Experts’ advice on how to cope with stressful situations that can affect you daily. From petting your dog to mindfulness, here you’ll find some strategies to stay healthy.
You’ve probably felt stressed at some point in your life and it can sometimes be overwhelming. It is usually related to specific situations like sitting for an exam, having an argument with someone you care for or having to meet a deadline. If you let yourself be stressed for a long time, it can harm your life. There are, however, some simple techniques you can resort to stay healthy.
Stress is a mechanism that activates when we feel threatened, it is basically a survival strategy. So if your body perceives a situation as life-threatening, it can activate this mechanism, your heart rate accelerates, your breathing quickens and you are more alert. The problem is that some people might deal with stress better than others because it is actually determined by how much you believe you can cope with.
When you are stressed, you can experience mental symptoms (poor concentration, lack of sleep, poor memory, low mood, anxiety and loss of confidence) and physical symptoms (palpitations, sweating, shaking, weight changes, high blood pressure, stomach issues, skin conditions, etc)
Techniques to manage stress
First of all, try to stay away from environments or situations that are the root of your stress and if you can’t avoid stress altogether, you can change the way you perceive the situations, here are some helpful tips:
When you exercise your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good –this is an excellent way to stay away from unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol and drugs.
Practice breathing techniques
Changing the way you breathe can make the world of difference.
Meditation gives your mental space and allows you to see things more clearly.
Be positive and “fake it until you make it,” sometimes changing the way you talk about things, can actually change the way you perceive your problems. Give it a try
Journaling is an excellent way to pour your feelings out of your mind and give you some more room.
Ask for help and learn to talk
Try to build a support network, be there for people when they need you and ask for help when you feel stressed.
Get enough sleep and allow yourself time to relax
You can try baking or cooking to relax, go for a walk, pet your dog, read a book –take your time to unplug.
If stress causes problems in your daily life, make sure you see a doctor.
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