- Mindfulness, Stress

I’m Trying To Manage My Stress

Elements of Stress

Recently, I’ve been under a lot of stress. There! I’ve admitted it out loud.

Several minor surgeries – mainly inconveniences – family issues, work issues, and being there for my friend while she waits to die from brain and stomach tumors.

Everything seemed to have piled up on me at the same time! And despite my daily meditation, I still feel a bit discombobulated. I know I will get through this bad patch.

In this age and time, everything works fast. It seems like the busy streets of your city expanded to the rest of the world. Everyone is in a hurry. There’s always a bus to catch, a project to finish, a deal to close, a client to meet, and a deadline to beat. All of these have one common element – stress.

People just won’t run out of anything to stress about. People get stressed with domestic problems, financial burdens, traumatizing events, a busy workplace, traffic jams, confusing choices, and lack of time. A lot of illnesses are actually byproducts of stress. It is imperative to stop stress as early as its first symptom shows.

Understanding Stress

A lot of people believe that stress is a common element in any person’s life. Well, unless a person’s life is a boring routine – day in, day out, he or she will surely experience stress at some point in his or her life. Stress is the body’s response whenever it feels threatened due to something or some event that bothers its balance.

But, also, stress can be healthy as it helps a person focus and performs a task at hand efficiently despite extrinsic pressure. It proves helpful, especially in emergencies. However, too much of it can pose a lot of dangers to a person’s health.

Watch Out!: Stress Alert!

There are a lot of stress symptoms and according to the NHS website for England. These symptoms may be self-diagnosed by observing one’s way of thinking, his or her emotions, changes in physical appearance, and one’s behavior.

Cognitive Changes

  • Weak Memory. Stress makes people forget. It weakens the memory which explains why one would forget where he or she left the keys, phone, or pen.
  • Lack of Focus. With too much stress, the mind finds it hard to focus and concentrate which makes it hard to beat deadlines and produce high-quality output.
  • Poor Judgment. It also makes people make poor judgment, uneducated choices, and decisions without concrete bases.
  • Pessimism. Stress also turns people into pessimists, always anxious and worried, almost sure that something will go wrong.

Emotional Changes

  • Bad mood. Some people may not know mood swings until they experience stress. This explains why people with busy minds and bodies are cheerful one minute and grouchy on the next.
  • Sensitivity. Stressed people are extra-sensitive and ill-tempered. Stress makes people restless. It makes people feel highly intense emotions making them prone to depression.

Physical Changes

  • Acne, Diarrhea, and Nausea. Most people would associate stress with acne. Aside from this, some people suffer from diarrhea because of too much stress. Nausea is also a common symptom.
  • Heart Problems. People’s hearts may also suffer and cause stressed people to experience chest pains and rapid heartbeat. Some people lose their usual sexual appetite which may cause other marital and behavioral problems if not understood clearly.

Behavioral Changes

  • Weight. Both weight loss and weight gain may be associated with stress. This is because one’s appetite is greatly affected by stress and may cause either cause them to eat a lot more or a lot less.
  • Sleep. The same goes for one’s sleeping pattern. Stressed people may sleep a lot more or a lot less.
  • Work. People who suffer from too much stress change their behavior toward work or studies and make them procrastinate more and neglect their responsibilities.
  • Addiction. Likewise, they develop a dependence on different substances such as alcohol, cigarette, and drugs.

Stress Shows – Physical Symptoms of Stress

While some people think it is impolite to comment on how stressed out another person looks, this etiquette item is definitely not on a true friend’s list. True friends know that the bitter truth is a lot better than a sweet lie.

However, nothing beats one’s one evaluation of his or her appearance. One look at the mirror and one can easily identify signs of stress. A lot of studies identified different physical symptoms of stress and seeing these signs means that it is time to do something about it.

Stomach Aches

Some people may think that it is highly unlikely but stress can affect a person’s gastrointestinal tract
negatively. According to Women’s Health Magazine, stress can cause diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, and nausea.

