Are You Too Stressed? 7 Ways To Manage Stress
It is hard to find a person who doesn’t feel stressed about something in their life. Some stress may be productive, as it motivates you to perform better and reach your goals. However, ongoing or excessive stress can impair your ability to perform day-to-day tasks and harm your health.
Too much stress can lead to burnout – a state of complete exhaustion caused by lasting and excessive stress. In addition to feeling overwhelmed by persistent day-to-day demands, your mindset may also contribute to prolonged stress that leads to fatigue and burnout.
Emotional burnout can cause you to feel drained most of the time. It can reduce your motivation and productivity, affect your relationships, and damage your health. Although it is normal to experience fatigue from time to time, you may be under too much stress if you feel like this most of the time.
Signs You’re Too Stressed
Too much stress can sap all of your energy and trigger anxiety and depression. Here are some of the most common signs of emotional burnout.
- Lack of motivation
- Reduced productivity
- Inability to focus and pay attention
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling helpless and worthless
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Physical and Physiological signs
- Lack of energy
- Disturbed sleep
- Chronic tiredness
- Physical exhaustion
- low libido
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
- Social withdrawal
- Substance use
- Binge eating or undereating
- Reduced efficiency
- Angry outbursts
- Relationship issues
You may be experiencing any of these signs or most of them. Address your concerns with your health provider to prevent long-term damage stress can have on your health. Also, consider the following seven tips to relieve stress and raise resilience.
The Most Effective Stress Management Strategies
Stress management helps you overcome stress in your life and enjoy a balanced and productive life again. It improves resilience, enables you to recognize your stress triggers, and helps you develop strategies for managing them.
Journaling or expressive writing is a technique that helps remove mental barriers and get in touch with your intuition. Writing down your experiences, negative thoughts, and repressed feelings can help you think outside the box while working through painful emotions or searching for solutions to your problems.
Visualization or guided imagery involves creating images in your mind or imagining yourself achieving your goals or overcoming obstacles. This technique can help relax, reduce stress and pain, boost confidence, increase resilience, and improve mood. Also, guided imagery can help alleviate anxiety, attract positive outcomes, and improve mental and physical health.
Mindfulness meditation can alleviate stress-related symptoms and improve your mood. It can help you stayed focused, enhance your memory and concentration, pep up your confidence, and improve your relationships.
Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts, which allows you not to react to stressors instantly but to take a moment and reflect on the situation.
It has been proven that meditation leads to relaxation. For example, mindful breathing can help you relax in situations you perceive as stressful or threatening.
Studies have shown that mindfulness exercise can reduce the brain’s stress response center’s (the amygdala) activity, making you more resilient to stress.
Spending time in nature has restorative effects because it can help you relax and let go of negative thoughts that trigger stress and anxiety. Spend time outside at least once, and feel connected to nature around you. Practice mindfulness meditation outside and go for long, relaxing walks. Connecting with nature can help you slow down, ease stress, anxiety, and depression, and feel more optimistic.
Regular physical activity has proven to be one of the most effective strategies in combating stress. Research shows that physical exercise promotes a series of brain changes by helping release endorphins that generate new cells and connections in the brain. Regular exercise leads to improved mental flexibility, increased happiness and optimism, a better immune system, and greater energy levels. Also, physical activity promotes resilience, boosts confidence, leads to improved sleep, and provides a sense of control over your life, all of which helps alleviate stress.
Sleep is a natural process that restores every organ, protects you against illnesses, and regulates your mood.
A chronic lack of sleep affects the mind and body, impairing your ability to focus and remember things. Sleep deprivation can also compromise your emotional control, directly determining how well you deal with stress and anxiety.
However, the relationship between sleep and stress goes both ways, as disturbed sleep is often the first sign of stress. Sleep deprivation acts as a chronic stressor, affecting your thinking and emotional stability and making it more difficult to handle stress.
But if you improve your sleep, you will raise resilience that helps you manage stress.
Sometimes our coping strategies are not enough to manage stress and anxiety alone. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out for help. Mental health counseling can be a safe place to address things in your life that cause you to feel stressed, whether it is job burnout, relationship challenges, or negative thinking patterns.
Reach out to a mental health professional can help ease feelings of isolation and loneliness that come with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mental health counseling can help bring clarity and perspective, teach you stress management strategies, improve your self-esteem, provide acceptance and support, and boost optimism and happiness.
Psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you overcome negative thinking patterns that aggravate stress and anxiety and replace them with a positive mindset.
All of these self-help strategies can improve cognitive flexibility and boost your resilience. Elastic or flexible thinking can help you think differently about the challenges you face and help you develop different strategies to approach the problem.
At the same time, resilience represents the ability to cope with stress and quickly bounce back after life challenges. In other words, being resilient doesn’t mean not experiencing stress at all, but being able to recover from the crisis quickly.
Cognitive flexibility and resilience are skills that you can practice and improve to relieve stress and get your life back on track.
When you are ready to see what could be next for you, what is possible when making yourself a priority, book a time to chat here.