What it Means to be Free From Stress & How to Get There
Stress can leave you feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest, unable to move. But it doesn’t have to permanently paralyze you – and this post will show you how. We’ll take a look at what freedom from stress means, the ways in which stress takes its toll on us, and then provide practical tips that anyone can use to reduce their own levels of stress. When we’re all done, you’ll know exactly how to beat back any feelings of anxiety or fear so that they don’t control your life!
What is Stress?
Stress is the body’s natural response to danger or a perceived threat. It is an uncomfortable feeling, usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and tense muscles. Stress can be caused by many different situations including everything from work-related pressures to daily life stresses like traffic jams and children’s activities.
The science of stress works in two main ways: physical and mental. Physically, the body responds to a stressful situation with a fight-or-flight response which involves releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones then create changes within the body that prime it for action such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, higher alertness levels, and stronger muscles. At the same time, mentally we have an emotional reaction which can include fear, anxiety or anger.
Several situations could cause people to experience stress: work-related issues like tight deadlines or heavy workloads; family responsibilities such as taking care of young children; financial strain due to high living costs; relationship troubles with friends or partners; health concerns such as chronic pain or illness; educational challenges like studying for exams; social pressures felt at school or in other groups; and self-image issues like low confidence or negative perceptions about yourself.
Stressful events can take their toll on our mental health if not managed properly. Symptoms may include depression, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, and restlessness. If left untreated long enough it can lead to more serious issues such as anxiety disorders and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is important to recognize these signs so that you can take steps toward reducing stress levels before they become unmanageable.
Physical & Mental Impacts of Stress
As you may already know, having a lot of stress in your life can impact both your physical well-being and mental health. Stress is a highly destructive influence that can really derail your health if not dealt with properly. Here are some of the impacts that you should be prepared for if you are going to let your stress continue without addressing it.
Physiological Impact of Stress on Body & Mind
Stress is a powerful emotion that can have both physical and mental effects on the body. When our bodies are exposed to stress, it triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can have an immediate impact on our physiology. Over time, this continued exposure to these hormones can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.
Physiological impacts of stress include increased heart rate and blood pressure. This happens due to the body’s ‘flight or fight’ response, which is triggered when we’re feeling stressed. This can lead to long-term cardiovascular issues such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. Stress also suppresses the immune system, making us more vulnerable to illness or injury. Additionally, stress has been linked to an increase in gastrointestinal issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), indigestion, and ulcers.
In terms of mental health effects, prolonged exposure to stress can lead to chronic anxiety and depression. It’s thought that this may be due either to high levels of cortisol which disrupts normal brain function including short-term memory recall and decision-making abilities or to changes in neurotransmitter levels caused by a prolonged ‘fight or flight’ response. Furthermore, research has indicated that people who are under constant stress are more likely to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism – leading to further health complications down the line.
The impacts of stress on the body and mind should not be underestimated – it’s vital that any signs of stress are addressed promptly so that long-term damage is avoided. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercises, good nutrition, and proper rest will help keep your body better prepared for managing any stressful situations you may face in life – allowing you to maintain both physical and mental well-being over time.
The Link Between Mental Health & Stress Levels
The link between mental health and stress levels is well-established and undeniable. Stress has a direct effect on the function of our mental processes, particularly those related to emotion. When we experience stress, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that activate the physiological “fight or flight” response. This affects our ability to think clearly, as well as our ability to manage emotions. Chronic stress can also negatively affect the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for problem-solving, decision-making, and other higher cognitive functions.
Stress can also lead to various mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. A study from Harvard University suggests that when we are under chronic stress, our body produces an excess of cortisol which suppresses areas of the brain associated with motivation, learning, and memory formation – all of which can contribute to poor mental health outcomes such as depression or anxiety.
High levels of stress can also increase your risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Research indicates that individuals with a history of substance abuse are more likely to have experienced traumatic events in their childhood or adolescence – events that incurred significant amounts of stress on their minds. Similarly, individuals who have already developed a mental disorder are at greater risk for developing an addiction due to increased levels of stress that may result from their disorder(s).
Coping Strategies for Dealing With Stress
Now that you know a bit more about stress and how it impacts us, you’ll probably be highly interested in learning about some of the best coping strategies for stress. These won’t work for everyone, but they are widely accepted as being very effective and powerful strategies for some people that need to deal with stress in a productive way.
Meditative practices such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong can be beneficial for stress management. By focusing on deep breathing, physical postures, and mindful awareness of the present moment, meditative practices can help reduce stress hormones in the body and improve overall mental clarity.
Practicing meditation regularly can also have physical benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure levels. It can also help with relaxation by reducing stress-induced muscle tension. Additionally, research has found that meditative practices may help increase resilience to stress by helping individuals gain a higher level of emotional regulation in difficult situations.
To begin practicing meditation as a coping strategy for stress, it’s best to start small with just 5-10 minutes per day and work up from there. This practice has been proven to have great impacts on both physical and mental health so it’s worth exploring if you need a new way to manage your stressful moments.
Deep Breathing Exercises & Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are one of the best coping strategies for dealing with stress. This technique can be done anywhere at any time, making it a very accessible option for managing stress levels.
When done correctly, deep breathing helps to relax the body and mind and improve overall physical and mental wellbeing. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system by slowing down heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and reducing muscular tension. Additionally, regular deep breathing can help to reduce anxiety levels, promote better sleep quality, boost energy levels, and increase focus and concentration.
Furthermore, focusing on specific body parts when doing deep breathing exercises can help reduce physical tension in those areas too. To practice this technique properly, start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Begin inhaling deeply through your nose while counting to four slowly in your head then exhale through your mouth while counting to four again.
Practice repeating this cycle several times until you begin to feel more relaxed – ideally 10-20 breaths should do the trick!
Physical exercise is an important coping strategy for dealing with stress. Regular physical activity can help reduce the body’s production of stress hormones, while also releasing feel-good endorphins that can improve mood and promote relaxation.
To get the most out of this strategy, it is important to find activities that you enjoy doing and that suit your lifestyle. This could include going on a daily walk or jog, joining a sports team or taking classes at your local gym. Incorporating physical exercise into your daily routine will not only help you cope with stress in the moment, but it can also provide long-term benefits to both your physical and mental health.
Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, and increase overall happiness. So if you’re feeling stressed out, try dedicating some time each day to engaging in physical activity – it just might be the key to better managing stress!
Coaching Programs for Stress
If you have tried other strategies to no avail, then you may want to week the help of a professional that can guide you to the strategy that will work for you.
Not everything is a one-size-fits-all solution. Having the helping hand of a coach like Michaela Weaver can help yo to include the right mix of strategies that will adequately address your stress and your ability to process feelings of stress in the future.
The Calibration Shift Can Help You Manage Stress
The Calibration Shift program offered by Michaela Weaver is an excellent coaching program for stress management and emotional resilience. This program teaches not just coping skills, but also how to develop a strong emotional state of being.
Through this program, individuals learn how to regulate their emotions in order to reduce stress and increase happiness. The program focuses on developing the capacity for self-awareness and self-regulation, which are key elements for successful stress management. It also helps people to create a better sense of self-understanding in order to make more thoughtful decisions that will benefit their well-being in the long run.
Ultimately, this program offers an empowering approach to dealing with stress by teaching individuals how to take responsibility for themselves and their own emotional health.
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
Keep me in the loop!
Want more inspiration, knowledge and ideas about alcohol and how to make the changes you want stick? Sign up here to receive more articles and news like this.