Although people may seek relief from over-the-counter (OTC) stool-softeners, prescription medications, and a fiber-rich diet, it can actually be remedied by exercise to release the endorphins or the “happy hormones”. Endorphins are beneficial both for people’s minds and gut.

Bad Hair Day: Hair Loss

When one sheds a lot of hair, more than his or her dog does, it must be because of stress. Although a hundred strands a day is fine, abnormal shedding usually takes place months after a highly stressful event in a person’s life. Such events cause an androgen production spurt which induces temporary hair loss.

Unfortunately, there is no sure cure for this temporary condition. Healthcare professionals recommend having a balanced diet which may not totally restore lost hair strands but aid in the healing process and cell growth restoration.

Source of Perspiration: Excessive Sweating

As stress causes adrenaline release, it causes a significant increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and sweating according to the Mental Health Organization.

Aside from excessive sweating, these changes inside a person’s body cause other symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and different kinds of pain.

Up Tight: Tight Muscles

According to the Huffington Post, stress causes muscles to tighten leading to painful muscle spasms. This is why a lot of people crave for body massage whenever they feel stressed out.

Twitch and Shout: Eyelid Twitching

Experiencing spasms around an eye that lasts for a few minutes is one of the symptoms of stress. Even though there is an available OTC artificial tears that can stop this, relaxing ad taking deep breaths with eyes closed can be a free remedy for this condition.

By All Means: Menstrual Irregularities

Some women may experience pregnancy scares while some people may be boggled by late or missed monthly periods, these can actually be caused by excessive stress. In some cases, there are no missed or late periods. However, it is the intensity of cramps that a woman experiences which worsens because of stress.

Acting Up: Acne

Acne is perhaps the most common symptom of stress. Breakouts are also common effects of the active production of androgens which takes place when one is stressed out. Although some people normally suffer from acne, they should visit a dermatologist to prevent scarring if breakouts keep coming back.

How I Deal with Stress

  • Focus on the Positive. When life becomes overwhelming and and I begin to struggle to maintain order it is important that I break up tasks and focus on what I have already accomplished, or can accomplish quickly. I try to make a list of priorities and order them in priority.
  • Ask for Help. Social support is highly important for mental health and socializing can allow for rest and relaxation during overwhelming times. With my strong social network, I have no problem asking for help.
  • Work Through. When deadlines arrive and the workload seems overwhelming, I sit down and begin working. With procrastination and worry comes wasted time and often lends itself to falling farther behind.
  • Exercise. The good news is that exercise is not only good for maintaining a healthy and fit body, but it also helps me to maintain a healthy mind.
  • Live, Laugh, Love. Laughter is the best medicine – this adage will never get old and will never lose its truth.  I can look at old comedies like The Carol Burnett Show over and over again and bring myself to tears laughing! Also, I try to share jokes with friends once in a while.
  • Connections, Connections! While I tend to prefer to be alone whenever I feel stressed out, I make myself  contcact or go out with friends.
  • Meditation. Without a doubt this my daving grace, if you will, my best stress-reliever. The state of just being quiet to gain back the balance that I’ve lost because of stressful events works for me. However, achieving inner peace takes a lot of patience and on-going practice.

Remember – Stress is Normal

It is important to remember that stress is normal and you are never going to be able to live a completely stress-free life. However, this doesn’t mean that you must live a life feeling bogged down with constant stress and worry.

Stress is a part of everyone’s life and as with work, family, health, and social obligations people often lose track of order and become overwhelmed. Defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, people can suffer from stress in varying degrees.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”– Dolly Parton

Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping, especially when I was stressed out. I learned to better understand and manage my stress after I read “7 Days of Self Care Free” Private Label Rights (PLR) content from Susanne Myers and Tracy Roberts. You, too, can get it at no cost here.

If you’re interested in revitalizing your life through meditation and would like to learn a virtually risk-free, and cost-effective practice, that people of all ages can do with a little patience and guidance and that will serve you for the rest of your life, I would love to connect with you. You can connect with me here.

I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.

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