We live in a world where stress seems to be part and parcel of daily life, whether this is trying to manage a work/life balance or dealing with an important life event such as moving to a new house, a new job or getting married. But although stress might be a common occurrence for many of us, how we deal with it can have a massive impact on our health.
In fact, according to WebMD, stress (or distress, which is negative stress), can lead to a range of physical symptoms including elevated blood pressure, headaches, chest pain, sleeping problems, and abdominal issues.
In addition to physical symptoms, stress can also affect our mood and cause issues such as feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety, sadness, lack of motivation, restlessness, irritability, and anger. Both physical and mental symptoms associated with stress can then lead to changes in behavior. Some people find negative ways of dealing with stress, such as abusing alcohol or drugs. Others will lash out and/or become withdrawn while others will allow their symptoms to affect their eating habits, either under- or overeating.
Thankfully, there are some much more positive ways to deal with stress. Below are just a few examples.
Try a Sound Bath
You might not have heard of a sound bath before but according to the experts at Maloca Sound this meditative experience has the ability to induce feelings of calm and relaxation. It usually involves a group of people lying down and listening to a facilitator playing a variety of instruments to create different sounds and frequencies. Sound baths can help to relieve some of the symptoms of stress, such as anxiety and depression.
Although you might not feel like exercising when you are stressed out, it can be immensely beneficial in relieving those feelings of distress. Physical activity encourages the brain to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Try to take part in physical activities that you enjoy, such as walking, cycling, or swimming. There is no point in jumping around doing aerobic exercises if you really don’t enjoy it.
Watch a Funny Movie
When you are feeling stressed or irritable, why not sit down and enjoy a good comedy movie. Laughing lightens the mood and will help to relieve your feelings of stress. It can also have a positive impact on any physical symptoms you have.
Listen to Music
Listening to some of your favorite songs can help to lighten your mood. Try playing some feel-good tunes that make you want to get up to dance. Alternatively, if you are settling down for the night, some classical music can be very relaxing and help you to get a better sleep.
Have a Pamper Night
We are often stressed out because we are doing everything for the people in our lives, whether that is our partners, children, other family members, friends, or employers. Taking some time for yourself where you are free to relax and unwind can be an amazing stress reliever. It might simply be an hour alone to have a relaxing bath with a good book and some candles or taking the time to pamper yourself with some face masks. Whatever works for you and gives you some ‘me time’ is good.
If you are feeling stressed, it can be good to take a step away from the humdrum of everyday life and spend some time with family and friends. A date night once a week with your partner while someone looks after the kids will give you the opportunity to talk and chill out. Or perhaps set up a monthly activity with your friends, such as movie night or a meal.