Stress is a normal part of everyday living and can come in many forms. Even if you can’t always control the situations around you, you can control how you react to those circumstances. When stress becomes too much or becomes chronic, it might interfere with your physical and/or mental health. It is essential to have efficient stress relievers that can relax both your mind and your body. Here are 3 ways stress affects your body and some practical mental health coping strategies to de-stress.
3 Ways Stress Affects Your Body
1. Effect on your mental health:
Anxiety is extremely common and that is partially because it is a primary outcome of stress. Although your genes and the circumstances of your life both have a part in your mental health, persistent stress can also raise the likelihood that you could acquire a mental health condition in the future. The serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood, are thought to be altered due to stress.
2. Effect on your sleep:
It might be challenging to calm your mind, and either fall asleep or stay asleep when you are under a lot of pressure. Periodic sleeplessness is not an unusual side effect of stress. On the other hand, chronic insomnia, which is defined as occurring at least three times per week and continuing for more than a month, can leave you feeling exhausted, irritated, and more anxious.
3. Effect on your heart:
High blood pressure, heart disease, and irregular heartbeats can all be caused or worsened by prolonged exposure to stress. If you are already struggling with these health issues, adding stress can make them much more severe. Also, stress causes particular blood cells to become more sticky, which raises the risk of blood clots and strokes.1 In addition to the body’s natural reaction to stress, activities connected with stress, including poor eating, smoking, drinking, and a lack of physical activity, may also be to blame.
So how do you manage stress and improve your mental health?
Stress relievers can help you put your life’s confusion back in order. The effort or thought required to reduce stress is little. Try one of these solutions if your stress is out of control and you need some at home relief.
Any physical activity has the potential to lower stress. Even if you’re not sporty or in fantastic physical shape, exercise can be a helpful stress reliever. It can raise your levels of mood-enhancing endorphins and other natural neurotransmitters.
Eat a healthy diet.
One of the most important aspects of self-care is maintaining a balanced diet. Consume a range of fresh produce, whole grains, and other wholesome foods.
Concentrating your attention during meditation can stop the never-ending barrage of disorganized thoughts that may worry you. The sensation of serenity, tranquility, and balance that meditation can help you create can boost both your emotional well-being and general health.
Keep a journal.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings could assist you in releasing otherwise bottled-up emotions. Don’t think about what to write; write whatever comes to you. If keeping a journal feels like too much, use a prompted journal! Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation, no one else needs to read it.
If you have experienced any of these stress effects on your physical or mental health and would like some additional support, reach out to SEVN Therapy Co. or book a session with me to learn more about stress, your mental health, and everyday techniques to lower your stress levels!
Stephanie Silva, LPC-Associate
Supervised by Scott Martindale, LPC-S