Being a badass girlboss 24/7 can be quite stressful. Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to this hectic thing called life. But don't wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, your mind, body, relationships or quality of life. So put on your sweatpants, get your dark chocolate bar and read more about what effect stress can have on your health and the 25 tips to stress less :D :D
Before we look into the 25 tips, I would like to explain what happens with your body and mind if you are living a “longterm” stressful life. A little bit of stress will do no harm. We actually even need a bit of stress in our lives to give our existence the necessary excitement. However stress becomes a problem if too many changes and/or stressful events follow up short after each other. We see them as threats for our well-being or giving us the feeling that we can’t handle it anymore. The feeling that we are losing control over our life comes with the feeling of inability. This stress reaction provokes a physical reaction which could cause damage for our health.
Example sources of stress
- Life events (demanding job/study, moving, wedding, passing of loved one)
- Life changes (new job, promotion, big projects, family expansion)
- Daily irritations (delay public transportation, traffic jam, constant noise, money problems, deadlines)
- Perception of a person (the impact of stress and dealing with stress is different for every person)
Only a situation that could be a threat for our well-being could lead to stress. Especially life events or changes that are of great value for us will be experienced als stressful events. And even more if we can’t control them ourselves. But we could also act a fool and not acknowledge the degree of stress to which we expose ourselves.
On the next page the effects of stress.
Effects of stress
Stress is associated with a number of physiological responses. These responses make the body more vulnerable for diseases. Stress also has an effect on the metal functions.
A stress factor elicits two responses from inside the body:
- Shock reaction, which makes it possible to cope with the emergency, also known as the “Fight-or flight response”.
- Adjustment of your body to cope with stress for a long term.
Dealing with stress has a big impact on your health. For example this could lead to:
- Hair loss, in fact, telogen effluvium (hair loss) can begin up to three months after a stressful event
- More headaches as a result of the body rerouting blood flow to other parts of the body to provide more hormones to let the body function in a stressful event
- Blood vessels to close, which is a physical reaction of the body. For instance when your body is bleeding your blood vessels close, so you will lose less blood. But if you are not injured this could cause a blood clot
- Increasing the risk of both metal and physical problems, such as infections, illness, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, chest pain and heart disease, as well as depression and anxiety disorders
- Prematurely ageing
- Causes insomnia and other sleep disorders
FUN FACT: Research has shown that dark chocolate reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and other “fight-flight” hormones. Additionally, cocoa is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. Lucky us ;)
Almost getting to the part where I will share the 25 tips to stress less, but first the next page ;)
A little bit of theory.. but fast forward ;)
If the first response (fight-or flight) of the body kicks in, the body immediately will trigger her systems for adjustment to cope with the stress factor for a long term. Since your body will not be able to persevere the energy consumption the body needs when it is releasing the fight-or flight hormone more than a few hours. The adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) will then be released into your bloodstream. The ACTH will stimulate the adrenocortical to release more corticosteroids. The corticosteroids makes sure that the body will have enough glucose stock so that energy remain available and the homeostasis stays maintained. If the body is exposed to longterm stress factors this could have serious consequences for your health.
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
Continuous stress will lead the body into three stages of response: alarm reaction, resistance development, exhaustion. Also know as the “General Adaptation Syndrome”. See the overview of the three stages below.
If the body reaches the exhaustion stage, the body will not be able to stay in balance anymore and keep her homeostasis. Because hormones like adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) and corticosteroids will not succeed anymore to give a response toward i.a. the fight- or flight hormone which continues kicks in while exposed to long term stress factors or events. The body will reach complete exhaustion since it used all of her recourses and doesn’t have a back-up anymore. Besides the effects of stress I pointed out on page 2, you can see that longterm stress could have serious health consequences.
Before I wanted to share the 25 tips to stress less, I felt the need to explain what serious damaged continuous stress can have for your body, mind and health.
Knowing what happens with your body and mind, and the serious consequences stress can have for your health, helped me to realise how important it is to stress less from time to time. I know from my own experience that it is not without difficulty to live a stress free life (so much to do so little time) BUT this is a reminder that taking care of your health should be the most important job on your to-do list!
And now, finally the 25 tips that could help you to stress less. Apply them all or choose two or three tips during a stress situation or period. Whatever works best for you. My favourite is tip #25 :D
25 tips to stress less
- Give yourself a break, take time for yourself
- Laugh as much as you can
- Go for a walk with a friend
- Put on music and dance it out
- Watch a silly movie or read a funny article
- Talk about it
- Listen to music (and sing out loud)
- Go to bed early
- Focus more on what you can control
- Ask for a hug
- Ask for help, you don’t have to do it all alone
- Take small steps towards your goals
- Simplify the task
- Have the courage to be imperfect
- Take deep belly breaths
- Talk to yourself as if you were a good friend
- Learn to say no
- Challenge yourself to turn off your smartphone for a few hours
- Accept your limitations
- Identify what you really want
- Eat healthy
- Be thankful
- Always SMILE =)
These tips are all proven to reduce the levels of stress and leave you feeling fresh, bright, and energised again. If you don’t give yourself a break every once in a while, your body will force you to take a break. Remember that!!
Don’t stress, be your best and forget the rest :D
If you have other tips to stress less, don’t hesitate to share them with us below in the comments. Also if you would like to have more information about what stress does for your health you can leave a comment below. Since I explained the theory in a nutshell, I would understand if there are any questions.