Stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind. If you’ve found yourself wondering if stress might be causing your random aches and pains or unusually high anxiety that makes living your life more difficult lately, you’re not alone. Excessive stress can have both physical and psychological effects on your body that can contribute to more serious health problems over time, which means it’s important to take steps to manage stress now. Here are several simple changes you can make to your life today that can lower your stress and boost your happiness, as well as indicators that it might be time to work with a professional.
Common Effects of Stress
Stress can have a variety of physical and mental effects on your body, mood, and behavior. Although you’re probably able to manage your day-to-day activities fairly well while experiencing one or two of these symptoms of stress in your life, letting them pile up over time can have a destructive impact on your ability to complete tasks and enjoy the things you love.
Effects of Stress on Your Body
- Headache, muscle, or chest pain
- Upset stomach
- Sleep problems
Effects of Stress on Your Mood
- Anxiety, restlessness, or feeling overwhelmed
- Lack of motivation or difficulty focusing
- Feeling irritable, angry, sad, or depressed
Effects of Stress on Your Behavior
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug, alcohol, or tobacco use
- Avoiding exercise or social activities
Tips for Managing Your Stress
Fortunately, most physical and mental effects of stress in your life can be managed by making minor changes to your lifestyle. Taking care of your body, minimizing negative aspects of your life, and devoting more time to the people and activities you love can make your life a bit happier and more enjoyable.
Caring for your body and mind is a simple and effective way to boost your happiness and lower stress. Regular physical activity can be an excellent stress reliever, and walking, water aerobics, and yoga are examples of low-impact exercise that get your body moving without being too hard on your joints. The relaxation techniques that accompany yoga provide extra calming benefits, and meditation and massages can also help you block out some of the stressors in your life.
Reading a good book, listening to your favorite music, or picking up another new hobby can give your mind something to focus on other than whatever is stressing you out. It can also be a good idea to avoid watching the news any more than you have to. The majority of news is negative these days, and letting yourself become too consumed in things you can’t control instead of only learning what you need to know can increase your stress level and have a negative impact on your mental health. Instead, choose to enjoy positive movies, TV shows, and other media that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
Spending time with family and friends and doing your best to keep a sense of humor can help you focus on the positive things in your life. If you’re still working, taking some time off if you’re able to can temporarily eliminate one of the major stressors in your life and give you more time to enjoy the things you love.
When to Get Help
Although stress can usually be managed at home, there are certain situations in which seeking help from a professional is likely to benefit your life. If you experience persistent chest, jaw, or back pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, or extreme anxiety that affects your sleep, it can be a good idea to talk to your doctor or meet with a therapist to get more advanced care. No one should have to live with so much stress that you are never happy or can’t be productive, and working with a professional can help you get your life back.
At Nye Health Services, we care about helping you manage stress so that you can continue to be the best version of yourself well into your senior years. We are committed to helping you stay independent and keep doing the things you love for as long as possible. Contact us today for more ways we can help you live your life with less stress.