When stress comes to mind, it’s often visualized as a high-strung executive handling a multitude of tasks, battling against deadlines with a laptop, phone, and coffee in hand. While this scenario can trigger tension headaches and digestive issues, it’s not the sole stress type impacting health.
Beyond the obvious, stress manifests in lesser-known ways like memory lapses, jaw pain, hair issues (loss or premature graying), heightened pain sensitivity, difficulty swallowing, and muscle soreness.
If any of these symptoms arise, consulting a doctor is important to rule out underlying medical conditions. Once medical causes are excluded, collaborating with your doctor to tackle your well-being can be done in different ways such as a referral to a mental health counselor.
Self-care methods play a role in stress management. Journaling, relaxation techniques, and exercise are proactive steps you can take.
Journaling allows you to pinpoint the sources and monitor your progress. Reflect on your day, noting emotions during and after activities, both positive and negative. Weekly reviews help identify patterns, revealing triggering activities or times of heightened stress.
Recognizing stress origins enables crafting a reduction plan. For instance, if work is the cause, strategies like workload adjustment or inter-task breaks might help. If evenings spike stress, winding down before bedtime could be beneficial.
Recording progress in your journal serves as motivation, reminding you of advancements made in stress reduction.
Relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation aid in calming the body and mind. Sequentially tensing and releasing muscle groups from toes to head while breathing deeply induces relaxation. Visualization, imagining serene settings, amplifies relaxation benefits.
Exercise significantly reduces stress and enhances overall well-being. Physical activity releases endorphins, uplifting mood, reducing tension, and improving sleep.
Incorporating exercise into daily life varies—beginning with light activities like short walks, yoga, or swimming. Gradually intensifying and prolonging workouts as fitness improves yields long-term benefits.
When stress surges, dedicating time to walk, practice yoga, or swim offers immediate relief while nurturing long-term health.
Seek professional help if self-management proves challenging and physical symptoms persist. Psychologists or life coaches can aid in devising strategies for mitigating its impact. There is nothing wrong with getting support and help from those who are trained to do just that!