Many of us accept stress as a standard part of our day to day lives. We experience stress at home, during our commute, in the workplace, during social interactions, and in our personal relationships. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in our life that doesn’t cause us stress from time to time. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, stress in your life is merely an evolutionary response to alert us to problems and stir an appropriate response.
It’s important that we minimize the amount of stress that we expose ourselves to on a regular basis and deal with the stress that we do experience effectively in order to maintain a good quality life as well as a sense of contentedness and wellbeing. Let’s look at all of these issues and figure out how you can combat symptoms of stress in your own life!
First, let’s focus on why stress can be so detrimental in our day to day lives and exactly why we should be making an active effort to minimize our stress levels. Now, experiencing stress in dangerous or difficult situations. It is a trait that has evolved over generations to help us to escape from danger or harm. It triggers our fight or flight response and encourages us to find problem-free ways out of undesirable scenarios. So, yes, stress does have a logical function. However, if you are experiencing stress unnecessarily or every day of your life, things can quickly become problematic.
A study published in the Journal of Aging Research found that stress can indeed have negative effects on our overall health and wellbeing – individuals experiencing moderate to high levels of stress experience higher mortality rates than other individuals who experience lower levels of stress. Another study published by the British Medical Journal concluded that mild stress experienced on a regular basis can be linked to long-term disabilities. Research showcased by Medical News Today supports these claims. It indicates that chronic stress can cause long-term epigenetic changes. The Journal of Neuroscience argues that stress can literally change your brain function. There are, of course, plenty of other studies out there, but hopefully, this goes to show that stress is a huge problem that needs to be tackled.
Identifying the Causes of Your Stress
Now that you know to actively reduce stress in your life, you’re going to have to identify the causes of stress in your life to start tackling them, resolving them, or removing them from your life completely. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of stress and the most effective ways of combating them.
Loss of a Loved One
Losing a loved one is one of the few stressful experiences in life that you have absolutely no control over and it is also one of the few experiences that you cannot necessarily turn into a positive. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one and are experiencing stress, this is entirely natural. You shouldn’t beat yourself for feeling stress in this situation. You just need to grieve in whatever way comes naturally to you. Time is generally considered the only remedy for this form of stress. Sure, you may never fully recover, but you will slowly learn to take life day by day despite your loss.
Loss of a Job
Unemployment places you in an extremely difficult position. This difficulty can face you at any point in your life. Individuals who have just finished school or who have graduated from college can often find themselves plunging into the depths of stress when they apply time and time again for a job in their chosen field, only to face offers of unpaid work or rejections. Individuals who have taken time away from work to raise children or to recover from sickness or injury can face similar situations. However, for now, let’s focus on the loss of a job.
Losing a job unexpectedly can be extremely difficult, as you are used to having a set wage coming in and being able to meet all of your bill payments on time. You will have become accustomed to a lifestyle that your employment allowed for – signing up to credit agreements such as mortgages, car finance plans, gym memberships, insurance policies, and more.
If you lose your job, you will still be tied into all of these contracts and may find yourself applying for loans or credit cards to tide you over until you have a regular income again. When you do have a regular income, you can find difficulty in keeping up with current bill payments as well as paying off your loans and credit cards. If your employer does terminate your role, you should ensure that you receive a redundancy payout.
If you have been working for the company for two or more years, you will be able to claim for this. You should also get straight back out searching the job market for any relevant roles as soon as you are notified that you will be out of work. This will give you the most opportunity to land interviews and a new position as soon as possible.
Stress Reducing Products
As well as finding the root causes of your stress and taking the time to resolve them, you can reduce your symptoms in the meantime by using stress-reducing products. Here are just a few to consider.
Leafbuyer supplies a whole host of different herbal remedies that can provide great stress relief. They provide uplifting energy and creative effects, boosting your mood, and putting tension to rest.
There are a variety of pillow sprays on the market that incorporates herbs and plants whose properties are shown to have calming qualities, such as lavender. You simply spray these scents on your pillow before you get to sleep and they help to soothe you as you nod off.
Temple salves can be dotted on the temples to relieve tension and provide you with an olfactory lift. Look for specialist products that incorporate ingredients such as (once again) lavender, but also eucalyptus.
Stress balls are perhaps one of the most traditional forms of stress relief, but they have stood the test of time for good reason. You simply squeeze them when you feel stress, tension, or anger. This satisfies your desire to clench your fists, without causing you pain or damage.
Stress Reducing Activities
As well as stress-reducing products, you can also engage in stress-relieving activities. These should provide you with a positive distraction, engaging both your mind and body. Here are some to try out yourself.
Meditation is one of the most relaxing activities that you can engage with. There are various techniques that you can try out that will have a positive effect on your body and mind. First, you could consider progressive muscle relaxation. To carry out this technique, you tense and relax different muscle groups. This makes you more aware of your body. It releases tension in all muscle groups by the end of the activity. Next, you could try out mantra meditation. This involves repeating a chosen calming word or phrase out loud. This removes other thoughts from your mind, allowing you to escape from everyday stressors or tasks. Finally, consider mindful meditation. This tends to revolve around breathing techniques. It gives the mind free rein over the here and now in a non-judgemental manner.
Massage provides you with an opportunity to lie back, relax, and have stress worked out of your body by a professional masseuse. You will lie on a comfortable table in a dimly lit room with calming music playing. This creates an extremely calming atmosphere where you can drift off or let your mind wander. Different strokes and techniques can then be used to work knots and tension out of your muscles. The strokes used and pressure applied during a massage can also help to lower your heart rate, reduce levels of insulin, and reduce cortisol levels.
Combat Stress in Your Life
There’s a whole lot of information to take into account when you start considering stress, the cause of stress in your life, and how best to deal with the symptoms that come hand in hand with stressful experiences. But hopefully, the above information and advice have helped you to get to grips with the topic a little better!