Stress is something that we deal with every day. Sometimes, we learn to live with it instead of tackling the problem. This shouldn’t be the case. It is harmful to one’s health if it is approached the wrong way. Dealing with stress correctly and in a healthy way will totally change how you look at life.
Get to the Bottom of It
Dealing with a problem is much easier and a lot more effective if you know what caused it. It’s the same with stress. Figure out its cause. What could be resulting in the palpitations? Why are you constantly feeling anxious and stressed?
It’s worth mulling over. Think about your day and try to figure out when you started feeling the physical symptoms: back pain and tense muscles in the shoulders and back, headaches, sweaty palms, etc. For me, it usually starts when something happens at work, such as an unforeseen change in my schedule or an unexpected shift in my workload.
Studies show that stress is usually triggered by unexpected events, as well as how you perceive these events. Naturally, our bodies see these as threats, alerting our inner workings to be on guard and ready for action. Such events trigger the production of certain chemicals in our brain resulting in heightened alertness. They cause extra surges of energy in case the threat elevates into something that needs to be fought or fled from.
It’s our body’s fight or flight response that is responsible for all the physical symptoms of stress. Blood circulation to the brain increases, hence causing that throbbing headache. Muscles are constricted to prepare for action. Adrenaline is pumped to the bloodstream to provide extra energy. These chemical changes prime our bodies for action that the stressors don’t really need. The stressors need mental action, not physical action, so the stored and prepared energy is not released. This causes the physical pain felt after an extremely stressful day at the office.
Release That Energy!
Find a way to release that pent-up energy.
The best recommendation I have ever received when I was complaining about my stressful life is to exercise. Why exercise? Because it’s an effective way to release the energy that our bodies have accumulated in response to stressful situations.
Jog for a couple of miles in the local park or walk around your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, as long as you are physically moving and spending the energy that is stored in your body.
Get It OUT OF Your System
As they say, anything bottled up is not good for you. And when we look back at the physiology of stress, the chemical changes in our bodies also lead to changes in mood and emotion. Most of the time, the emotional change is rather strong, such as anger and frustration.
It is best to let it out, and there are many ways you can do that. One is to write how you feel and its cause. If you keep a journal (or maybe a blog), you can rant all you want about the situation that’s stressing you out. You will find that doing so somehow releases the emotions and offers relief.
What I discover works well for me is shouting it all out. Yes! I go up to the rooftop of my office building and shout at the top of my lungs. Any space where you wouldn’t disturb others would work. Shout away your anger and frustrations. It is not at all silly. Give it a try. You’ll see how much your mood will change.
Another great way to deal with stress is to relax. Get yourself an appointment at your favorite spa and have a relaxing massage. Or maybe get that soothing aromatherapy bath. A gentle massage can do wonders for tense muscles, and a relaxing bath in aromatic oils can help clear your mind and put you in a better mood.
It’s okay to think about yourself. A better you is a product of taking care of yourself more. Pampering yourself once a month can do wonders. Give yourself some “me time.” If you are not comfortable doing it alone, plan it with your closest friends. Being with people you like and just talking and laughing can help put your worries aside and focus on positive things.
Remember, stress is only a result of unexpected or undesirable situations; it doesn’t have to ruin your life. We may consider it part of our lives, and then deal with it in any number of healthy ways. It doesn’t have to turn into anything serious. It should never control our lives. Instead, we need to realize that we have the power and the means to control it.