Stress is a common cause of mental and physical ill health that’s been increasing over recent years. People are filling their lives with more and more activities and responsibilities, and spending any free time they have wrapped up in social media or other diversions that do little to reduce stress and may well add to it. To halt this epidemic, people need to start taking responsibility for the effects of their lifestyle on their health and taking steps to manage the stress in their lives.
How to tackle stress
Once you’ve identified that you’re living with too much stress, the obvious answer to relieving it is to remove the causes. Maybe you prefer a less energetic form of relaxation; reading a book while taking a long bath, relaxing on the couch listening to soothing music. What you do isn’t important, there are no right or wrong activities; what’s essential is that you should feel reinvigorated afterward and have the sense that you’ve broken the hold of chronic stress. This can vary from person to person, so, for instance, one person might find watching a football game on TV entertaining and diverting, whereas a fan who is invested in their team might find watching the same game unbearably tense!
You won’t be able to eliminate stress from your life, but that’s okay; a degree of stress is perfectly natural and healthy, as Very Well Mind point out, it’s only when the stress response becomes chronic that you need to be concerned. Have a good look at your routines and see if you can find any areas where you could cut back or rearrange your schedule to make time for relaxing.
In addition to reducing your stress overload, you need to make an effort to find ways of boosting your wellbeing with activities and pastimes that are all about pleasure and having fun. The methods you use are up to you; it might be that an afternoon playing racquetball or going for a cycle ride work wonders on your stress levels.
Symptoms of stress
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of stress, which you can find out more about at eMedicine Health so you can spot any stress-related problems before they affect your health too badly. Typical symptoms include:
- Short temper
- Feeling low
- Chronic tiredness
- Sleep problems
- Loss of appetite, or overeating
- Continual sense of worry and anxiety
- Digestive upsets
- Tense, aching muscles
- Not enjoying life as much
If you’ve recognized any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, take action now to relieve the stress you’re under and reclaim your health before you get any worse.
As well as finding ways to enjoy yourself and reduce the burden of stress, it’s worth trying some guided meditation or mindfulness to release the stranglehold of stress. If you browse online, you’ll find many different forms of meditation, including guided sessions where you set the recording playing and simply lay back and listen to the voice. It need only be ten minutes a day, but you’ll soon feel the benefits of improved health and happiness.
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