Stress. It’s not all in your head.
Life can be stressful. Studies show that ongoing or severe stress can have negative effects on your mental and physical health.1 While you can’t change the world around you, there are things you can do to help deal with stress.
Is your body trying to tell you something?
Some common physical symptoms can be the result of stress. Fight or flight. That’s your body’s natural response to stress or a perceived threat. When stress “triggers” are ever-present, your mind and body may feel under attack. That headache, muscle tension or stomachache you’re feeling could be caused by stress. While you can’t eliminate all stress, there are ways to make it more manageable:
It’s important to understand your stress “triggers.”
Working overtime. Paying bills. Meeting a deadline. These everyday situations can bring on the stress express. If you see the train coming, get off the tracks! Studies show seeing certain experiences—such as final exams—as demanding rather than defeating can help replace the negative effects of stress with positive ones, such as enhanced productivity and performance.1
- Eat healthy.2 Food for thought: You know how important it is for your body to eat healthy foods. It’s just as important for your head! Stress eating is real and can cause you to overeat or choose less-than-healthy options. Eat a serving of fiber-, protein- and nutrient-packed almonds, pistachios or walnuts instead of salty, fatty, highly processed chips to improve your mood and have one less thing to be stressed about.
- Take a hike.3 That mountain of work will still be there when you return from your afternoon walk. It just won’t seem as insurmountable. Give yourself a break and get some fresh air and exercise.
- Be with friends.3 Make a call, grab a coffee or plan a weekend reunion. Any time spent with friends is priceless and helps offer emotional support, build connections and puts stress in perspective. When you’re having good times with good friends, it’s hard to stay stressed.
- Get a four-legged friend. It’s amazing what unconditional love and a wagging tail can do to lower your stress. Plus, there’s the added bonus of two walks a day for de-stressing.
- Laugh.4 A funny movie, a silly song, even the corniest dad joke. Whatever makes you LOL has many benefits, like helping you sleep better and can reduce your stress hormones.
If, despite your best efforts, stress seems to be getting the better of you, there’s help available.
To learn more about mental health services from Teladoc Health, head over to our sign-up page.
Seek immediate medical assistance if you think your friend or family member is in any danger of harming themselves.
If you or someone you care about is considering suicide, call 988 or the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
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Published on June 2, 2023