What is Stress and how can you manage it?
Stress and how to manage it are very relatable topics. It creeps up on you and can get in the way of important life events and situations. Stress can be feelings or bodily reactions that can result from a situation or scenario that causes discomfort. It is the dreaded ‘S’ word. It’s due to a small part of your brain called the Hypothalamus that sends out specific hormones in these times of discomfort, which then cause mental and even physical symptoms. Around 60% of Australians have expressed that they experienced extreme levels of stress in their lives.
Experiencing stress presents in many different ways for individuals and can be short or long term. The ‘fight or flight’ response is our bodies short term response to dangerous or uncomfortable situations. In these moments, the body releases these hormones as a protective mechanism, however in some cases, it may be a little bit of an overreaction from our body. Some common symptoms include:
- increased heart rate
- neck pain
- blood pressure increase
- rapid breathing
The above symptoms are often short term responses, however, if an individual suffers from chronic stress, it can have further impacts on your mental and physical health. Chronic stress can increase your risk of cardiac arrest, depression, lead to immune system issues, insomnia, and digestive issues.
‘Stress less’ they say, but it’s easier said than done. It would be naïve to say that you will probably never have uncomfortable or tricky situations in your life, therefore having strategies to manage when these feelings arise for you is an important tool for life.
In your daily routine you can include some of these activities that are proven to help you de-stress.
- focus on your breathing: 5 slow and deep breathes
- being organised
- eating a healthy diet
At the end of the day we don’t want you to stress about stress, but just know that there is help out there and ways that you can manage and reduce it. You may find it helpful to book in with your Doctor to discuss what could work best for you. It can be trial and error with learning about what strategies help you in these moments, but once you find tactics that work for you, you may see a difference in your work, relationships, and self efficacy.
Looking after your body is also a must! Exercise helps release lots of happy hormones that counteract the not so happy stress ones!