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Tips to Prevent Long-Term Stress & Promote Stress Reduction
Eustress is a healthy form of stress increasing mental focus and productivity. On the other hand, prolonged stress can result in distress or burnout. Being faced with numerous responsibilities beyond one’s capability is one of the many factors leading to continuous stress.
The body reacts to stressors through an automatic response known as fight-or-flight reaction. The fight-or-flight response is a protective mechanism to stress or anticipated danger. If stress becomes chronic or prolonged it can cause health risks. According to the Mayo Clinic long-term stress exposes the body to extended release of cortisol and other stress hormones, contributing to anxiety, depression, sleep problems, digestive disturbances, weight gain, heart disease and others. The good new is there are ways to decrease stress and promote healthy living!
Helpful Stress-Reducing Tips:
1. Make time for things you enjoy. Each day brings its own demands and expectations, making the allotment of time for pleasurable activities all the more essential. Scheduling time for hobbies, interests, and enjoyable outings provides an outlet for stress.
2. Don’t skip meals. The brain requires glucose (sugar) for health and concentration. Skipping meals influences energy levels, focus, mood, and overall health. Eating nutritious foods and decreasing intake of caffeinated beverages can be beneficial in decreasing stress and anxiety.
3. Take a break. Some days are more challenging than others. If you’re having a stressful day take 5 minutes to breathe and relax. Something as simple as taking a walk or meditating for 20 minutes can have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
4. Plan in advance. Unexpected situations are inevitable, yet we can establish consistency by planning our day ahead of time. For instance, make a list of tasks requiring priority and accomplish them early in the day. It’s also helpful to accomplish important responsibilities during times of the day when energy levels are at its peak. This allows for good time management and proficiency.
5. Simplify your day. Breakdown your to-do list into manageable tasks to be accomplished throughout the day. Gear your attention on a few responsibilities to be completed in a timely fashion.
6. Get assistance from others. Allow others to provide help and support. Sharing responsibilities decreases workload and stress.
7. Allow for introspection and reflection. Review daily habits and circumstances causing stress. Reflecting on triggers of stress and anxiety provides an opportunity for effective stress management. Reflection shares light into circumstances needing attention, in attempt to encourage healthy copying strategies, health, and wellbeing.
* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.
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