Did you know that there is good stress and bad stress? Research shows that a little bit of stress is good for us. Good stressors are things that motivate us, keep us from being bored and can make us happy. The way we can identify good stress is that it always leads to productive results.
However, too much stress can wreak havoc on our well-being and overall health. Too much stress can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, lack of focus and difficulty in concentration, depression, irritability and intestinal problems. This is why it’s vitally important to find ways to manage our stress levels.
There are many ways for stress management and here are just five ways to a happier and a more stress free life:
- Relaxation Techniques
A relaxation technique is anything that helps you feel calm. This can be an activity, a process or procedure. Sometimes planning or just the mere thought of that weekend fishing trip or museum outing can have a calming effect. There are the traditional practices of yoga, meditation and deep breathing that can help. When you find the thing that works for you, stick with it. Sometimes yoga or meditation can take a while to get the hang of, but the results are worth the consistent effort.
Don’t be afraid of exercise. Even the smallest amount can add up to big benefits. Start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. The most important thing about using exercise for health benefits is to find something that you can enjoy such as walking, Tai Chi or Yoga. If you don’t want to go outside there are Youtube videos a plenty. Exercise improves your mood because it stimulates endorphins which make you feel good. Find a buddy and you can motivate each other to stick to your goals.
- Good Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is perhaps the most important factor in reducing stress. If you don’t feel well rested, this can lead to fatigue and anxiety, making even the smallest task seem like an impossibility. If you’re too exhausted from lack of sleep it can make you feel too negative to do anything productive. Talk to you doctor if it’s necessary because some of the things that sleep can affect are memory, lifespan, inflammation, weight loss, mood, attention span and depression.
- Prepare For Tomorrow
Sometimes just the mere thought of thinking about all of the things we need to do the next day can cause major anxiety. One way to ease into a good night’s sleep is to prepare the night before. It’s important to be organized. Plan ahead, write it down and try to keep procrastination to a minimum. Lay out your clothes for the next day the night before. If you have a presentation, rehearse it. If you have a test, study for it. Being prepared can be a huge stress reliever.
- Get Social
Research shows that loneliness can have a detrimental effect on health. It can cause heart disease, cognitive decline and a depressed immunity. You don’t have to be a social butterfly with a party to go to every night, but finding an activity you enjoy with a few friends or even one can be beneficial. Having someone to talk over problems with, laugh with or cry with is all you need to keep your heart and soul healthy and vital!
About the Author: Arun Villivalam, MD is a concerned and caring family physician and primary care doctor serving the community of Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Villivalam attended Thomas Jefferson University, where he received his medical degree, and completed his residency in family medicine at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Villivalam provides a variety of services to ensure the health and wellbeing of his patients, including physicals for all ages, chronic care management, stress management, urgent care, medicare wellness visits, school physicals and more.