Life is full of many joys, but at the same time, it can be incredibly stressful. Relationships, jobs, and other priorities can all be a part of a fulfilling life, but they can also be common sources of stress.
Because stress is an inherent part of life, it is important to learn how to effectively deal with and manage stress. Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress but understanding the difference between constructive and unproductive stress management techniques can help guide you to a better way of dealing with the stress life presents you with.
When left unchecked, stress can begin to impact your overall wellbeing and health. Building healthy stress management and coping techniques can help mitigate the chances of these negative aspects of stress. Below is a closer look at stress, how it affects you, and effective ways to increase your tolerance and resistance to stress.
Stress and how it affects You
From an everyday perspective, you most likely understand pretty well how stress makes you feel. When you have a large project, presentation, or simply a lot on your plate you are likely to start feeling the effects of stress on your body. A racing heart, sweaty palms, and even a general feeling of heightened awareness are all common sensations experienced when you are stressed.
While you most likely know how stress makes you feel, understanding the underlying way that stress impacts your body can allow you to have a greater appreciation of the importance of keeping it in check. Below is a closer look at the short and long-term effects of stress on the body.
Short term effects of stress
The stress response is a mechanism within the body that has evolved through thousands of years as it provides a substantial evolutionary advantage. The human stress response can best be thought of as an emergency turbo boost function that prepares your body to deal with a threat. When your body perceives a threat it stimulates the release of cortisol and adrenaline within the body. These two chemical messengers signal a significant number of changes within the body.
With the release of stress hormones, the body increases the processes necessary to fight or flee while reducing immediately unnecessary functions. Typically heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and glucose availability increase while processes like digestion and immunity are suppressed. With short-term stressors, the temporary suppression is of little concern and once the threat is removed you will quickly return to baseline.
Effects of chronic stress
While the acute stress response is fairly benign, when stress remains it can begin to cause problems. With the stress response modifying the normal functioning of the body, prolonging it can cause more harm than good.
Our distant ancestors benefited greatly from the stress response as almost all stressors faced were short-term such as fleeing or fighting against a predator. Today people are not often met with life-threatening stressors as frequently, yet stress and anxiety are through the roof. This is due to the fact that the brain is unable to distinguish between a physical threat and other threats. This leads to the stress response firing even when it isn’t needed such as speaking in public or having too many tasks to complete.
Chronic stress is a common occurrence in today’s world as there are just so many things that can provoke the body’s innate response. When constantly in a heightened state due to the continual release of stress hormones, it places strain on your body. Chronic stress is linked to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, and depression.
How to effectively manage stress
Stress tolerance is a concept that looks at how much stress you can handle at a given time. While helpful, the concept of tolerance can be somewhat misleading as you don’t need to go out and stress yourself out to increase the amount of stress you can handle. A more effective way to increase your stress capacity is to understand how to effectively manage and deal with stress as it comes your way.
Below are a few tips and tricks to help you effectively manage your stress level and build up your resilience and ability to persevere through life.
When going through the day many responsibilities can be placed on you at a moment’s notice. Your significant other can ask you to pick up some groceries, your boss could ask you to review something, and your family may want to schedule a video call. All of these small things can add up and stress you out trying to keep track of everything you need to do.
Utilizing the power of reminders, lists, and general organization can help you to keep track of everything you need to do. No more worrying about forgetting and by setting reminders you can free up your mind since you know you will eventually get to the task.
Some stresses are unavoidable and when you cannot eliminate a stressor, the only thing you can do is change how your body reacts. Exercise is an effective stress management technique because it utilizes the stress response for what it was intended to do, facilitate physical movement.
Exercise is a productive coping mechanism because you can effectively reduce stress levels while simultaneously elevating your overall wellness through physical exercise. Additionally, you supply the body with natural endorphins that can help you feel better.
Sometimes all your body needs is to regroup and gain a new perspective. Meditation is a technique that attempts to refocus your attention to the present moment and to temporarily remove yourself from the things that are stressing you out.
Taking a moment for yourself to regroup can be just the change of perspective you need to see the stressors around you more clearly and more effectively deal with them. The benefits of meditation are far-reaching and with consistent meditation, you could see significant improvements in your resilience and ability to handle stress.
Support brain health
Dealing with stress can be difficult and if you are faced with a fogged mind this can make it much more difficult to confront stress in an effective manner. A great way to think about mental clarity is to think of it as a literal fog. When you are driving while it is foggy, it can be more difficult to drive effectively since your perception is fogged. The same is true for your mind.
MitoQ brain is a supplement that aims to support optimal brain functioning and promote mental clarity. With a clear mind, it can be easier to make decisions and be easier to see what is placing stress on you and effectively deal with it.
Resilience is not built overnight and it requires effort, time, and commitment to achieve. When looking at stress tolerance specifically, this means understanding yourself and learning what works best for you to effectively handle and deal with your stress. When you can effectively deal with stress as it comes your way, the amount of stress you can handle increases drastically. While no one wants to have more stress placed on their life, it is nice to know that you can handle whatever life throws your way with a higher stress tolerance.