Stress seems inevitable these days. But, stress can result in numerous health problems including hypertension, heart disease, obesity, sleep problems, and depression. Health concerns can, in turn, increase your stress levels even more.
Now, more than ever, you need to focus on managing your stress in healthy, productive ways. We put together a list of ways you can not only reduce stress but boost your mood as well. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of stress, the importance of stress management, and ways you can reduce stress to improve your health and well-being.
Symptoms of Stress
We typically recognize physical or cognitive symptoms of stress- muscle tension, trouble falling or staying asleep, faster heartbeat, difficulty remembering or concentrating, maybe even gastrointestinal problems, but there are so many symptoms you may not realize are a result of stress. According to the Health Guide, symptoms of stress can be physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral:
Physical Symptoms of Stress
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds or flu
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Anxiety and agitation
- Moodiness, irritability, or anger
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loneliness and isolation
- Other mental or emotional health problems
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Importance of Stress Management
Living with constant stress can be harmful to your well-being, physically, mentally, cognitively, and behaviorally. When your body and mind experience stress, your fight or flight response is kicked into action.
Your nervous system releases stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These stress chemicals force your body to perceive situations as threatening to you, and your body responds with a quickened heart rate, higher blood pressure, muscles tighten, and breathing gets quicker, all to protect you from the perceived danger.
Effective stress management gives you the tools necessary to calm your body quickly to prevent or, in response to, stressful situations that your body deems dangerous. With practice, stress management techniques will allow you to detect the fight or flight response kicking in, and you’ll know what to do to lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, calming symptoms of stress.
As we’ve said before, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of stress. So it’s important to know some internal and external stressors to look out for as well. According to United Healthcare, these are the most common stressors that may appear in your life, causing you to stress:
- Inability to accept uncertainty
- Negative self-talk
- Unrealistic expectations
- Rigid thinking or lack of flexibility
- All-or-nothing attitude
- Need to always be perfect
- Major life changes (i.e., the death of a loved one, divorce, military deployment, career that requires one to be away from home frequently)
- Work or school
- Relationship difficulties
- Financial worries
- Being constantly busy
- Children or family tensions
The Human Optimization Pyramid: Diet, Sleep, Exercise
The Human Optimization Pyramid consists of three levels of healthy behaviors- mindful diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. These three behaviors are extremely important to your health and are all interrelated. For example, not getting enough sleep can impact your diet and exercise negatively, and vice versa. Keeping up on your diet, exercise, and sleep schedule will help you reduce stress.
Make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as taking supplements that will provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs.
Exercising improves your physical conditioning, which naturally lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. The effects of exercising on the body can help your body fight illness and diseases related to stress. In fact, just 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week can do wonders for your health in a variety of ways, including improving your sleep and diet patterns.
Many times when you have trouble sleeping, it can be due to stress in your life. Stress can influence the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep you get. Getting enough sleep helps you fight inflammation in the mind and body. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try sticking to a routine, practicing meditation before bed, or limiting your caffeine intake to earlier in the day.
Ways to Reduce Stress
NutriSyn Dietary Supplement Products
NutriSyn Digest supplements consist of a broad spectrum of metabolically active enzymes to directly support the breakdown of foods, probiotics to directly support the health of the lower GI tract, and several beneficial botanicals to support the function of the major organs of digestion. With ingredients like enzymes, ginger, elecampane, and triphala, our NutriSyn Digest supplements help aid in a healthy digestive system.
NutriSyn Sleep is designed to be taken shortly before bed to help support normal sleep patterns. It works through several mechanisms to deliver a synergistic and comprehensive benefit for improving sleep quality and duration. Moreover, the natural ingredients do not cause unwanted side effects or dependency and do not lose effect with prolonged use.
Nutrisyn Calm serum is a synergistic formulation based on scientific research and comprised of a blend of all-natural ingredients. Stress has numerous negative effects on your body including your immune, digestive, and nervous systems. Stress may also be the cause of sleep deprivation, headaches, anxiety, and other health-related concerns. NutriSyn Calm promotes a calm, focused, and relaxed feeling to help you stress less.
Aromatherapy & Stress
Preliminary research shows that aromatherapy can alter brain waves and behavior. Aromatherapy has been used for decades to calm the mind and body, to reduce stress. Try using soothing candles, scented lotions, massage oils, or essential oils. The best scents to help reduce stress are:
Journaling is an amazing stress management resource you can take advantage of to reduce stress in your life. Not only can it reveal a lot about your levels of stress and well-being, but it acts as a safe space for you to write down your thoughts and feelings about a variety of topics.
Many times, writing your thoughts down can turn into a better understanding of yourself or allow you to find creative solutions to problems you may be experiencing. Sometimes getting your internal thoughts out on paper can do wonders when trying to lower your stress. Here are some journal prompts to help you get started:
- What do I need to feel safe, held and supported during this time of stress?
- In what ways can I offer myself and others more compassion?
- What can I learn from the issues I’m currently facing?
- What fears am I holding onto that I need to release? How can I turn those fears into hope and trust?
Connect With Friends
Social interaction with those close to you can reduce stress and improve your mood. Host a virtual get-together with family and friends to make you feel more connected with important relationships in your life. One study shows that when people feel emotionally supported by their family and friends, they experience less stress in their lives and are able to better cope with stressors.
Cuddle With Your Pets
Cuddling with your dog, cat, or other pet, can effectively help you reduce stress. Studies have shown that people who cuddle with their pets have lower levels of stress throughout the day. Plus, spending time with your pet can make you feel more relaxed physically and mentally.
Breathe For Stress Relief
Deep breathing techniques reduce stress by tricking your body into a relaxed state. Box breathing is a breathing technique that gets your parasympathetic tone to slow, calming your mind and body. Using the box breathing technique, you’re mimicking the way you breathe when you sleep. Essentially, you’re tricking your body into reducing stress, while also getting more oxygen into your body.
Here’s how it works: breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4. Repeat this breathing exercise for 10 minutes for maximized results.
Start A Project
Maybe you’ve been wanting to get to that home improvement project that you’ve just been putting off for a while. Well- there’s no better time than right now! Increasing your productivity has been shown to reduce stress and improve your mood. Plus, it will improve your creative thinking skills. If you’re not sure of a project you could start, begin by looking at Pinterest’s DIY craft ideas and get your creative juices flowing!
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