HOLIDAY & ANY DAY STRESS BUSTERSby Phillips Clinic on 11/28/21
Stress Symptoms, Signs & Causes
HelpGuide.org Collaboration with Harvard Health
Says: “Life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.”
What is stress?
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight-or-freeze” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam
But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.
Tips to Fight Stress
For the holidays and any days
Do you get stressed-out around the holidays?
The shopping and crowds. The back-to-back diet-busting parties. The demands of family, friends, coworkers. It’s easy to feel not so wonderful at this most wonderful time of the year.
Spend Some Time in the Sun
Sunlight stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin. Plan to spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days, especially in the “getting dark early” winter days.
Take A Whiff
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and reduce stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
Walk Away Worries
"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day.
Laughing like crazy reduces stress hormones. That, in turn, helps immune cells function better, says psychologist Steve Wilson, founder of the World Laughter Tour, an organization that offers therapeutic-laughter training.
Spicy It Up
Hot foods trigger the release of endorphins—the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being.
Eat Breakfast Before Knocking Back Coffee
Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can cause attention problems and irritability,.
Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, classical, rock or anything in between. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.
Fit in exercise
It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.