Everyone feels stressed at times. Stress is perfectly normal, and it can actually be beneficial. If you’re studying for an exam or preparing for a presentation, stress will keep you focused and determined.
Stress is completely subjective. What causes stress in your life is probably different than for a friend or parent or spouse. You may feel stressed with a job interview, but your friend may think it’s no big deal. Everyone is different.
Why Chronic Stress is Dangerous
Though stress is personal, it’s something we all experience. How we handle it is the more important thing. If you spend your days feeling stressed, it can cause you to feel mentally and emotionally fatigued. Your body stays in fight or flight mode and continues to release chemicals into the blood that are associated with the stress response. With prolonged stress, those chemicals work overtime and can cause problems like:
- Overused immune system
- Difficulty fighting off infection
- Damage to organs
- Higher risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Fatigue and depression
- Increased risk of stomach ulcers and digestive problems
- Self-medication with drugs or alcohol
Tips for Managing Stress
Let’s discuss effective ways that you can successfully manage stress. It can save your life.
- Meditation. Learn a meditation technique such as mindfulness. This teaches you to observe what’s going on in your mind without taking things personally.
- Relaxation. Relaxation techniques allow you to let go of stress. Simple breathing exercises or visualizations are good places to start.
- Exercise. Exercise naturally relieves stress because it increases feel-good chemicals in the brain. It can also burn off excess energy.
- Engage in a Hobby. Whether it’s listening to music, painting/coloring or knitting, the key is to engage yourself in a hobby. This can reduce stress levels and give you something to feel good about.
- Getting Away. It can help to get away for a few hours or days to escape the usual stressors. This time allows you to recharge mentally and physically.
- Journal. Journaling is an effective tool for letting out your feelings. Just putting them on paper frees yourself and takes some power away from the stressors.
- Talk with Others. Continue to talk to others about your journey: friends, family, counselors, members in your AA group, etc. It reduces stress and can give you a fresh perspective.
Are you ready to start your journey to sobriety? Call The River Source and get the individualized care that you need to succeed in recovery.