STRESS—who hasn’t tasted this yet? Perhaps everyone already did experience a certain event when all you just wanted to do is to unwind, lie on the bed for a day or two, and leave all your worries behind. Although it may sound so simple of a problem, stress is actually damaging to the health, most especially when we are exposed to stressful situations frequently.
Stress can produce a lot of effects in our system. In terms of our cardiovascular system, we may experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. When we speak of our GI system there is an increase of hydrochloric acid production which can lead to episodes of heartburn or acid reflux. We may also suffer from either constipation or diarrhea when exposed to stress and anxiety.
Deep Breathing Techniques—this step can greatly relax our muscles which tend to get tensed and contracted each time we feel stressed out. This procedure will also provide our blood and cells with more oxygen.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation- This step is most often done in conjunction with the above mentioned step. In progressive muscle relaxation, the person focuses on one area of the body first, i.e. shoulders, and from there, he or she will relax each area of the body one at a time. Instrumental and relaxing music is most often played to properly facilitate this activity.
Time Management Skills. In both school and work, many stress related incidences are due to improper prioritization and scheduling of tasks. To prevent this wearisome condition—it is best to plan things ahead of time.
Active Lifestyle. Exercising and living an active lifestyle can increase our tolerance for stress. Apart from that, it improves our heart and cardiovascular system as a whole.
Intake of Nutritious Foods. Eating foods rich in nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals is equated to taking anti-stress medications. With these foods, we provide our body with adequate amount of nutrients necessary in fighting off stress.
Apart from the “what-to-do” part in avoiding stress, it is also important to understand the things that we have to avoid in order to alleviate incidences of stress:
– Do not stay up too late. It is always best to sleep with the adequate amount of hours (at least eight hours of sleep).
– Avoid Coffee and Caffeinated Products. These products contain chemicals or compounds that can increase our anxiety and stress in the long run.
– Avoid Alcohol and Cigarette Smoking. These habits may temporary relieve you from stress but in the long run, these can pose threats to your body organs. Also, these are what we call the “coward person’s way” of dealing with stress.
– Drinking Tea. While caffeine can lead to further stress, tea can provide relaxing and soothing effects to our body. In fact, drinking warm tea before sleep can provide a restful night.
– Don’t Forget To Smile! Many people forget the essence of a smile. It is something which can lighten up one’s day and lessen the tension whether you are at home, at school or at the workplace.
Generally, stress can mess with our emotions and daily temperaments—we can feel a sense of tiredness and weakness when exposed to too much stress and there may be instances when we can suffer from insomnia because of a certain stressor in our lives. We have to deal with stress healthily—not through the use of short term stress relief activities like drinking, smoking and using drugs.