Unlike acute stress, which may actually be good for us, chronic stress is is extremely dangerous for the mental health and physical wellbeing. Research has shown that chronic stress can lead to severe health problems like anxiety, cardiac problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. It has been estimated that nearly 90% of the total visits to the primary healthcare physicians are related to stress related issues.
But the good news is that chronic stress can be easily managed. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers the following tips to combat chronic stress:
Identify the Underlying Cause – identifying the root cause of your problem is the first step in managing chronic stress. Try to identify any unresolved matter in your life that may be the source of your stress. There may be several reasons why one can feel stressed:
- Not happy with current job
- Personal life/ marriage problems
- Working too many hours at work
- Financial issues
- Health problems
You can also consult a psychiatrist who can help in diagnosing and managing the source of your problem.
One Step at a Time – adopting healthy lifestyle habits go a long way in managing chronic stress. You can start by engaging in activities which improve your overall health like regular exercise. When we engage in physical activity, our bodies release endorphins which make us feel better and reduce the anxiety and depression. Similarly, research has shown that people who cut back on their caffeine consumption felt more relaxed, had more energy and they also slept well. However, for maximum effect it is better that you focus on making one healthy lifestyle change at a time as it improves compliance.
Try to Remain Positive – one of the most common symptoms of chronic stress is the feeling of disappointment and impending doom. Although it may seem quite difficult, but trying to see things more positively and refuting negative thoughts is an effective method for managing chronic stress. One of the reasons behind stress in many people is that they want everything to turn out perfectly. Unfortunately, this world is not perfect. Therefore, not only you should realistic deadlines and expectations to avoid stress and frustration. But you should also try to look at things with a positive frame of mind.
Enhance the Quality of Sleep – people suffering from stress often suffer from lack of sleep. This is because the stimulating hormones persistently released as a stress response keep the body activated and it difficult to fall asleep. According to a survey conducted by the APA, 47% of the adult respondents reported that they remained awake during the night because of stress. A regular and good quality sleep pattern is highly helpful in reducing the symptoms of chronic stress. Here are a few things which can help you in increasing the quality of your sleep:
- Go to bed at a fixed time each day.
- Avoid distractions like television, radio or a computer which may affect your sleep.
- Avoid taking a heavy meal before going to bed
- Avoid taking any stimulant drinks before going to bed like coffee, tea or energy drinks
- Try your best to get at least 7-8 hours hours of sleep.
Remember, the better the quality of your sleep the lesser will the symptoms of stress. If you have worrying thoughts when you go to bed, try to list down your concerns a few hours before sleep and try to calm down your thoughts before its bedtime. This will certainly enhance the quality of your sleep and help reduce your stress.
Do What you Like
You might have noticed that you forget about your problems and stress when you are involved in an activity which you like. It can be anything. Whether you like reading a book, or listening to your favorite music, just indulge yourself in a hobby each day before going to bed. Once you make it a habit, you will feel a significant reduction in the stress and anxiety.
There is no need to go through difficult times alone. In fact, a shared burden always seems lighter. This is why you should seek help from a friend or loved one. They might also have gone through a challenging or stressful situation in the past and they may be able to offer you valuable advice on how to manage stress. Talking to a good friend or a loved one about your problems can go a long way in relieving your worries and stress.
Just Laugh it Off
Did you know that laughter is the best medicine, even for chronic stress? Although it may sound really difficult, but try to laugh all your worries away. Try not take to take things in life too seriously, because when you have a bad mood it increases your stress levels. Want to know another benefit of laughter? When you laugh, it boosts your immune system as well! Try keeping a good mood and you’ll be amazed with how quickly your stress goes away.
Seek Professional Help
If nothing seems to work, then you should seek professional help. Talking to psychiatrist can prove to be helpful in many ways, from identifying the underlying cause to learning new techniques to keep calm during stressful situations. If required, your psychiatrist may also prescribe medication which will help in reducing your stress levels.
Living with stress is not easy, but you can live a happy life by learning how to manage your stress. At Springfield Wellness Center, we have a highly efficient, proprietary IV treatment protocol which can help you in getting rid of your stress and enjoying your life to the fullest. Book and appointment today and say goodbye to anxiety and depression.