Being in a state of tension over a long period of time can take a toll on your mind and body. It’s very important to become aware of the warning signals of stress as multiple studies link chronic stress directly to higher risk of heart diseases, stroke, memory loss, depression, weight gain or weight loss.
The most crucial part is to realize that you are stressed to be able to do something about it. Here are some symptoms of chronic stress:
Long periods of poor sleep
Frequent, severe headaches
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Constant anger and irritability
Loss of interest in activities
Excessive alcohol or drug use
Inability to concentrate
It’s very important to realise as when to calmly close your eyes and take a deep breath as we feel a rise in the tension.
Here are some ways to combat chronic stress in a very effective way:
Try to create a work – home balance – If you observe yourself spending too much time in office, readjust your calendar to a lot specific time to enjoy and have fun, either alone or with others.
Exercise regularly – Moving your body on a regular basis facilitates better blood circulation that helps in flushing out the stress hormones from your body.
Eat right, limit alcohol and stimulants – Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine seem to alleviate stress temporarily but are deterrents to a healthy mind and body in the long run. They can make stress worse. A well-nourished body copes better with stress. So have a good breakfast, include more veggies and fruits in your diet and avoid processed food. Drink plenty of water.
Be in touch with supportive people – Try to bank on good listeners. Having a face to face conversation with people can help reduce stress.
Make time for hobbies – Do you enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music or some other creative activity? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy. Research has proven that indulge in healthy hobbies reduces stress by almost half.
Practise meditation or Yoga – Relaxation techniques help counter balance the stress hormones that give fight or flight signal. You can also take up a mindfulness based stress reduction course to learning effective and time tested tools of relaxation.
Get good sleep – It’s important to sleep well for 7 – 8 hours every day which will help your body to manage stress better. If you have disturbed sleep, address the cause of this disturbance and add extra relaxing activities for good sleep.
Take a vacation – It’s very important to take a break from work and daily chores. So take a vacation away from your phone and laptop and feel the new invigorated you on your return.
See a counsellor or a therapist – If negative thoughts make it impossible for you to make positive changes in your lifestyle, seek professional help from a counsellor or a therapist. A good therapist can really provide you with the necessary tools and techniques to help you keep stress at bay.
Try and work over the above tips and see your mind and body get healthier!