Too much stress can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease and even cancer. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that stress impacts our body systems such as the nervous system, digestive system, and hormonal system.
Below is a list of 10 ways stress affects us which was compiled by researchers at the Department of Psychology, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. It lists some common responses to situations when we feel stressed:
- Change in eating habits (increase/decrease)
- Frequent sighing
- Higher or lower pitch voice
- Change in sleeping patterns i.e. insomnia
- Increased response to pain (e.g., headaches, etc.)
- Twitching eye muscles
- Faster or slower heart rate changes
Interestingly, much of the research done on stress was carried out on animals. It is known that if you were to isolate a rat in a cage for 3-4 weeks without any social contact (no human or another animal), it will die due to high-stress levels. The same case applies to mice and even some primates.
Similarly, if you place two caged rats together, they will fight until one of them dies because their hormone levels are so ramped up! But what’s amazing is if these caged rats are eventually allowed some level of freedom by being allowed access to an exercise wheel and limited amount of toys then they do not show such high levels of aggression and this occurs across different species like rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, fish etc.
The Techniques you need to learn
What are The five best techniques for reducing stress?
Five different and proven ways to reduce stress in your life.
Physical activity is very important when it comes to reducing stress levels. And while this might not be an easy task, you have to believe that the more you exercise, the better your health will be – physically and mentally. Yoga, for example, is a great way of reducing stress in your life as it helps balance your body’s energy flow, which automatically reduces tension and boosts optimism. If you’re not into yoga , try walking outside or go jogging with a friend – or both! Any type of physical activity brings great results within no time. After all, exercising makes world of difference!
Get A Hobby:
Spending too much time at work, lack of interests and hobbies can cause high levels of stress. So find a hobby you enjoy to do on your days off or just when you feel like relaxing. It could be something really simple – baking cakes for example. Or collect stamps or vintage watches (more expensive the better!) . The main thing is that it gives you pleasure and helps forget about any problems…
Understand Your Feelings:
We all have them – those feelings we call “negative”. They differ from person to person but at one point in our lives everybody experiences them. However, there’s no need to let them control us, because they will sooner than later! Mindfulness meditation teaches us how to accept these negative emotions without suppressing them which leads up to them multiplying and becoming worst. Instead, we can learn to embrace them, understand that they are an inevitable part of our life, and then go on with living.
Spend Time With Friends And Family:
One of the main causes of stress is feeling lonely and sad. So it’s high time you re-connected with your close friends or family members! Studies show that people who have strong ties to their loved ones handle stress better than those who don’t. Why? For two reasons – psychological firstly and biological secondly. You see friendship brings great joy which instantly makes us happier. And when we’re happy, it’s easier to cope with any kind of difficulties in our lives… Secondly, stress is known to contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. But if you’re in good health, it’s easier to accomplish tasks and have fun together…
Maintain A Healthy Diet:
One way of reducing stress is by eating well – a healthy diet that is! It’s not only about losing weight or having a flat stomach. Nutritionist recommend certain foods for prolonging lifespan, reducing inflammation, and boosting energy levels which are all related to stress . So eat more fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water so your body gets what it needs (and craves!)
Keep up the good work! It will make a difference…