At times it seems like we just can’t escape the stress of our daily lives, as soon as the stress of one day ends, another day begins with a whole new bag of stressors.
Let’s face it, stress has become a natural part of our lives, but we can learn to deal by adopting simple and effective stress management techniques.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress?
The symptoms of stress can often be quite subtle, or they may even mimic the symptoms of other conditions, but they shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you suspect that you’re suffering the symptoms of stress, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.
These are some of the symptoms of stress you may want to look out for:
The emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Feelings of constant frustration
- An inability to relax
- Experiencing a low sense of self worth
- Being prone to self-isolating behaviours
On the physical front, watch out for:
- Low energy levels
- An upset stomach that includes symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
- Body pains, particularly chest pain
- Frequent colds
- Experiencing a dip in your libido
- Ringing in the ear
- Breaking out in a cold sweat in the hands and feet
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Experiencing a clenching of the jaw
- Teeth grinding
Also note the cognitive symptoms of stress:
- Excessive brooding
- Experiencing racing thoughts
- Difficulty remembering things
- Lack of focus
- Poor judgment
- Increased pessimism
These are some of the behavioural symptoms of stress:
- Experiencing a change in your appetite
- Substance abuse in the form of alcohol, drugs & even cigarettes
- Restlessness or pacing
Recognizing these symptoms can help you in taking the necessary steps to ensure you get back to a healthy state of being. We all experience stress from time to time, but chronic stress can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing on all fronts, whether it’s physical, mental, or sexual health.
If stress starts interfering with your daily life and you’re able to identify with many of these symptoms, you may need to consult your doctor, who may recommend a therapist who you can talk to but who will also be able to advise on how best to deal with chronic stress.
Effective Stress Management Techniques
We can all agree that knowing how to manage stress effectively doesn’t exactly come naturally, luckily there are few simple habits we can introduce into our daily lives to make us all just a little happier.
If you’re suffering from chronic stress, it’s even more important than ever to ensure that exercise forms a part of your weekly routine. Exercise is known to improve mood, partly due to the release of important hormones like endorphins and endocannabinoids.
Walking to nearby stores instead of simply driving there, doing some gardening, washing your car, and choosing to take the stairs, are all good places to start, and when you’re ready to introduce some exercise into your routine, you could try:
- Joining a gym
- Playing tennis
Look after your body, and your mind will benefit as well. Getting a little exercise can not only improve your mood and help to take the edge off, but it can also help to improve your quality of sleep as well.
Get A Good Night’s Rest
Excessive stress can dramatically affect the quality of your sleep and can result in insomnia. Getting a good night’s rest every night can help to improve your mood and stress-levels, here’s a few things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Get some exercise
- Expose yourself to a little sunshine everyday
- Cut down on caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in the later hours
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Don’t look at your phone, TV or computer screens an hour before bedtime
- Meditate or try deep-breathing techniques before bedtime
- Make sure your bedroom is as quiet & dark as possible
When stress kicks in, it’s normal to want to reach for junk foods and comfort foods that are loaded with excess fats and sugar, which ironically ends up worsening the symptoms of stress as well as your overall health.
Ensuring that you eat a healthy balanced diet is a key stress management technique. Try stocking up on healthy snacks so you don’t fall into the trap of snacking on unhealthy foods when you’re on the go.
Try introducing foods containing these nutrients to assist with the harmful effects of stress:
- Antioxidants: Dark chocolate, blueberries, goji berries etc.
- Vitamin C: Strawberries, oranges, sweet bell peppers etc.
- Magnesium: Whole grains, nuts, leafy greens etc.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Coldwater fatty fish (salmon & mackerel & more), nuts and seeds such (chia, flax & walnuts) etc.
Using CBD oil to manage stress may also prove to be effective. Other supplements for stress management usually contain key ingredients to help you get the nutrients you need to cope with stress, but it’s important to try to make the necessary improvements in your diet where possible first.
Introduce Relaxation Techniques
While stress that flows in and out of our lives is mostly normal, chronic stress is quite abnormal, and so it could be particularly helpful to introduce some coping mechanisms into your daily and weekly routines. Here are some techniques you may want to look into:
- Deep Breathing
- Deep belly breathing
- Laugh therapy
- Positive self-talk
- Simply finding some quiet time
There’s so much we can do to effectively manage stress and ensure that we live happier, healthier lives. Long-term chronic stress can end up becoming debilitating and it’s advised to seek counselling if you feel this may be a problem for you.
Simply making an effort to make time for yourself, ensuring your quality of sleep is a priority, and choosing healthier foods & snacks, can make a huge difference to your quality of life. Find out which of these helpful tips work for you so you can hopefully breathe a little easier.