Stress seems to be part of life for so many people now. When it used to be something people could feel on and off throughout the course of their week, now it is ever present and creeping into everything. The feelings of stress have become how people live their lives normally, rather than making it the exception. Chronic stress has a negative impact on quality of life with nearly a third saying they believe stress is psychological and has no impact on physical health. Finding stress relief tips can help build resilience for times when stress is higher and keep it from making life feel too hard to manage.
The body has a certain way of experiencing stress in the brain which triggers a response in the body. The stress response is normal in that it evolved as a means of coping with what was happening in the environment to a person. What is natural can become unnatural very quickly as stress resolves. Modern life is very stressful but juggling too many things can be difficult for anybody and lead to anxiety or even depression. Chronic stress impacts a person’s life to the point where they perform poorly at work, cannot focus, and start to feel the effects in their bodies:
- Brain: the amygdala sends a message to the hypothalamus to tell the sympathetic nervous system to protect the person from attack. This increases the body’s processes like heart rate, blood vessels, and even digestive system to flood with cortisol which signals the body may be under attack
- Pituitary gland: regulates body temperature, thyroid, and urinary function. When under a lot of stress, hormones are produced with prompts the adrenals to produce cortisol which increases blood pressure
- Heart: constriction of blood vessels make it harder for the heart to pump blood and leads to fatty acids being released into the bloodstream by cortisol
- Adrenals: hypothalamus signals adrenals to secrete two hormones into the bloodstream. This increases heart rate and blood pressure. Chronic stress wears on the adrenals leading to lack of energy, hormone imbalance, and depression
Emotional responses and reactivity have a lot to do with how people reduce stress over time. Short of quitting work and living on a deserted island, people typically opt to work around the stressors in their life and try to cut back where it is most difficult. The key to lowering stress is to build resilience. The best hope a person has is to train themselves to respond to stressful circumstances without triggering an alarm system in their body. This means getting lots of self-care in place to deal with stressful events. This may include taking short breaks at work to rest and catch up with what is happening in the body after a period of stress. Mindfulness and meditative practices are important, along with nutrition and feeding the body well. Keeping sugar to a minimum while eating healthy fats and leafy vegetables is going to lead to a healthier lifestyle and lower the body’s reaction to sugar in the system. Exercise can also be helpful to build resilience as a means of coping with stress. This means getting some form of exercise every single day like yoga or basketball and being outside. Staying positive is part of the journey of recovery. Learning to cope with what brings stress so a person can deal appropriately will be helpful for the journey going forward.
Oceanfront is here to help you navigate the stressors in your life driving your addiction. If you have trouble coping without drinking or using drugs, we are here to help. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295