Everyone experiences stress at some point in life and responds to it in their own way. Stress is the emotional and physical response to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or run down. When this happens, stress hormones are released into the bloodstream, causing an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.
What are the the most stressful life events?
According to most studies, these 10 events cause the highest levels of stress:
- The death of a spouse or child
- Marriage separation
- Imprisonment /Jail time
- The death of a close family member, or friend
- Injury or illness
- Job loss
- Marriage re-consolidation
How can I reduce my Stress Levels?
Everyone handles stress in different ways, and what works for one does not work for all. Try these helpful tips to improve your ability to cope with stress:
- Sleep – It is recommended that the average person gets 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. Sufficient rest is important for our emotional coping skills and ability to handle stressful situations.
- Exercise – Try a yoga class, or going for walk. Exercise releases “feel good” hormones called endorphins, improving your mood and ability to cope with stress.
- Meditation – Guided meditation or relaxed breathing focuses the mind and reduces the overwhelmed feeling brought on by stress.
- Reduce screen time – Watching T.V. or looking at your phone is a stimulating activity which does not allow the brain to switch off. Cutting out these activities for at least an hour before bed, allows you to relax and be prepared for a good night’s sleep.
- Talking about your problems – “A problem shared is a problem halved”. Talking to a close friend, or a medical professional helps to process through a stressful situation, and reduce anxiety levels.
- Diet – Increased anxiety levels have been linked to a deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids and high fiber foods. Try incorporating more walnuts, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Improved stress management will improve your ability to cope with challenging situations, and has also been linked to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and a lower risk of dementia.