We all know what stress feels like. That hyped-up rush when you feel that everything is getting on top of you. To be fair, these days, we’ve got a lot to worry about: our jobs, our relationships, our diets, our hobbies, our friends, our families…phew. It’s no wonder we can feel a little overwhelmed occasionally.
But what happens when this turns into something bigger? Did you know, long-term can impact your body – whether that’s by over-eating or under-eating. In extreme cases, increased stress can even lead to hair loss and stomach ulcers!
The effects of stress impact us emotionally as well, which is a truth both obvious and often ignored. While some stress may produce feelings of mild anxiety or frustration, prolonged stress can lead to burnout, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Here’s some tips how to combat stress on your health:-
Write It Down
Sometimes, you’re not under as much pressure as you may think. Write down everything that is stressing you out so you can see it in black and white. You may find it’s much more manageable than you thought. If it’s a lot to unpack – that’s fine too. Create a written plan with steps on how you will deal with each issue.
Minimise Your Caffeine & Alcohol
You may feel you need to be pumped up with coffee and energy drinks, or to be cheered up with alcohol, but I can promise you that both of these things will have the opposite effect and make you feel worse once the initial effect wear off. Moderation is key, here.
Although the last thing you may want to do is pull on your gym kit, taking an hour out of your busy day to burn some calories and work up a sweat can really help to release tension and also allows you to focus on something other than your worries. The positive endorphins released afterwards certainly help, too!
Take Note of Your Eating Habits
Are you eating pizza or takeaway for the third day in a row? Or on the other hand, have you just noticed you haven’t eaten for hour? Keeping an eye on your eating habits and managing them healthily will give you back a degree of control and ensure you’re not stress eating / under eating which can cause health problems whichever way it falls.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes stress becomes so great that you may need the need the help of medications, herbal treatments or the aid of a professional. If you are experiencing excessive anxiety or symptoms of depression, find yourself engaging in unhealthy or compulsive behaviours, or have a general feeling that you need help, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional. You can see some helplines here. There is always help available, and you can be feeling better and more in control of your life soon.
Whatever your reasons for your stress, it doesn’t need to impact your health. As long as you recognise the symptoms and deal with it earlier on, you and be on the road to a healthier, happier life.