Everyone deals with stress. Furthermore, everyone deals with their stress in different ways. Two people experiencing the same exact thing may have two very different reactions. Stress can manifest into unhealthy outcomes if you don’t handle it in a healthy way. Sober Life wants to help give you the tools to deal with stress in healthy ways so that your recovery isn’t made harder by the stress you’re dealing with. Read on to learn more.
The Impacts of Chronic Stress
Long-term stress can impact your health in many ways. Because the stress response is always on high alert with chronic stress, some systems in your body are altered. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these systems include the immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and reproductive system. This can cause symptoms to arise that are connected with the impairment of these systems.
As stress continues and your body stays in the fight-or-flight mode, you are more at risk for developing serious health problems, like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or anxiety, says the National Institute of Mental Health. Your body’s stress response is a well-oiled machine.
When it is working correctly, it can literally save our lives. However, if we are dealing with large amounts of stress when we are not in immediate danger, it takes a toll. If your body cannot return to it’s normal, resting state, this is where the problems arise.
Managing Stress Is Vital
Luckily, there are ways that you can manage your stress to turn off your fight-or-flight response and help you return to your normal, resting state. This can help to reduce the chances of developing those serious health problems we mentioned above. Below are some ways that you can manage your stress:
Self-awareness is a great tool to have. You must be able to recognize when you are becoming increasingly stressed so that you can practice these tools to help you release your stress. Take note if your heart rate increases, you begin to sweat, your breathing quickens, and your thoughts begin to race. These are signs that you are becoming stressed. Next, it’s important to be aware of how you deal with stress without giving it much thought. Do you find yourself having difficulty sleeping, turning to substances, or feeling emotions that you don’t normally feel? Observing how your body reacts immediately to stress and how your mind tells you to deal with this stress is the first step to managing it.
When you begin to feel these symptoms of stress, you might begin to feel overwhelmed. This is normal. One thing you can do to help you release the stress you are feeling is to control your breathing. This helps you relax by slowing your heart rate down. Your thoughts will begin to quiet and you’ll feel more in control. To control your breathing, take a second to close your eyes, and focus on your breath. As you breathe in deeply, say something positive to yourself. As you exhale deeply, release your negative thoughts. Continue doing this until you feel in control.
If you are struggling with stress and still feel overwhelmed even though you have tried to observe and breathe, connecting with someone you trust is a good next step. You are not alone in your stress. Everyone has dealt with it. Ask someone you trust for help. Confide in them. Sharing your thoughts and emotions can help you feel less overwhelmed by the stress you’re feeling. Knowing you have someone to lean on can be a big help.
Another way to release stress is by exercising. Because your body ramps up when you are engaging in physical activity, you begin to feel some symptoms that you associate with stress: increased heart rate, sweating, and rapid breathing. This helps with stress because you are associating these feelings with a more positive thing. The more you get comfortable with these feelings, the more you’ll be able to remind yourself that you have de-stressed before and you can do it again. Another great thing about exercise is that it gives your negative energy a place to go. By taking your mind off of what you are stressed about and focusing on the physical exercise, you are releasing that stress in a healthy way. Whether you are doing intense exercise or just simply going for a walk, exercise helps to boost your mood and improve how you are feeling.
Sober Life is here to help you find healthy ways to release your stress. We know that many people cope with their stress by turning to alcohol or drugs. We want you to know that this doesn’t have to be your only way to cope. You can put down the substances and release your negative energy in a much healthier way. Allow yourself the space to realize that substances only mask your stress, making it worse in the long-term. We can help give you the tools you need to successfully bring yourself back down to a normal, resting state. Call our trained and experienced staff today for more information about the programs we offer. You can reach us at 1-619-542-9542. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you the help you need today. Call now. You won’t be disappointed in what we have to offer!