Not all stress is bad. In fact, believe it or not, there are several positive benefits of stress brought on by the unique combination of physical, emotional, and cognitive responses that the body has to certain painful or anxiety generating situations. For example, you tend to become very alert when faced with stress and oftentimes receive a boost in self-confidence when confronted with a challenge. Stress can even lead to higher levels of problem solving, an outcome that be helpful in many situations.
Too much stress, on the other hand, can be detrimental to ones health and wellness. Several examples of the effects of stress are as follows:
Emotional Effects of Stress
-Lack of motivation
-Inability to focus
Physical Effects of Stress
-Exhaustion or fatigue
-Insomnia or poor quality sleep
-Muscle aches and pains
Psychological Effects of Stress
-Drug or alcohol use
-Lack of appetite
It is imperative to find a healthy way to cope with or decrease stress in order to avoid the repercussions listed above. Here are a few handy tips to consider:
- Make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Good nutrition is an important building block in helping your body be physically prepared for stressful situations.
- Hydrate! Drink a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. A dehydrated body is less able to endure stressful situations.
- Get outside. Whether it’s for a walk or to sit on a bench, breathe in air and take a few moments to yourself each day. Mental clarity is an important component in coping with anxiety and pain.
- Frame stressors in a positive light. It is often true that the problem lies mostly in your head.
- Practice gratitude and kindness.
- Exist in the moment.
Although not a comprehensive list, combating stress is much easier with tools in your toolbox. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed and underwater, take a five-minute break complete with deep breaths and remember these tips before trying to tackle the problem.