Stressed? Every single one of us experiences stress. Stress can look and feel differently for each person. What stresses one person out may not cause the same reaction in another. Some amounts of stress can be healthy and helpful to create peak performance; whereas, too much stress can cause mental overload and illness. How much stress a person can manage and for how long can also vary. In general, higher amounts of stress over longer periods of time may lead to some level of negative effect on the person experiencing it. Signs of stress can include, but are not limited to, headaches, irritability, forgetfulness, muscle tension, problems sleeping or sleeping too much, concentration difficulties and lack of energy.
When you are feeling stressed, think about what is causing the stress and how much you can change or impact where the stress is coming from. The National Institute of Mental Health » outlines three types of stress:
- Sudden negative change
- Traumatic stress
If you can change or impact the stressor(s), consider making the modifications in your life that will help mitigate the stress you are experiencing. Often times, the use of various positive or resiliency-oriented coping skills can be very helpful. Having good resilience is like being a bouncy ball or having a Teflon coating. Things happen to us every day, but how much we let them stick to us or bounce off of us impacts how we feel, think, behave and relates to the amount of resilience we have. Positive coping skills, positive thinking and self-confidence go a long way in being resilient and reducing the effects of stress.
There are many ways to reduce and cope with stress both physically and mentally. If the effects of stress have impacted the way you live your life significantly such that work, school, relationships and your usual daily activities have become disrupted and symptoms have lasted for more than four weeks, then consider talking with a counselor who can help you work through what you are experiencing. Stark County Mental Health and Addiction’s Care Network » has a listing of agencies who offer counseling where you can access care regardless of your ability to pay.
As part of overall wellness and self-care, it is important that you take time out for yourself every day to relax, reconnect and re-group for the next day – no matter what level of stress you are experiencing. Some ideas for relaxation include the following: stretching, walking, yoga, deep breathing, thinking positive thoughts and stopping negative ones, talking with a friend, laughing, eating a well-balanced diet, journaling and listening to favorite music. Figuring out what is relaxing to you and incorporating those things into part of your routine will go a long way with helping to manage stressors that come your way.