Chronic Stress and Mental Health: Breaking the Cycle and Finding Relief
Did you know that stress can cause more harm to your body than you think? Stress is quite a common condition/emotion that we experience more than once in our lifetime. However, if you develop chronic stress, it can damage your body and increase the risk of other chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. But you can prevent that by taking control of your stress levels in your hands. Learn the 8 best ways to manage stress for a better life. Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness or log on to www.doralhw.org.
7 ways to manage stress
These ways can help you manage your stress and keep your mental health in check:
- Identify your triggers:
To manage your stress, you need to identify your triggers and sources of stress in your life. While some are easy to find such as work pressure, moving, relationship crisis, etc., other sources that affect your everyday life with chronic stress are hard to identify.
These stressors can be you missing a favorite show episode or activity or starting a new habit. This may happen due to your procrastination towards your work which builds up and causes stress. So, to solve those problems you need to observe your habits, attitude, and the excuses you make towards essential tasks. Take responsibility to change it or accept it on time to control your stress level towards those activities and situations.
- Practice deep breathing:
This is the easiest and most common way to deal with stress instantly anywhere. Deep breathing is a relaxation exercise that activates your sympathetic nervous system to control your body’s response to stress.
To do deep breathing, take a deep breath through your nose until you feel all the air filling your lungs, and then release the air through your mouth until you start feeling that your lungs are empty. Do this several times, it will calm your mind and reduce the overall stress and anxiety you’re experiencing.
You can also learn other self-relaxation techniques as well through different mental health apps on your smartphone.
- Maintain healthy lifestyle habits:
To manage stress, maintaining good lifestyle habits such as regular exercise and healthy eating is vital. Because our mind and body are connected, if the body is healthy the mind gets healthy as well, or vice versa. So, to manage stress, you need to keep your body fit. Physical activity and diet play major roles.
Physical activity is proven to be the best stress reliever and improves overall health. It reduces stress by producing feel-good chemicals in the brain and boosting energy levels. You can start with any physical activity you like and gradually increase its intensity.
Healthy foods fuel your mind and body and keep you more active throughout the day. Stress can deplete certain vitamins such as A, B complex, C, and E which are necessary for many functions. So, maintaining proper nutrition by eating good foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy, and lean proteins keeps your body and mind in better shape to fight stress.
- Get enough quality sleep:
Stress can affect your sleep quality, which makes you feel tired during the day which in turn makes it hard to complete your work. Over time, it can lead to sleep problems such as insomnia, and sleep apnea.
Good sleep can help to maintain your energy levels and to think more clearly. So, you need to make sure you get 7 to 9 hours of good night sleep without waking up in the middle of the night several times.
To create a good sleeping routine, follow these tips:
- Get in bed and wake up at the same time, even on weekends.
- Eat healthy and stay physically active.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine in the evening,
- Avoid gadgets with blue lights such as phones, laptops, TVs, etc. 60 minutes before bed.
- You can listen to calming music, read a book, and meditate to relax at bedtime.
For a good sleep, your sleep hygiene is also important. So, keep your bedroom clean, dark, quiet, and cool, and choose a clean mattress that provides good support, space, and comfort to your body for a good sleep.
- Connect with others:
As human beings, it’s our natural tendency to stay social. Social isolation and loneliness can lead to stress and depression. That’s why you should stay connected with your family and friends to feel better by sharing your thoughts and feelings. A good social connection makes your body release hormones to stop your fight-or-flight response and make you feel relaxed. So, call your friends and sit with your family for dinner to maintain a good social life and manage stress.
- Reduce social media time:
Spending time on social media may feel relaxing until some shocking news shows up and all your fun and pleasure vanishes. The same happens when you watch the news, read newspapers, or get sad news on social media. Reducing your time won’t save you from this bad news but reducing your onscreen social media time helps you focus on your thoughts or give time to other things to shift your attention.
And many people use social media at night, which worsens their sleep and leads to stress. So, manage your social media time and improve your sleep quality and your mental health.
- Do a fun activity:
Stress can make you feel down, and you cannot enjoy the activities you did in the past. Then, try to add a new activity to your life and see what happens. It can be as simple as meeting a friend, reading a comic, listening to music, watching a favorite movie, playing guitar, painting, etc. So, choose any activity you like for each day and just enjoy yourself. This way you stay relaxed and handle your life’s stressors better. Set leisure time aside from your schedule and pick an activity and you’re good to go.
Chronic stress affects your mental health negatively and increases the risk of other chronic illnesses. To prevent that, apply the above-mentioned stress management tips to control your stress levels and improve your well-being.
If your stress is difficult to handle, then visit our mental health clinic for professional help. Call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a consultation. We have some of the finest experienced psychiatrist doctors who listen to your concerns, examine your symptoms, and create a treatment plan to improve your condition as soon as possible. If you need help learning coping methods, register your information and make direct contact with our doctors and psychiatrists to learn those methods, log on to www.doralhw.org. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.