8 Stress Relief Activities That Always Work

We all experience stressful situations in our lives, but have you ever wondered how it affects our bodies? A sudden increase in stress hormone levels during situations like public speaking or giving an interview is expected. It becomes a health concern if one starts stressing excessively during daily life due to some factors.

Researchers estimate that more than 7 in 10 Americans say that it is the lowest point in the nation’s history that they can remember. Stress has become more common nowadays than ever before. It is the need of the hour to spread more awareness about such mental health concerns. Stress can arise in an individual’s life due to chronic illness, traumatic events, or mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.

What is Stress?

Stress is our body’s natural reaction to a situation that causes physical, emotional, or mental distress. In other words, stress is an overwhelming feeling that makes a person unable to cope with mental and emotional pressure. Suppose one does not learn to manage stress. In that case, it surely can lead to mental health complications like anxiety and depression and deteriorate the physical health of an individual.

Though the stress triggered as a reaction to avoid danger is considered a positive response, it helps the body adjust to new or unfamiliar circumstances. But when a person starts experiencing chronic stress for a prolonged period, it can trigger significant health complications.

What Are the Signs of Stress?

To get relief from stress, it is essential to know the signs of stress and learn how to cope with it. In addition, the symptoms of stress can vary among people; some may be able to handle stress in life more efficiently than others. Therefore, it is essential to consult a medical professional before stress worsens and leads to various mental and physical health complications.

Some of the signs of stress that one should look out for are as follows:-

  • Increased heart rate or chest pain
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Increased agitation and frustration
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Forgetfulness and sudden change in appetite
  • Weakened immune system
  • Difficulty in forming concentration
  • Trouble in having sex
  • Increased nervousness and sweating
  • Increased anxiousness and tension
  • Increased irritability and angry outbursts
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Frequent mood changes

Experiencing such symptoms of stress can lead to severe mental discomfort and make one more likely to develop a mental health disorder. Though there are many effective techniques for stress relief like mediation and therapy, it is essential to get a consultation to know the specific causes that trigger it. Medical complications like heart diseases, asthma, obesity, and depression have been linked with increased risk of stress.

What Stress Does to Your Body?

When we experience stress, our body produces a particular stress hormone(cortisol) which makes the brain more alert, increases the pulse, and makes the muscles tenser. In other words, it is the body’s way to protect its affected ready to handle stressful situations. But when one develops stress in life for a prolonged period, it could somehow lead to wear and tear of the body.

Chronic stress can hamper the immune system, upset the digestive and reproductive systems, and make one more likely to experience a heart attack and stroke.

Apart from the physical health complications, one becomes more vulnerable to developing mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Experiencing stress in life is a common health concern, but one should avoid letting it grow into a significant complication. To get stress relief, one should live a healthy lifestyle that consists of healthy eating habits and maintaining physical fitness.

If the stress hormone levels are not brought back within the normal range, the risk of developing severe health conditions like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes increases manifold.

Also Read: How can an Individual Cope with Depression and Anxiety?

How to Cope With Stress?

In the times that we live in today, experiencing stress and anxiety has become more common than ever before. Whether it relates to school, work, or personal relationships, everyone experiences stress in their daily lives. To help manage stress, it is vital to learn about various coping strategies that can prove to be highly effective. Some of how an individual can cope with stress are as follows.

Exercising daily:

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to help lower stress hormones and get immediate stress relief. Exercising helps produce feel-good hormones in the brain called endorphins, which help alleviate pain and promote pleasure. In addition, exercising helps promote overall health and a sense of well-being. The risk of developing mental health problems like anxiety and depression reduces if one leads an active lifestyle.

Relaxation techniques:

To help lower the stress hormone, medical experts often recommend engaging in relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, guided imagery, and yoga. Such techniques help lower muscle tension, reduce muscle tension, slow down breathing, and calm the mind to get stress relief.

Sleep requirement:

Increased stress levels in the body also affect sleep quality and duration, making one more prone to developmental and physical health problems. It is crucial to get at least seven-hour of sleep every day to maintain a healthy state of body and mind.

Ask for help:

Being more open with one’s thoughts and feelings can help lower some amount of stress. It is essential to let people know that support is always available in treating such health concerns. One can reach out to a therapist, counselor, or close friend to get some stress relief.

Emotional support:

It is vital to get emotional help from immediate family members and friends to treat any mental health complications. Having that social support improves the ability to cope with stressful situations and promotes lifelong good mental health.

Take a healthy diet:

An individual’s diet affects an individual’s physical health and mental health. Sometimes mental health complications can be triggered due to nutritional deficiencies as well. To boost mental health, it is advised to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

Avoid unhealthy habits:

Developing certain unhealthy habits to cope with stress can do more harm. Therefore, one should avoid engaging in unhealthy habits like drinking excessive caffeine, alcohol, smoking, or remaining highly inactive.

Seek medical help:

If the mental health condition of stress is worse, one may need immediate medical assistance. Doctors may recommend one to take therapy, counselling, or join a support group to manage chronic stress. Mental health professionals can help identify sources of your stress and teach new coping techniques.

Outlook

Stress is an unavoidable part of life; everyone experiences stressful situations. What matters is how effective one becomes in managing it. Though many techniques help get stress relief, knowing the exact reason behind stress is essential. One should not hesitate to seek the necessary medical treatment for stress if it starts affecting your daily life activities.

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Julain Carter is mental health expert for Goodrxmedicine.com. He is an experienced clinical mental health counsellor with recognition in cognitive behavioural therapy. Julian’s sharp behavioural observations reflect in both his personal and professional life.