Feeling Stressed? Take Back Control of Your Life
October 19, 2017
Stress is a normal part of life. When something in our environment changes, our bodies react to these changes physically, mentally and emotionally.
However, stress isn’t always a bad thing. Positive stress kicks your body into high gear by flooding your body with hormones, elevating your heart rate and boosting your energy as a way of preparing you to deal with the problem.
Good stress only turns into bad stress when you face continuous challenges without relief thereby becoming chronic stress.
When stress-related tension builds up in your body, it leads to physical health problems such as headaches, stomach upsets, high blood pressure and asthma as well as mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Reducing your stress levels is an important part of being healthy. But it isn’t always easy to do especially when each day brings a new set of challenges and stress!
Strong social relationships are a stress buffer. They act as protective layer and create psychological distance between you and the source of your stress.
Emotional support fills you with a strong sense of self-acceptance, which makes it easier for you to deal with challenges. Friends and family may also offer material and informational support in the form of new ideas and advice. Both kinds of support are invaluable when you’re having a tough time.
Spirituality and Faith
Psychologists agree that spirituality and faith make coping with stress much easier. This is mainly because believers have a Higher Power to lean on and view stress as short-term and external.
Studies have also shown that spiritual practices such as prayer activate the relaxation center of the brain. This gives you a sense of control, which sustains you through stressful events.
Stress and discouragement chips away at your motivation and leaves you feeling defenseless against life’s challenges. This makes even the smallest problems seem insurmountable.
One way to stay motivated and be less stressed in the face of huge challenges is to break them down into smaller, incremental goals. This can help reignite your excitement about the project.
It’s not easy to admit to yourself that you have limits. It’s even harder to “say no” to commitments or ask for help. However, all these things are an important part of keeping stress at a manageable level.
If you have trouble with knowing your limits, start using a daily planner or calendar. With time, it will get easier to recognize when you need to say “no” to new requests or ask for help.
Stress can snowball easily, and before you know it you’re constantly on edge and can’t complete tasks efficiently. However, with strong social relationships, spirituality and faith, and reasonable goals and limits, you can take back control of your life.