Does your stomach feel like it is constantly in knots? Stress not only wears your body down physically, it also threatens your mental well being. Stressors can be major life events or day-to-day pressures.
Major stressors include: moving, leaving school, getting married, having a baby, changing jobs, divorce, illness, experiencing losses.
Daily stressors include: being stuck in traffic, conflicts at work, conflicts with family members, deadlines and multiple work demands, the demands of family and work life, the fast pace of modern life.
Stress may be taking its toll if you start to notice the following symptoms:
- You have difficulty eating or digesting your food
- Your muscles feel sore and tense all the time
- You say no to social events because you’re too tired or busy
- Co-workers, friends or family members are asking if you are feeling okay
Here are three strategies that can help you deal with stress:
- Exercise daily for 15 to 20 minutes. This can be accomplished by going for a walk, working out at the gym, swimming, golfing or another activity that you enjoy.
- Learn to relax. Try deep breathing, visual imagery, meditation, letting go of negative thoughts, chanting, or getting out into nature or another peaceful, quiet setting. Practice these techniques for 5 to 10 minutes twice daily.
- Talk over your situation with a trained mental health professional, who can help you devise personalized strategies that fit your needs and lifestyle.