Stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and may other life threating health issues. Dragoyle is a huge believer in thriving in life. You can't do that with a ton of stress. Stress puts you in survivor mode, lets learn to survive, so you can Thrive with 10 healthy ways to deal with stress.
Stress creeps up as you’re surviving life, growing your business while also trying to manage the day-to-day. Stress can be a powerful motivator, but what happens when it’s not delt with?
High levels of stress can impact sleep and lead to more serious mental health issues. Learning how to deal with stress is an important skill for every entrepreneur.
What causes stress?
Stress is a reaction in the body causing a “fight or flight,” response, which is the primary function of stress. When your brain senses danger, it produces a physical and emotional response to safeguard the body.
Sometimes our fight-or-flight response activates when we aren’t in real danger which is what causes physical signs like increased heart rate, dizziness and faster breathing.
Stressors can be split into two types:
- External stressors. These are situations usually out of your control and forced by your environment and by different changes occurring in your life.
- Internal stressors. These include thoughts or behaviors and habits usually that you can control, like your daily schedule or sleeping patterns.
How stress affects you mentally and physically
Small amounts of stress can be motivational and even empowering. This type of stress, referred to as acute stress, is generally not worrisome.
An external stressor may be a fast-approaching vehicle, about to hit your car. A stress response may be triggered, heightening your senses and providing a boost of energy needed to quickly maneuver out of the way.
The Yerkes-Dodson law states that managed levels of stress can actually lead to increased work performance, interest in your hobbies, family and friends, as well as, a longer attention span on normal life tasks.
The effects of too much “bad” stress
Humans are not designed to live in a constant state of high stress.
Chronic stress, often referred to as “bad stress,” can happen as a result of sustained exposure to a toxic workplace environment, an abusive relationship or financial problems.
Chronic stress can painfully impact one’s life physically, spiritually and mentally. Studies have shown that continuous stress can wreak havoc on the body’s immune system, cause depression and damage organs. Those who don’t find healthy ways to deal with your stress may also see an impact on mental health—prolonged stress can lead to depression and anxiety.
10 healthy ways to deal with stress
Understanding how to use stress to your advantage is a skill that you can master over time. You can become an expert at having healthy relationships, good time management and to use good stress as an energy boost during an emergency. But this relies on keeping bad stress at bay. Here’s how to manage stress using daily habits and making adjustments to your mindset.
1. Prioritize what’s important
Stress often results from having too many demands that divide your attention. Prioritize these demands, then tackle them one at a time in the order that both meets your goals, is most important and brings a feeling of accomplishment.
When prioritizing tasks, ask yourself two questions:
- What is the importance of this task? Does it help me meet my personal and professional goals? Is it in line with my personal values? Does it contribute to my overall health and wellbeing?
- How urgent is it? Will putting of this task have negative consequences for myself or others at work or at home?
The answer to these questions will help you organize your demands into four categories. Write out the list below and put our demands into the correct section.
Using this framework can help you sort out your to-do list and focus on what matters most to you, while ignoring, delegating, or outright deleting the rest.
2. Learn to say no
For many, say no can be challenging. Overcommitting can lead to unhappiness and unfulfilled promises, as stress creeps in and your schedule gets crazier. Learn to say no carefully and thoughtfully to save space to focus on the promises made that are more meaningful to you and the people around you.
3. Get physical
The thought of adding exercise to your schedule shouldn’t cause even more stress. That’s why it’s important to pick a workout that you enjoy. Activities as simple as walking the dog or doing 15 minutes of desk yoga can have a positive impact.
Most people know that getting some exercise can have positive impacts on your mental and spiritual health which is linked to lowering stress levels and improving your overall health.
4. Take time to relax
Technology is great, but causes stress when you're forced to juggle multiple projects, stay in touch with friends and family, and manage, not only your life, but your work from your phone. These days the world expects an instant reply, dependency on technology could be causing increased stress.
- Turn off non-essential phone notifications
- Try a meditation app to de-clutter your mind for short burst of time
- Disconnect from devices and meet friends in person
5. Automate and delegate
Most people can find it hard to relinquish control, especially those who are independent. Learning to outsource can free up time to focus on what matters. Once you’ve organized your tasks and stressors the urgent–not important category is a great place to pass some of your duties down to others.
Automation involves using tools to complete simple tasks. This can be anything from an automatic watering system to a social scheduling calendar that post regularly for you.
Outsourcing can mean hiring a virtual assistant to manage personal tasks, or hire a house cleaner, dog poop cleanup company or yard service.
6. Breathe deeply
Science has explored the link between deep breathing and stress response. As deep breathing expands your lungs and “encourages full oxygen exchange,” it helps to slow the heartbeat and lower blood pressure.
Deep breathing can be added to your daily schedule for 20 minutes, two times a day. If you prefer a guided approach, try a meditation app or group yoga class that focuses on breath and mindfulness. My favorite app is Insite Timer, I've been using it for years with great success and it's free.
7. Practice self-awareness and know your limits
Your body is constantly sending you warning signs or physical symptoms when your body is overwhelmed with toxic stress. Back pain, stomach issues, or headaches may show up as direct reactions to chronic stress. Pay attention to your body. Do not ignore these stressors as they can lead to more serious health issues.
8. Engage in meaningful pursuits
If When your job or home stress is piling up, take a minute to seek activities that stimulate your brain, encourages imagination, works muscles that aren't normally used or something that always puts a smile on your face.
Creative activities can actually lower cortisol levels, a hormone that is noted as a marker of stress. If your regular schedule is in front of a digital screen, spend your free time disconnecting and try a hands-on activity that works out a new part of your brain.
9. Ask for help
Sometimes stress can reach a level that is beyond personal intervention. When it becomes impossible for you to use the techniques described here, reach out to a friend or family member, join a support group, or call a professional mental health expert. If you feel overwhelmed, isolation can make your stress levels even worst, don't wait and reach out. Even if you don't want to.
Manage stress for mental and physical health
By adding a few of these stress management techniques to your daily routine can help reduce your stress and improve the symptoms that chronic stress causes.
10. If these stress management techniques are too difficult or you just don't have time for them, you might consider CtrlStress.
With Ctrlstress, you'll have the tools you need to manage your stress no matter where you are or what you're doing. Imagine feeling calm, focused, and in control no matter what life throws your way. You'll be able to handle any situation with ease, knowing that you have the power to manage your stress and maintain your composure
The best part? Ctrlstress is easy to learn and quick to apply. With just a few minutes of practice each day, you'll be well on your way to mastering the skill and taking control of your stress. And, unlike other stress management techniques, Ctrlstress doesn't just treat the symptoms. With repeated use, it will actually lessen your body's response to stressful situations, making you more resilient in the face of adversity.
The benefits of Ctrlstress don't stop there. Imagine how your life will change when you're no longer bogged down by stress and anxiety. You'll have more energy, more focus, and more time to enjoy the things you love. You'll be able to excel in your career, build stronger relationships, and achieve your goals with ease.
Presented by Dragoyle LLC