situations, often accompanied by physical and emotional tension. Experiencing stress occasionally is normal, but prolonged stress can have a detrimental effect on your health and life.
What Causes Stress?
Moving to a new home. At times, no matter how beautiful the home is, if it no longer fits your lifestyle or growing family, you have no other choice but to relocate. This means dealing with several major factors, including budget, location, neighborhood, accessibility, and amenities. You can ask the assistance of your local government and apply for housing programs to make moving easier, though. They include HUD Housing Public Programs, USDA loans, or Rural Rental Assistance Program.
Loss of job. Whether you get laid off or fired, losing your job poses a significant impact on your emotional health. It’s often associated with loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. It’s no wonder why it ranks one of the highest on the list of stressors.
Chronic illness. Getting diagnosed with a chronic disease such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and tumor leaves you worrying about your health and life, leading to stress and anxiety. At other times, it’s vice-versa. Studies show that 90% of medical conditions are related to stress.
Divorce. This ranks the second highest cause of stress among individuals. Family impairment, loss of social sense, and financial anxiety associated with divorce lead to insecurity and loneliness.
Death of loved ones. The unexpected loss of a family member can be stressful. If not dealt with properly, it may escalate to chronic grief and depression.
Taking care of a sick family member. Caregiving can make you physically and emotionally exhausted. It is difficult because it’s a long-term responsibility, which can take a toll on the quality of your life.
What Are the Signs of Stress?
Memory problems. High secretion of stress hormones can reduce cognitive functions, resulting in poor memory.
Poor concentration. With all the negative thoughts in your head, it becomes difficult to concentrate.
Body pain. Agitation and restlessness cause muscle stiffness. Constant pain in a certain part of your body can be a sign of stress.
Irritability. Lack of sleep and hormonal changes can alter the person’s mood and brain reaction, causing them to be more sensitive.
Poor judgment. Research shows that stress can impair the region of the brain in control of judgment and reasoning, leading to poor decision-making.
Excessive worry. People suffering from stress tend to perceive the world as threatening and see the worst in every situation.
How to Relieve Stress?
Exercise. This increases the level of happy chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, reducing stress. In addition, it also improves confidence and sleep, enhancing your overall health and well-being. Jogging or running for at least twenty minutes every day is recommended.
Essential oils. These contain calming properties. In fact, essential oils have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for alleviating worry and anxiety. The best choices include chamomile, lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and jasmine. Just apply it on your temple or desired body part, and gently massage. Another way to use essential oils is by using a diffuser. Pour water in it, then place a few drops of essential oil, and let the diffuser spread the aroma across your room. It relieves stress and also leaves your home smelling lovely!
Reduce caffeine intake. A high dosage of caffeine increases anxiety as it triggers the release of adrenaline. Some signs of too much caffeine include feeling jittery, palpitation, and agitation. Try alternatives such as golden milk, probiotic drinks, and yerba mate. They offer the same results without side effects.
Write down your feelings. Your notebook can serve as your outlet when you have no one to share your feelings with. Every time you feel overwhelmed, instead of bottling up your emotion, turn to pen and paper and write down your thoughts.
Spend time with family. During stressful times is when you need the support of your family and friends more. Do not hesitate to reach out when life gets a bit unbearable, that can help you cope faster and realize that you are not alone.
Meditation. This is a great way to silence all the chatters in your head that can also weigh you down. By learning how to control and not identify with those voices, you can handle the situation better.
If nothing works, It is best to seek the assistance of a professional before stress escalates. They can offer better solutions to help you overcome and manage stress more efficiently.