What is Stress and Simple Ways To Manage It?

I’ve been thinking about the kind of New Year’s Resolutions while I was doing research for my previous post. 

I mentioned that there are many people that make a New Year’s Resolution by changing their diets by avoiding high fructose corn syrup.

Also, there are people that vow to reduce the amount of stress they have in their lives as a New Year’s Resolution. This week I’ll be taking a look at stress and what you can do to cope with it.

What Exactly is Stress?

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response, whether they’re physical, mental and emotional responses. 

Stress is a normal part of life and changes from your environment, your body and your thoughts can be triggers.

Two Types of Stress

  • Acute Stress: Acute or short term stress is caused by triggers such as a traffic jam, an argument with your significant other, negative conversations or finding out that somebody broke into your house while you’re not there. 
  • Chronic Stress: Chronic or long-term stress is caused by triggers such as a disease and disorder such as a chronic illness, abuse of any kind; whether it’s mental or emotional, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one or loss of a spouse due to divorce.

Symptoms of Stress

Physical Symptoms:

  • Low Energy and Loss of Sexual Desire
  • Unexplained Aches, Pains and Tense Muscles
  • Sleep Problems
  • Lowered Immune System
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Stomach Issues

Mental Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Being Pessimistic and Cynical
  • Forgetfulness and Disorganization
  • Poor Judgment

These symptoms occur in both acute and chronic stress. The differences occur when acute stress is short term and your body returns to a normal state and chronic stress is long-term and causes health problems when you can’t cope with it.

We’re Living in Very Stressful Times

The majority of people around the world always experience some form of stress, it’s a part of life. However, younger generations including millennials and gen z are more likely to be chronically stressed all the time. 

Have you ever noticed when you’re looking around a popular coffee shop and noticed how many younger adults such as millennials always seem on edge and unable to relax? Also, you start feeling anxious yourself just being in that environment? 

Millennials in particular have a difficult time managing stress. At least 12% of this age group has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder which is twice the rate of previous generations. One thing that makes the Millennial Generation unique are the problems they face. There’s so much technological change and economic changes happening right now that it’s causing problems that previous generations didn’t have to face.

Technological changes

The most profound technological change in the past decade has been the rise of devices such as smartphones and tablets along with social media. 

It’s estimated that 60% of Millennials are attached to their smartphones and/or tablets and it’s been reported that stress is at a higher rate in direct association with the use of technology. 

Despite being more connected to the rest of the world like never before; many of us feel more lonely. About half of all people who constantly check their devices constantly feel isolated even when they’re among family and one-third of checkers say they are less likely to meet with their friends and family face-to-face due to technology. Why put the effort into calling somebody on the phone when you can either text them or communicate via Facebook or Instagram.

I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts that technologies such as smartphones and social media are neither good nor bad. They have revolutionized how we live our lives, however they come with common negative effects. 

These include:

  • Unnecessary Stress and Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Internet Addiction
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Hacking
  • Cheating and Relationship Problems

Economic Changes

Economic stress affects everybody regardless of generation whether it’s triggered by changes in income caused by job loss or unexpected expenses due to a medical emergency. 

About ½ of Americans say their expenses are equal or greater than their incomes. Despite an improving economy money worries are still compounded by a rising cost of living, interest accruing on student loans and credit card debt, income volatility caused by a lack of job security and technological changes that lead to change and uncertainty in the future. 

Millennials, along with other generations face a challenging and increasingly complicated world that can lead to more stress and anxiety that can cause problems for your physical and mental well being.

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious please download my anxiety expert list by clicking the link below:

How To Be Less Stressed in 2020?

Stress will always be around in some form of another, so it’s important to learn how to cope with it as part of your New Year’s Resolution for 2020. Here are some tips to reduce stress.

Start by Using Your Devices Less So You Can Get More Sleep: I’ve mentioned in a previous post about how smartphones and tablets emit a blue light that inhibit the production of melatonin in your brain. When this happens your brain thinks that it’s still daytime and by using your devices less before you go to bed your brain will produce the necessary amount of melatonin.

Sleep Better: Get more sleep. When you get the necessary amount of sleep your body is physically and mentally rejuvenated and you’re more resilient in the face of stress.

Break Bad Habits: Bad habits that contribute to increased stress and anxiety include overeating, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, drinking too much coffee or redbull. It’s easier to cope with stressful situations if healthy habits are adopted instead including exercising more, reducing caffeine intake and eating right.

Find a New Hobby: There is nothing like a good hobby to take your mind off whatever is stressing you out. Popular hobbies include gardening, blogging, cooking along with archery, hiking, snowshoeing and I know people that like to rebuild cars for fun.

Indulge In Physical Activity: The two hormones that increase in your body when you’re in a stressful situation are adrenaline and cortisol. These are the same fight-or-flight hormones that protected our ancestors by allowing them to run away from danger quicker. When this fight-or-flight response is activated in modern times it’s important to exercise in order to metabolize these hormones and bring your body back to its normal state.

Spend More Time in Nature: Spending time in nature has a soothing effect on the mind as you breathe in extra oxygen produced by the plants around you.

Spend More Time with Family and Friends Outside if Social Media: There’s a difference between online friendships and face-to-face friendships. Online friendships can make us feel lonely despite having a connection vs. face-to-face friendships that can lead to emotional connections. Feeling connected to other people makes life less stressful.

Make More Love: I’m being 100% serious about this. Sex not only makes us feel good it’s good for us, because it can decrease symptoms of stress such as anxiety and high blood pressure.

Conclusion

Stress is a part of life and there are many healthy ways of coping with it.

How Do You Cope with Stress?

Please Like and Comment!

2 thoughts on “What is Stress and Simple Ways To Manage It?

  1. Those are very good tips for managing stress. Thank you!

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