Stress – a feeling of being overwhelmed or struggling to cope with mental and emotional pressure in our lives. Stress is an evolutionary response that has helped us survive in threatening situations (i.e., being confronted by a tiger creates a stress response that signals to our brain, “it’s time to run!”) It is also an unavoidable part of life and that doesn’t mean that it should go ignored. Too much untreated stress can impact our overall physical and mental health, including increase in anxiety and depression as well as heart health and blood pressure.
Stress is a concept that many of us are familiar with and are navigating on a daily basis. There’s not just one thing that can impact our stress levels including life events or life changes. Each and every one of us deals with and experiences stress differently. National Stress Awareness day, the first Wednesday in November, is a day to recognize, identify, and explore ways to reduce our stress. With some patience as well as some useful strategies, you can work to better understand your triggers and reduce your stress levels.
Check in with yourself; have you been experiencing any of these potential indicators of stress?
- Digestive problems
- Challenges with falling asleep or staying asleep
- Withdrawing from people in your life
Yes? We get it. Most of us are under stress. Here are 10 things you can try to manage your stress:
- Relax your muscles
- Deep breathing
- Spend time outdoors
- Make time for hobbies
- Incorporate self-compassion
- Practice good sleep hygiene
- Listening to music
Use what works for you. Some of these require a lot of energy, commitment, or skill. Do what serves you. In listening to and knowing what works for your body, you will be able to most effectively manage your stress!