Life can sometimes be immensely stressful. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter if you’re young, old or anywhere in the middle. Stress is more than likely something that plagues you from time to time. It may even be something that affects you on a more consistent basis. If you want to be able to properly manage your stress levels and enjoy a happier and more productive life, you first need to be able to pinpoint any potential causes of your stress.
Potential Stress Factors
So many different things can potentially lead to stress. Possible stress factors vary from person to person. Health concerns frequently cause stress in people. If you’re someone who suffers from a chronic medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or asthma, you may be all too familiar with regular stress. Brand new health troubles can also frequently bring on stress. If you’re experiencing severe migraine headaches out of nowhere, that can be highly distressing. It can throw your entire life off balance and therefore lead to increased stress levels.
Significant Life Transitions
Change can indeed be a positive thing. It can also, though, sometimes be tough. Significant life adjustments can be difficult for many people. It can be hard to cope with a move to a new home. It can be difficult to handle the loss of a job or event the acceptance of a new job. Large changes—good or bad—can sometimes make people feel feel lost, confused and deeply stressed, too.
Trouble With Personal Relationships
Relationship troubles are often a cause for stress. If you’ve just broken up with your significant other, that can make you feel doom and gloom or if you’re going through a rocky period in your marriage, that can make you feel hopeless and miserable. Trouble with friendships can also be potential stress sources. Perhaps it seems like your closest friends just don’t have time for you anymore. Perhaps they’re moving on in life and you feel left behind, forgotten or abandoned. Difficulties with personal relationships can trigger all sorts of stressful feelings.
People often become stressed when they feel dissatisfaction with their lives. If you’re unhappy with your current life direction, it may make you feel hopeless and worthless. You may feel like you have no reason to wake up every morning. Job dissatisfaction can also be a big culprit. An unreasonable boss can make you feel despair. Gossiping coworkers can do the same. Some people feel stress simply because they don’t enjoy their line of work. If you dread walking into the office every day, you’re likely in this category.
Common Stress Symptoms
Not only is it important to pinpoint your potential stress triggers, but it’s also important to be able to recognize symptoms of stress in yourself. Stress can manifest itself in physical and emotional signs alike. Possible physical signs of the condition are lack of energy, sleeplessness, frequent headaches, frequent infections, stomach upset, nausea, dry mouth, chest aches, difficulty swallowing, muscle tension and fast heartbeats. Possible emotional signs of the condition, on the other hand, are mood swings, nervousness, loneliness, rage, irritation and malaise. If you have abnormally high stress levels, you may even observe a change in your behavior. You may have little interest in eating meals. You may neglect your daily obligations and duties. You may begin relying on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. You may take on uneasy habits including pacing back and forth and nail biting. These signs can all point to people who have unusually high stress levels.
Negative Effects of Stress
Stress can take a toll on people in so many ways. It can trigger or intensify a number of severe medical ailments. Examples are depression, obesity, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, eczema, psoriasis, sexual dysfunction and even hair loss. Stress can disrupt peoples’ lives significantly. It can interfere with educational and occupational success. It can even take a toll romantic relationships and friendships that used to be strong. Stress, in short, can be debilitating in some instances.
Helpful Stress Management Suggestions
If you’re suffering from high stress levels, you need to understand that you’re not alone. There are a number of things you can do to feel better and get your mind back on track. Routine physical activity can be beneficial. If you want to blow off steam, gain some clarity or enhance your mood, you might consider signing up for a membership at your local gym. Cardiovascular exercise can do a lot of good for your body and mind.
There are various other things you can do beyond just working out, too. It can help to establish designated “personal” time several times a week. Busy and hectic careers can often trigger high stress. It can help to engage in deep breathing exercises. Activities such as yoga and meditation can do wonders for people who want to strengthen their moods and gain more focus.
Pastimes, last but not least, can also help people who wish to reduce their stress levels. If you want to get your stress under control, you should think about perhaps signing up for a course in photography or maybe a cooking class. Taking up a hobby like meditating or working out can help give you time to focus your attention elsewhere, relieving stress caused by other areas in your life.
Seek Professional Assistance As Soon As Possible
Some people can manage stress levels on their own. That isn’t realistic or possible for everyone, however. If your stress levels are taking over your life, you should seek help from a professional counselor or therapist as possible. Call SLMA to learn more about our in-depth stress management treatment options. Our stress specialists and physicians are here to listen and support you in managing your stress.