As many may have noticed, we in the Wellness Department are really focusing in on stress: what are the main causes, what it does to our bodies, and what resources we can implement to DE-STRESS. Today - November 6 - is National Stress Relief Awareness Day, so we wanted to give you a little 4-1-1 and provide you some solutions for when things seem stressful and overwhelming.
First of all, stress can come in many forms, almost all of us experience psychological, emotional, or physical signs of stress throughout our days and weeks. There will always be “life things” that might bend us out of shape a little bit, but there are absolutely ways you can lessen the impact on your well-being.
Signs and Symptoms include:
- Low energy, frequent headaches, upset stomach, or insomnia
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat, frequent colds or infections,
- Depression or general unhappiness, anxiety and agitation, moodiness, irritability and anger, or
- General feelings of being overwhelmed or lonely
You may have heard that stress is the silent killer, which is terrifyingly accurate, however if you pay attention to the symptoms and do something to actively reverse them, you put the power back into your own hands and become a stress-fighting champion!
When we’re in a “stress-state” there are a number of reactions that our body goes through to “fight or fly” and protect ourselves from further harm. Cortisol is released into the bloodstream, which in excess, can derail your body’s most important functions and lead to a weakened immune system, digestive distress, weight gain, chronically high blood pressure and heart rate, and problems with memory, concentration, and sleep.
So, what do we do when we are experiencing acute or chronic stress? Well, the good news is MANY things:
- Try using a stress-ball, practice deep breathing techniques, or think about the things you’re grateful and the things that bring you happiness
- Do something you enjoy, vent to someone who supports you non-judgmentally, journal, visualize yourself in your “happy place”
- Write a letter to someone who might be contributing to the stress (no need to send it), eat a nutritious and delicious meal, go for a walk, meditate, the list goes on.
Stress relief is such an important part of our lives, and the more we practice it, the better we get at managing the chaos that comes into our lives. Practice being mindful of what causes you stress, how your body is reacting, and try out a new stress relief technique.