We often confuse stress with mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression that require psychological treatment and medication. Stress is a natural part of our everyday lives, and we confront this element in more ways than one.
Some feel stressed while chasing important deadlines and dealing with disgruntled clients. Others combat stress while running multiple errands or struggling to reach their destinations on time. We all encounter and deal with stress in our unique ways, but the crucial aspect is recognizing the impact of stress on our mental and physical well-being.
Stress promotes the production of cortisol – a dangerous hormone that compromises our immune health, exposing us to a myriad of physical and psychological illnesses. Read on to explore some simple tricks to manage stress and dispel its negative effects.
1. Identify & Eliminate the Triggers
Identifying the triggers is the first step toward managing stress because once you identify the culprits, you can avoid them effectively. The triggers are unique to every individual. Some feel stressed after meeting negative people who make them feel incompetent or unwanted. Others suffer from acute stress in certain social settings or while addressing large groups of people.
It is wise to keep a journal to record the triggers and reflect on your responses to them. Journaling will help you understand your stressful behaviors over long periods and develop mindful responses to combat stress.
2. Create a Relaxation Ritual
Everyone has a relaxation ritual they look forward to enjoying as soon as they get home and change into comfortable sweatpants. Some people prefer pouring themselves a tall glass of wine and soaking in a hot tub filled with Epsom salts, with scented candles and soothing music in the background. Others prefer tuning into highly anticipated Netflix releases while devouring their favorite comfort foods.
Relaxation rituals are unique for everyone, and imitation doesn’t usually work here. Interestingly, an activity that may seem relaxing to some can prove stressful for others. For instance, many avid gamers report feeling relaxed when playing shooting games, while many find such games highly stressful.
Suppose you prefer relaxing while playing a card game or trying your luck at the slots. In that case, you can tune into an online casino like betFIRST and play to your heart’s content. It is important to hold onto these relaxation rituals, even if they don’t garner support from your family and friends.
If your ritual isn’t harmful and helps you unwind, you can continue indulging yourself.
3. Adopt an Exercise Regime
Do you know sedentary lifestyles promote stress, mood disturbances, low energy levels and sleep disruptions? The human body and brain need physical activity to enjoy robust health and an adequate supply of healthy hormones.
Exercise induces brain neurotransmitters vital for our emotional and mental wellbeing. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, and they promote feelings of happiness, joy, fulfillment, and relaxation. It may seem counterintuitive, but a rewarding workout session will help you de-stress and relax. We advise engaging in any form of physical activity you love instead of joining a gym you dread visiting.
If you suspect your stress is spiraling out of control and turning into a chronic condition with mental and physical manifestations, seek help immediately. There’s no shame in seeking support for mental health concerns, much like we seek healthcare professionals to examine physical symptoms. Consulting a mental health professional will empower you with the resources and tools needed to reclaim your life and happiness.