Are You Stressed?May 01, 2023
A friend of mine always says that her kids stress her out. Let us call her Connie. Connie shares with me that her two children, both in elementary school, fight all day long. She yells at them frequently. Every time they have an argument, Connie feels as if her heart is going to jump out of her chest, and steam is coming out of her head. She does not sleep well at night because she feels that balancing her part-time job with family is already hard. Her kids make it even harder because they cannot get along.
Like Connie, there are different stressors in our lives. Stress is a kind of tension that is caused by physical or mental changes. Stress is usually referred to what is having a negative impact to our well-being.
Chronic stress, be it from physical or emotional origin, may have significant impact to your body.
Have you experienced a stress headache before? Stress may increase the risk of headaches, chest pain, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, or other skin problems.
The tension caused by the unpleasant stress may also accelerate aging. Telomeres are proteins found at the end of the chromosomes. As the cells divide, the telomeres get shorter and shorter. Cells are unable to divide and die when the telomeres are too short. Stress can shorten the telomeres faster, therefore hastening the aging process.
Emotional stress may increase the risk of anxiety, depression, or other mood problems. It may affect performance and productivity at work. The stress at your workplace may add to more stressors in your life. This may further decrease your performance and put more tension in interpersonal relationships. It is not surprising that more than 50% of people in the United States workforce reported their stress affected their life at home.
What can be done to reduce stress?
It is important to recognize and acknowledge that you are experiencing stress, be it mental or physical. Notice how it is affecting your feelings, and what sensations you are experiencing physically when you feel this stress.
For the emotional stress in particular, what is your main thought that is causing you to feel this way? Is there another perspective to view your situation? Be open-minded and curious, especially when you feel stressed.
Pause. Take a break, walk away from the situation. Listen to your body. Take your mind off and do something else. Or just relax.
Listen to your body. You may want to call it a night earlier than usual. Or take a walk outdoors. Or call a friend.
Meditate. Give your brain time to dial down all the chaotic thoughts in your head, and practice a state of deep relaxation and calmness.
When you are feeling stressed about your circumstances or people around you, remember the way you think about them is usually not the ultimate truth. There are other ways to look at things. Keep an open mind. Pause, relax and meditate. The more chance you grant your body to do this, the better you can handle stress. Eventually, what used to give you much stress will not have the same negative impact on you. You will have less physical complaints, and you will decrease the acceleration of stress-related aging. Most importantly, you will have a better overall well-being.
Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?