Unfortunately, for many, stress has become a part of their everyday experience. And we all know that stress has an impact on both the mind and body. So, while one cannot run away from life and its myriad responsibilities, one can most certainly learn some practical ways of managing and reducing stress.
So, what is stress? Well! It's the body's response to a demanding, difficult situation. It could be related to an important event like an exam, a job interview, or getting married. It could also be attached to something banal -for instance, a traffic jam, running late for a meeting, missing the bus because your morning alarm did not go off at the designated time. As we said, the reasons could be many, but the impact of excessive and overwhelming stress is never a good thing.
Here are some helpful techniques for you to keep stress in check.
Exercise: There is no doubt regarding the importance of physical activity on our body and its role in improving one's fitness. The research regarding the positive impact of physical activity on the mind, particularly reducing stress levels, is also very clear. Regular exercise releases a chemical called endorphins in the brain, popularly known as the happiness hormone. They can be of tremendous help in improving your mood and de-stressing your body and mind. But that's not all. Exercise is known to enhance the quality of your sleep. And we all know that disturbed or poor sleep patterns can further increase stress and anxiety levels. Getting 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), walking, running, swimming can get you all the benefits discussed above.
Add natural stress-busting supplements: Studies back the role of certain supplements in countering stress levels. For instance, adding Ashwagandha or lavender tea to your nightly sleep ritual can help you improve the quality of sleep and, at the same time, get you feeling relaxed and soothed. Furthermore, supplements like lemon balm, green tea, and valerian root are excellent natural remedies to get you de-stressed. And most of these supplements are available in the form of capsules, skin creams, mist spray to be used the way you prefer. As always, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding in any supplementation.
Focus on Nutrition: We often under-recognize the role of our food intake on our mental health. Take note of how you feel after eating certain things. Some foods might lead you to feel more fatigued or impact your mood in a negative way. Other foods might lead you to feel energized, clear-minded and happier. Pay attention to your body and eat foods that promote long-term health and feelings of mental clarity and well-being.
Be kind to yourself: It's easy to talk down to yourself because of the chaos around you. Suppose you are constantly indulging in self-criticism and thinking negatively about your abilities. In that case, it's time to stop and reconsider your attitude towards yourself. Learning how to develop a positive self-talk habit can help you feel relaxed and in control of your situation no matter the challenge. Addressing yourself with kindness and compassion instills a feeling of self-worth and confidence. And if you are someone who is struggling with issues of low self-worth maybe, seeking help from a trained therapist could help you resolve some of these issues.
Keep a gratitude journal: Expressing gratitude can be potent when coping with stress and anxiety. Reminding yourself of the people, things and resources you are thankful for can instill a feeling of wel-lbeing and empowerment. Keeping a journal and regularly writing what you feel grateful for is a highly healthy and positive exercise. People who believe in the power of gratitude are known to live a better quality of life.
All of the above habits can be practiced to help you feel de-stressed and relaxed. Suppose you struggle with stress and anxiety issues and find it interfering with your everyday life; there is no shame in seeking the right help for it. A trained psychologist or a mental health therapist can help you navigate your feelings of stress and anxieties.
As the saying goes, "Taking care of myself doesn't mean Me First. It means ``Me Too."
If you're looking for a therapist near Sherwood Park for anxiety and stress counselling, Ward & Associates Psychological Services is here for you. We specialize in individual counselling for adults, teens, and children and couples counselling and trauma counselling for first responders. We also offer online therapy for clients residing in Alberta. Contact us to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.