If you are like me, you have experienced stress on at least a few occasions. I have had a long and arduous battle with stress. I used to believe that stress was a natural emotion until I realized that it was affecting my ability to lead a normal life.
It is true that stress is a natural emotion, but it is a negative one and you need to get rid of it if you want to lead a healthy and happy life. In this article, I will show you how to get rid of stress.
The mind body connection
Our emotions affect the way our body feels. Positive emotions lead to good health. On the other hand, unpleasant emotions almost always lead to unpleasant bodily feelings. This mind body connection explains why emotional distress manifests itself as physical distress.
If we can get rid of those negative emotions, our whole sense of wellbeing will improve. In other words, by changing our mind, we can change our body and life. Fortunately, we can transform most negative emotions into positive, rational, and motivating thoughts. Your emotions are a product of your thoughts and hence learning how to control your thoughts will significantly improve the quality of your life.
You may be following a nutritious diet and leading a physically active life, but neither will improve your sense of wellness if you are overwhelmed with negative feelings.
How stress leads to illness?
Wellness depends on your physical and mental health. Just like physical pain can cause emotional distress, emotional problems can lead to ill-health.
What is stress?
Stress is an emotion that all of us are familiar with. Some amount of stress is desirable and encourages us to work harder to achieve our goals, but if we are always stressed out, we need help because chronic stress will ultimately lead to chronic illnesses.
Though stress is an emotion, its effects are felt in the body. While watching a scary movie, you can feel your heart pounding against your chest.
When you are stressed, your glands secrete hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This natural mechanism helped our ancestors to flee from dangerous situations. While we no longer face the physical dangers that our ancestors used to face, we still have to confront many challenges each day. And this leads to stress. But when your body’s alarm system is always on, you will have to face serious health consequences. Sudden emotional distress can cause even heart attack and sudden death.
If you are always stressed out, you suffer from a condition called chronic stress. Chronic stress is even more dangerous because it affects your ability to lead a normal life. Stress also makes existing problems worse. People who are always stressed out suffer from chronic headaches. Stressed out people may also develop bad habits like overeating or smoking.
This is a vicious cycle. Stress causes illness which in turn will cause more stress. What’s more, stress makes recovery harder. Studies have revealed that chronically distressed cardiac patients are far more likely to face bad outcomes that those who think positively.
How to get rid of stress?
Most stress management techniques revolve around stress hardiness. It is all about developing a positive attitude towards life. It involves cultivating the right feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.
The following stress management techniques will help you overcome this negative emotion and regain control over your life.
- Develop an attitude of commitment towards yourself, your family, friends, work, and the whole world.
- Stay confident that you can effectively deal with all situations in your life.
- Look at change as an exciting opportunity for growth and development.
- Nourish your relationships. Beating stress is easier when you have people who will stand by you when you need them the most.
- Social support provides effective protection against stress. It is also linked to longevity.
- Pour your emotions on a piece of paper. This is a great strategy to cope with stressful situations. Talking to other people about your problems can also help. People who practice this strategy have healthier blood pressure. They also develop fewer health problems.
Humor is a good stress buster. Apart from these habits, humor is also a good stress buster.