It doesn’t matter your age, your location or what field you work in, everybody stresses out, and some of us have trouble telling when we are feeling stressed.
Today is National Stress Awareness Day, a day to help people identify and reduce the impacts that our daily stressors have on our health and wellbeing.
Unmanaged stress has many short-term impacts such as energy loss, headaches, muscle tension, aches and pains, insomnia, loss of sexual drive. Long-term impacts of unmanaged stress can include everything from emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, to physical problems like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
There’s also evidence that unmanaged stress increases one’s vulnerability to develop addiction.
Identifying stressors is one thing but dealing with them in a healthy and productive way is another. For many, turning to risky behaviors like drinking, using drugs or having unsafe sex are escapes from stress.
While these behaviors might cause temporary relief, indulging them will ultimately make the symptoms of stress worse. They will probably become stressors in and of themselves.
If work, money, family, relationships, or anything at all is causing you stress, try these activities to bring back your zen.
Having someone tell you to sweat it out might seem trite, but there are good reasons for why it is suggested to stressed-out folks so frequently. Exercising releases endorphins which feel good not only in the moment, but also can increase self-esteem in the long term.
Exercise can work as either a stress reliever—taking away the edge after a long day of work—or a stress inoculator—getting the endorphins flowing early to prevent stress.
Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
In many instances, stress can arise from poor communication. Whether at work or in our relationships, we might cause stress by bottling up what we want to say and act aggressively later by letting those bottled emotions turn to anger. More stress ensues.
Like exercise, being assertive helps build self-confidence and self-esteem. By creating an open and honest communication exchange you will also increase the chances of coming to agreement or having win-win situations, preventing stress in the future.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Meditation isn’t only for hippies. At least it shouldn’t be.
Practicing relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation can greatly reduce stress. Sitting in a comfortable upright position and paying close attention to your breaths can lower your heart rate and slow down your stream of thoughts. Repeating affirmative thoughts to yourself during meditation practice can also help build a sense of positivity.
Build a Nurturing Community
Talk to someone besides yourself.
By creating a supportive community of friends, family and even trained professionals like a counselor, therapist and psychiatrist, you can cope with stress by confiding in others. Stress causes us to feel an unwanted weight or burden and sharing that load minimizes its effects.
Get Help for Alcohol and Drug Use
As previously mentioned, turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with stress is not a sustainable solution and will very likely make stressors worse. Whether you are using alcohol, prescription drugs, methamphetamine, opioids or heroin, it is important not to try to detox on your own.
There is help.
At Atlanta Detox Center, our staff’s expertise in substance use treatment and co-occurring mental health disorders allows us to address not only our clients’ physical needs while detoxing but provide premier treatment for suppressed emotional or mental conditions. We can help build the physical, emotional and mental foundations to launch our clients into a successful life of recovery.
During treatment, you or your loved one will complete a personalized plan of action in conjunction with daily interactions with our multidisciplinary team consisting of licensed professional therapists and behavioral health technicians, and a 24/7 nursing staff. We will help you return to a place of peace and allow you to return to your life and start building a brighter future.
Atlanta Detox Center is a subsidiary of Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health that offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. To learn more visit amatusrecoverycenters.com.