Research estimates that 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related. The health of our mind, spirit and sense of connection to community has an immense impact on the health of the body. It's completely normal to experience stress from time to time.
What Causes Stress?
being under lots of pressure
facing big changes
worrying about something
not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation
having responsibilities that you're finding overwhelming
not having enough work, activities or change in your life
times of uncertainty.
Stress can also be caused by a build up of small things as well.
Why Do Certain Things Make Me Feel Stressed?
The amount of stress you feel in different situations may depend on many factors, such as:
your perception of the situation – this might be connected to your past experiences, your self-esteem, and how your thought processes work (for example, if you tend to interpret things positively or negatively)
how experienced you are at dealing with that particular type of pressure
your emotional resilience to stressful situations
the amount of other pressures on you at the time
the amount of support you are receiving.
We're all different, a situation that doesn't bother you at all might cause someone else a lot of stress.
The real question many struggle with (including myself sometimes) is this: How do we manage stress in a healthy way?
Here are 4 ways to manage stress:
Address the underlying causes
If you feel chronically stressed, anxious or depressed and are not sure why, dig a little deeper. Seeing the right therapist can be the start of a new journey to self-healing. Journaling your thoughts everyday to reflect on your emotions, and what may be causing them, is another great way to address the underlying cause of your stress or anxiety. In addition, tracking your daily diet in a journal to review what type of food you consume can help determine if you are getting the proper nutrients your body needs to lift your energy and mood.
This does not mean staying in bed all day. This means practicing meditation, breathwork, walking, journaling, coloring, and more. Spend time actively relaxing daily to give your mind a break from technology and any additional stressors.
Move your body daily
Exercise is a well-studied way to burn off stress chemicals and heal the mind. This does not mean you need to do the most intense workout of your life. It could be as simple as walking around the block, doing energizing yoga, a jog around the neighborhood, lifting weights and so forth. Studies show that we should aim for at least 30 minutes of movement daily.
Challenge your perspective
Examine your belief's, attitudes, and responses to common situations and consider reframing your point of view. Stress is only stressful if you believe it is. Minimize your interaction with negative influences, gossip and toxic news. Instead, focus your energy on subjects that challenge you in a positive way and makes room for growth. For example, deleting your social media apps for the weekend to see how you feel and if it makes a difference with your mood and energy. Or, setting healthy boundaries with certain people to help relieve any painful social interactions.
Learning how to cope with stress can make or break how we deal with life-changing situations. Use these different methods to embrace your stress and begin your self-healing.
"Give your stress wings and let it fly away." - Terri Guillemets