If you want to beat stress, you first need to understand how it is playing out in your life.
We uncover seven factors to be aware of when working out a strategy to manage your stress.
1. Stress affects different people in different ways
Everyone responds to stress in their own way. For example, stress can lead to comfort eating in some people, but appetite loss in others. One person might lose sleep when they are stressed, but not another.
It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress within yourself. This may include things like no longer enjoying favourite activities, finding it harder to concentrate or having more difficulty making decisions than before.
2. It’s important to recognise the cause and level of your stress
Stress may be caused by a range of factors relating to your work and personal life. Recognising the cause and degree of stress in your life can be done through questionnaires, and a health assessment that measures skin response and cortisol levels.
3. Improving your health may improve your ability to cope
Since the mind and body work together, improving your physical health may help you cope better with stress. This includes getting good nutrition (such as through the Mediterranean diet), as well as enough sleep, regular exercise and rest and relaxation.
4. Mental resilience can help you cope better
A mentally hardy person will tend to see a problem as a challenge rather than a threat. Fortunately, hardiness is a skill that can be learned. This can be done through social and personal connections, creating meaning in your day-to-day life, and facing and dealing with stressors rather than running away from them.
5. Mindfulness can help stop stress
Mindfulness brings your attention to the present moment, and there is evidence it may reduce activity in the amygdala – the part of the brain associated with emotions such as fear.
6. Professional therapies can be helpful
Sometimes you can feel so overwhelmed it’s hard to know where to start. A professional therapist can help you to pinpoint what is causing your stress and apply a suitable treatment plan.
7. The most important point is……stress can kill you!
Indicators of stress can be: headaches, poor sleep, digestive disturbances, skin rashes and excessive fatigue. And these are just the beginning.
Some stress systems don’t manifest physically and you don’t know they are there unless you are tested. Silent stress issues like premature aging of the arteries, can kill you if you don’t pick it up early enough. You won’t know it is there unless your arteries are imaged. Don’t let your first warning be a heart attack or stroke. For some people the first sign that stress has affected them is death or a hospital visit. If you don’t know the health of your arteries, book in for a health assessment today.
Lastly, it’s important to know that stress can be beaten, and that you are not alone – help is never far away! Contact us for a health assessment, and assistance in putting effective stress management strategies in place.