Stress is normal, and most of us experience this at some point. However, some people cannot manage stress as well as others, especially when the situation or problem becomes overwhelming. A traumatic event can be highly stressful to some people and may eventually lead to anxiety or depression if not addressed. According to ADAA, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue, affecting about 40 million adults in the US. While anxiety disorders are treatable, only about 36.9 percent of people with anxiety receive treatment. It’s not uncommon for those with anxiety to also suffer from depression.
Stress can impact the mind and body both physically and emotionally. Increased use of alcohol and drugs, anxiety, depression, medical health conditions, and changes in desires or interests are just some of the symptoms of stress. Some of these are natural reactions to stressful events or situations, but they can become destructive if you don’t know how to effectively deal with the situation or cope with stress. Below are some helpful tips to help you better cope with stress.
One of the most important things that you can do to alleviate stress is to prioritize yourself first. Take care of yourself as much as possible. It can be easy to neglect your personal needs when stress is piling up or you have too many responsibilities. If you’re feeling burnt out or notice your anxiety increasing, it’s important to find a way to prioritize yourself. Self-care is an essential step in stress management.
Physical and emotional exhaustion can lead to stress. If stress is never properly handled, it can eventually put you at risk for disorders associated with stress. Self-care can significantly help your mental health. For example, the relaxation you get from getting a massage can trigger the relaxation response. During this process, your body will move toward a state of physiological relaxation. Your heart rate, hormone levels, and blood pressure may return to normal. For this reason, consistent self-care practices can prevent chronic stress from negatively affecting your health.
Take Care of Your Body
Nurturing yourself and your body can also help you to improve your mental and physical health. Find time to do activities that you enjoy and that are good for your body. Regular exercise is one of the best coping strategies for stress. Whether it is taking a walk, practicing yoga, oe lifting weights- moving your body does wonders for psychological stress and physical health. Exercise also boosts your cognitive function and enables you to become more productive at work!
Stress and anxiety can also negatively effect sleep patterns. Getting adequate rest plays a key role in managing stress. Sleep is a powerful destressing strategy. A regular sleep routine can calm and restore your body, regulate your stress hormones, improve your mood, and sharpen your decision-making. If you don’t get enough sleep, decide on a time to go to bed and stick to this routine.
In addition to sleep and physical activity, it is also important to make healthy food choices. Avoid alcohol, sugar, and junk food when you’re feeling stressed out. Go for proteins, leafy greens, and fruits that promote well nourished bodies.
When you’re incredibly stressed out, it may be wise to evaluate what media you are taking in. It could be helpful to log off social media or take a break from reading upsetting news stories to focus on reading materials that motivate or inspire you. Also, consider doing something productive like learning a new hobby or focusing on things that make you happy. Take as much time enjoying these things as they can help alleviate stress.
One of the most effective ways to alleviate stress is to talk to people you trust. Although it may seem easier to sit with your own thoughts sometimes, it is much better for your mental health to reach out to trusted friends or family members. Talking about your problems can help a lot, so be as honest as you can about your stress levels. Sharing when you feel stressed opens the door for people to help you. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. You can always get help so long as you ask for it.
Journaling is also a healthy way to cope with stress. Find a quiet place, get in a comfortable position, and take a few minutes each day to write about how you are feeling. Be as specific and descriptive as possible. Write what you think are the solutions to these problems and then reread them a few days after. Doing this exercise may help you gain perspective to resolve some of your issues and deal more effectively with daily stress.
Avoid Destructive Habits
Although they may seem like a temporary fix, drugs and alcohol are never the solutions to your problems. A temporary high is not a lasting solution and will only bring more stress, anxiety, and destruction in the future.
Research shows that breathing exercises are a proven relaxation technique, and won’t take much of your time. Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety quickly. Take 5 to 10 minutes each day to sit down, take deep breaths, and focus on being still. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques are another way to relieve stress. Yoga is also an effective meditation exercise known for alleviating stress.
See a Professional
When stress leads to anxiety or depression, consider seeing a mental health professional. There is no shame in seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist in order to ger control of your mental health. A mental health provider is there to help you identify what is causing your anxiety, and help you discover how to overcome it through therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
How TMS Therapy Can Help
Has your stress led to depression? Oasis TMS can help. TMS therapy is a safe and effective way to deal with depression. TMS treatment is FDA approved and has minimal side effects. Contact us today to figure out if TMS therapy is right for you.