Stress. Again!

Stress. Again!

Nowadays, especially with COVID, discord among local and international leaders, Monkeypox questions, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, it's all too easy to become overwhelmed by the pressures of everyday life. When you add in the typical daily activities at work, school, or with your family, things can get rather stressful, and you may find yourself greeting each new day with dread and apprehension. Not sleeping, limiting prayer and meditation, grabbing food on the run and constantly thinking of what you must do next make stress worse. However, depending on the severity of the stress, you may be able to handle it on your own. Yet, it is equally critical to know when expert assistance is necessary.

Search for the real culprit.

Looking for what is causing the dominating stress in your life is the first step to gaining relief from it. This isn't as simple as it may appear. While significant stresses like changing jobs, the illness of a loved one, moving, or going through a divorce are simple to detect, chronic stress can be more difficult to recognize. It's all too easy to miss the role that your own ideas, feelings, and behaviors have in your daily stress levels. People, circumstances beyond your control, circumstances in your control, places, and things seriously stress us out. 

Getting upset that people on the road are causing the problem or getting bad customer service may cause you to freak out, but looking at the root causes of how to eliminate stress can help you to live with intention. It is important to admit that you play a role in stress. Stress. Again. That’s a mindset. Let’s try Stress. Thank you. I am now informed by my body to take a 10 minute walk outside. Tune in. Stress has a message for you today.

Start with increasing self-awareness to notice your thoughts and physical body. Keep a notebook of your day to free write (no formatting, no rules) 3 pages each morning and night. Use it to write freely about anything, but just be sure to include 2 - 3 situations each day that leave you unsettled. You might notice a tight jaw, a stomach ache, stiff shoulders, a headache. Keeping a daily journal will assist you in discovering the patterns of your stressors. 

Now, you are armed with information on what to do next. Stress is not here to stay.

Let's take some action before looking at chronic stress more deeply:

Severe ties with a to-do list.

You may think that having a to-do list will be the only thing to keep you in check. Your to-do list could be the very thing that keeps you from keeping your head above water. If you are consistently trying to play catch up with your agenda, it can cause undue stress that can be resolved by disentangling your tasks. Enjoy life instead of just penciling it in. Instead, write 2 things for the day that if you remember them and accomplish them, you will feel like a million bucks when you rest your head tonight.

Dalliance is not executing.

Procrastination is the opposite of productivity. Poor time management may lead to a great deal of anxiety. When stress is overriding your quality of life, it is time to take some different measures. Instead of waiting for the perfect time to find another or to end an unhealthy relationship, go ahead and make changes. It's difficult to be calm and focused when you're overworked, confused and not living the values you believe in. Whether you need to see a therapist or find a job hunter, doing something different can get rid of stressors that are causing you strife.

Find your now and Zen.

Staying in the moment is crucial for peace of mind. Investigate different ways that can help to ease the pressure of what is going on in your life. Taking a deep breath and employing your senses—what you see, hear, taste, and touch—or engaging in relaxing exercise are the quickest ways to alleviate stress. Grounding (breath work, tuning into the senses) works so much better than THC or a benzo (Xanax, Valium, etc) because it centers you instead of momentarily distracting from the symptoms. You may also try yoga, exercise, or radical acceptance. The goal is to soothe the body, the mind, and the soul with a stress relieving solution. Covering up feelings or distracting over and over again will lead to more chronic problems than stress.

What is the importance of stress management?

You're putting your complete well-being in danger if you're living with excessive amounts of stress. Stress has a negative impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing. It makes it difficult to think clearly, perform properly, and enjoy life. It may appear that there is nothing you can do to relieve tension. The bills will never stop arriving, the days will never be longer, and your job and family obligations will always be demanding. However, you have far more control than you may believe.

Effective stress management allows you to free yourself from the grip that stress has on your life, allowing you to be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate objective is to live a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, leisure, and fun as well as the resilience to keep going when things become tough. However, stress management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That's why it's crucial to try new things and see what works best for you. Test solutions for longer than is comfortable. So, if it’s weird to journal for the first 5 min or 10 min, notice that it feels weird and uncomfortable and keep doing it. You're reducing your cognitive load, you're training yourself to concentrate, you are serving your higher, better self right now. Press on in the new thing.

What are the negative effects of chronic stress?

Long-term and chronic stress can have a negative effect on a person's life in a variety of ways. Stress not only has a bad impact on physical and mental health, but it may also lead to additional issues.

Stress may cause feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as personality changes, such as increased aggression or impatience. Some negative impacts of stress on mental health include worsening mood disorders and hyper vigilance and / or isolation. To alleviate symptoms and regain a sense of control, someone relating to the above can get lasting relief if they seek integrative psychiatric care that blends western medicine and eastern medicine. A functional approach includes case management, therapy and holistic care. Medication alone is not the answer.

Stress may leave individuals feeling psychologically fatigued, but it can also cause harmful physical changes in the body if left untreated. Stress can cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, a weak immune system, and increased time for a wound or surgery to heal.

Stress, particularly chronic stress, can have various unintended implications due to the way it affects your behavior. Because you are anxious, snapping at your loved ones may have a long-term detrimental impact on trust and feeling safe. Furthermore, many people fail to discover healthy methods to cope with stress, and as a result, they may engage in harmful conduct. It is fairly common for people to seek stress relief through drugs, alcohol, an affair or screen addiction. When dealing with persistent stress, this method of coping can become habitual and lead to substance dependence. Stress is a major factor in relapse in people who have already been to an addiction or multiple illness treatment clinic.

Need help with stress management?

Stress. Again. 

This is not a curse. Life comes with stress but you get to decide what creative ways you will conquer that thing that you once thought holds you hostage. If you believe you need more help than the suggestions above, Pacific Solstice is here to provide you with professional support. Your mental health is not worth compromising in the face of everyday challenges.You are free. You have options. Stress is normal. A life of psychological anguish is optional if you accept some tools and ideas from mental health professionals.

Please feel free to text or call us at (949) 200-7929. You can receive a free assessment. We can also check your insurance coverage and eligibility for mental healthcare. Or let us know other ways we can help.

Stress is a normal part of life for many people, although it does not have to change your physical body and daily state of mind. Tune in. Stress has a message for you today. Freedom awaits. Health awaits.

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