Feeling the all too familiar sensation of a racing heart, pulsing arteries, throbbing head and that feeling of immense pressure building up in between your ears? Well, that is stress. It is something that happens to everyone and at some point in their lives. It doesn’t matter if you are a well-kept hotshot working professional who is about to present stats to the higher-ups, or a disheveled college student who is making a mad dash through the books, for his upcoming semester end examinations- stress doesn’t discriminate.
Stress has been for quite some time, a silent assassin that has been keeping people on their heels for as far as mankind has thrived. The pressure from something not going the way it was meant to, or the sheer anxiety from something that may or may not happen, can unsettle and disturb many.
It is the body’s reaction to a situation that has the potential to cause harm or unsettle. When you are feeling threatened, there is a chemical concoction of reactions in the body which prepare the body for injury- commonly called the “fight-or-flight” response. During this response to danger, the vessels expand so as to allow more blood flow, the heart rate increase to supply the body with nourishing oxygenated blood, the muscles tighten, and the blood pressure rises. Stress is good in some ways, as many say; some people perform better in stress. It keeps you focused and reflexive.
However, our body is designed to combat stress for a short duration. Stress that prevails over a long time has several ill effects on the body, some of which cannot be reversed. Some of the physical symptoms of stress are:
- Lethargy and low energy
- Insomnia and sleeplessness
- Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation and feeling nauseous.
- Weakened immune system- frequent colds and infections
- Elevated heartbeat and chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Drop in sexual libido
These are just the physical symptoms. There are behavioral symptoms like procrastinating, an exhibition of nervous behavior like fidgeting and pacing. Cognitive symptoms like constant worrying, inability to focus, forgetfulness, pessimism, poor judgment making abilities and so on. The risks of hypertension, stroke and heart ailments are also greatly increased as a result of chronic stress. This is why you need to put a lid on the stress and control it.
Ways To Controlling Stress
As understood, chronic stress is not something that you want. There are some health tips to mitigate stress and help you find a stage of controlled peace. Take a look:
Listening To Music
Music has a calming effect on the brain. It can reduce blood pressure and the production of cortisol which is a hormone that is related to stress. It is advised not to play loud as it will have the opposite effect. Instead listen to the soundtracks of the ocean or nature, as the relaxing effects can have a very positive impact on your stress levels.
Stress eating is a common phenomenon, and many times people would resort to stuffing themselves with fried, sugary snacks that you can simply pick-up and have. These can make you feel miserable, right after you are done. The cycle of stress eating goes like this: feel bad- eat fatty foods -feel good for a while- feel bad again; the cycle repeats and before you know, you are an unhealthy blob of fat.
Plan ahead with fruits and vegetables- include omega 3 fatty acids into the mix from fish or meats, which have an effect of reducing the stress. Take the time to cook at home, as it doesn’t get healthier than that. Eating right is the first step to battling stress and feeling good about yourself.
Brew, Brew And Brew Some More
Try brewing tea- this is riddled with antioxidants and also theanine, which is an amino acid known to calm the nervous system. Cut out the coffee as more than often, you will get the jitters as the caffeine causes a spike in the blood pressures and causes you to get jumpy.
Instead, brew tea whenever you are feeling overwhelmed and nervous. Don’t add sugar to your tea if you are having more than 2 cups a day, as the last thing you need is to be flooding your bloodstream with sugars. Make the act of brewing tea slow and enjoyable; relish the little things such as watching the bubbles form as your tea reaches a boil, watching the extract from the tea leaves infuse into the tea. All of this will help you zone into what you are doing and disconnect you from your worries and sources of stress.
The Final Whistle
Employ these wellness tips and take the step today to control your stress levels. Life will be more enjoyable and meaningful. After all, in the race of life, stopping to look around is just as important as the race itself.