Stress is generally considered a mental health challenge, but it takes its toll on the entire body.
Here is a brief from American Psychological Association’s website how and what parts of our body stress affects.
- Stress creates tension in muscles.
- It affects respiratory system.
- It contributes to heart problems.
- Stress leads to creation of ‘stress hormones”, which badly affect immune system.
- It leads to gastrointestinal problems.
- Stress can lead to bloating, pain, stomach upset, nausea and other stomach problems.
- It can also create bloating and other relating problems in bowels.
- It severely impacts nervous system.
- Badly affects make reproductive system.
- Can eliminate or reduce sexual desire.
- May significantly reduce sperm production.
- It can lead to other diseases of male reproductive system.
- Affects menstruation among adolescent girls and women.
- Can negatively affect sexual desire among women.
- May impact pregnancy.
This is just a glimpse of how can stress quickly harm our bodies. Life under stress is literally finished, or least enjoyable.
What you can do under stress then, is to find a way to cope with it. Better try to overcome stress, and most importantly, the reasons that are causing it.
If you have chronic stress and have to live with it, work towards stress management then. It would help you live a quality of life as much as possible.
Here we would suggest how you can best protect yourself from stress, and to give you a higher level of confidence, we are copying these ideas, into our words, from APA, which of course is a word of science.
Exercise or physical activity is must
An inactive lifestyle is a major source of stress. Or an inactivity under stress can lead to more stress and can affect your entire body.
A physical activity of any type and at any level is therefore highly recommended for people with stress, and even during normal course of life, if you want to live healthy and fit.
An exercise, which is a planned physical activity, is a best way out to stress reduction and management.
Among exercises, walk is the best. It is a very effective exercise, especially for people with chronic stress. In addition to its physical benefits, walk has a therapeutic value. For example, it can work as a psychotherapy for people with stress.
When we walk, a reel of speculative thoughts starts unrolling in our heads. As we walk the process continues, sometimes without us being unaware.
By the time we finish walk, our heads are clearer and cleansed of these thoughts. We feel a fresh wave energy and positivity in our moods.
Morning walks are better than walks at other times, but there is no compulsion; you should walk whenever and wherever you find a space and time.
It is better if you find time to walk out in the park in natural conditions and fresh air. If you do not have that much time, you can walk on your treadmill.
Your treadmill is very effective fitness training equipment. You have it at your disposal all the time, and whenever you find some time, even as little as five minutes, you can walk.
When you can’t take out enough time in one span to walk or run on your treadmill, you can implement small and more walk plans. You can walk more than once any time during the day or late in the evenings.
If you are able to find more strength and motivation, you can do some other exercises including those that involve some weight. In general, cycling, swimming and other exercises, which focus cardio workouts are more effective.
Note: take care of your body’s hydration need in general and particularly when you are exercising. Drink a lot of water after exercise, especially if involves a fitness training equipment.
Food and rest complement stress management
Sometimes, not eating healthy foods contribute towards increase in stress. At other times, a person under stress can lose its way to eating habit and style.
Focus on healthy foods, which are considered balanced diets, and include meat, vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables are particularly very helpful in stress management.
They not only protect your body from harmful impact of stress, but increase your readiness to face its contributory challenges boldly and successfully.
Nonetheless, stop or at least cut size of fast-foods in your daily menu, and chew well while eating, so you digest your foods well and get maximum nutrition value.
Take a time out to sit properly at your table for eating your meal. Don’t rush, and don’t eat while changing and running out for your car to work or any other routine.
It is recommended that don’t drink water in-between your meal, but drink water according to your need at least half hour after you finish your meal.
Also, drink a lot of water after shower or bath, after exercise and after sex. At all these times, water has higher positive impact on your body.
Rest and sleeping well are among other factors that can help you cope with your stress. Six hours of quality and uninterrupted sleep is must, not just for stressful people, but even for normal ones.
Sleep sound sleep at night, to the latest 11:00pm, and do it as a routine. It is very effective for people with mental health challenges. If you are not sleeping well, solve problems that are reasons behind it, and if stress is one of those problems, seek help.
Find a social support group
A social support network can be a professional group where you can attend sessions with other people and share yourself with them.
It often helps, as you are able to let yourself out and unburden yourself of unnecessary weight that you have put on yourself in form of a guilt, regret and any other element that is pushing or keeping you under stress.
When you are not in position or do not want to, for any reason, join a professional support group, at least you should find and keep a positive company. It can be a company of your close friends or relatives.
It could be a number of people who you trust, who you can share your issues with, or they understand you even when you don’t share anything with them.
Such trusted people would always talk positive around you and encourage you too to be grateful for what you have. They would urge to try as much as you can to come out of challenges you are facing.
An emotional support, even as little as an encouraging talk, is very helpful for stressful people. It often triggers waves of positivity in their moods and could possibly bring positive energy too.
Stay away from negative people, even when you are not able to find a positive company. They are nothing but negativity. They can suck you deeper into whirl of negativity, from where you are already struggling to come out.
Sophie is an emotional therapist, motivational speaker and organizer of social support and inclusion groups. She regularly blogs on the subjects of health, life and social issues. ???? Currently is associated with Xn8 Sports who specialize in designing, manufacturing and selling Boxing, MMA & Fitness gear and accessories.