By Dr. Catherine Waller
Stress is pervasive. It affects absolutely everyone, knowing no boundaries. While a small amount of stress can actually motivate you to take positive action in your life, too much stress can weigh on you like an illness. In fact, stress does contribute to several types of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. And if left unaddressed, too much stress can actually cause physical health concerns, even increasing your risk for heart disease.
Stress is pressure. It may include pressure from work, family issues, or financial concerns. Either way, stress builds up in you until you begin experiencing discomfort and difficulty in daily tasks. Stress can negatively impact everything from your sleeping habits to your appetite, sometimes making it difficult to properly manage your weight.
It is impossible to completely avoid stress. Rather than attempting to hide from things that stress you out, it is a better idea to learn how to cope with it in better ways. Coping techniques are healthy habits that you can engage in when you are experiencing stress. These are simple actions that can typically be done anywhere, whether you are at home or at work.
Examples of healthy coping techniques include:
- Keeping a pocket journal to help you quickly log your thoughts
- Deep breathing techniques that can help you reset in a stressful moment
- Reciting a positive mantra that will give you confidence and help you move past a stressful moment
In addition to these in-the-moment stress relief techniques, there are plenty of healthy stress management tactics that you can practice daily to help keep stress at bay. This includes healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting plenty of sleep. These healthy habits are associated with all sorts of positive health benefits, including weight loss and anti-aging support, but can make a huge difference in helping you manage your stress level.
The first step to managing stress is to recognize it. Know what stresses you out and what the tell-tale signs are when stress is starting to negatively impact you. Once you can recognize stress you can start using healthy coping techniques to try managing it better in the moment.
If you need to better manage your stress, schedule your free 15-minute consult with a Forum Health Advisor here.