Taxes Taxed Us, Now Let That Stress Go
It’s 5 p.m. and you’ve clocked out of work but the nagging feeling of forgetting something sits there. You drive home, grab some food and watch your favorite show on the couch. That feeling sinks deeper and restlessness starts to build in your body. You lay in bed for hours hoping to fall asleep but work still consumes your mind.
Or rather, it’s a generic representation of stress and one of the many forms it can take a.k.a not sleeping. Some people become irritable and paranoid, have headaches, stomachaches, and a variety of other ways to express being stressed out.
April is Stress Awareness Month, a time when not just healthcare professionals but everyone can be more in tune with the causes and the consequences of stress.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that stress is basically the body releasing hormones that trigger the “fight-or-flight" response. Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure can all skyrocket during intensely stressful moments. For those who have developed “chronic stress” symptoms like headaches, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and worsened asthma are not uncommon.
How Do You Deal with Stress?
There is no magic drug that just eliminates stress but there are ways to manage it and even prevent stress levels from taking over your life. These techniques are recommended by the NCCIH.
- Deep Breathing- Take deep, slow breaths to bring down blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone). DO NOT use fast rapid breathing like you see characters in movies do into a paper bag. You could hyperventilate.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation- This technique could give stress-alleviating effects and work well for those who have anxiety and depression. It may also help with the headaches that can come with “chronic stress”.
- Mindfulness- Now stay with me here, it's to help prepare for stress. The NCCIH says that a 2022 study showed that people who practiced mindfulness had a lower amount of “perceived stress and anxiety levels”.
- Meditation-Some studies show that meditation may also help with lowering blood pressure, anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue. Transcendental Meditation is thought to be superior to other meditation techniques and the most effective.
- Yoga-Honestly, just stretch it out. Studies showed that yoga can help with the physical and mental aspects of stress.