Coping with depression

Managing your levels of stress

Managing your stress levels

Start to manage your stress. Make the right choices and start to make the right moves to reduce your stress levels, and find a happy medium between work and family life, to enhance your internal and external world.
Start to see the possibilities of living in a new way that avoids the adverse effects that long-term stress can bring.

Long term stress can lead to:

    • Damaged relationships to the point of destruction.
    • Developing major mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
    • Can lead to people developing addictions.
    • It can affect your physical health, increasing heart disease risks, stomach and bowel problems, and many other physical illnesses.

Many people can manage their stress more effectively, and it can be as simple as just using meditation and exercising more or include complex life changes and behavioural changes.

What Is stress?

Stress is the physical response to physical danger and a reaction to situations in life that the mind identifies as a threat or. from trying to achieve deadlines at work or dealing with financial problems, and fearful experiences like going to the dentist. When we feel stressed, our body reacts as if it is under physical threat and triggers our fight or flight response.

This physical response will release substances like adrenalin and other chemicals into the body; these will increase our reaction time and prepare the body for fight or flight. The result is that we think faster and react faster, and we feel a boost of energy that allows us to work faster and longer.

The downside

There is a downside, the body cannot sustain this strain for long periods, it is no real concern over the short term, but the lasting effects can accumulate over time and be detrimental to your physical and mental health.

Stress can help us be more focused and motivated at many types of tasks, like sport or work-based performance. It can often help us achieve our goals, but too much pressure for long periods can increase our anxiety levels, leading to physical and emotional problems.

Under high levels of stress, many relationships both at home and at work are put under pressure to the point that they start to breakdown; people under too much stress can also become confused, absent-minded, short-tempered and moody; they can lose the ability to switch off and slow down, often continuously seen on the go.

Coping with stress

Eating a well-balanced diet can help us by supplying our physical needs with the minerals and nutrients that will help us cope in times of stress. Another way to help ourselves is exercising to keep fit; if you’re feeling fit, you tend to have a better outlook on life and have more energy reserves when you need it. It also helps our recovery times after any physical activity.

Smoking tobacco to reduce stress

Smoking will place more stress on the body. This is because processing the toxic chemicals in our system means that the body has to do more work, which raises the internal stress levels on average between 8% and 10%, which will affect how people feel. Another problem with smoking is that stress normally increases the amount people smoke.

Using recreational drugs for stress

Smoking recreational drugs is another way people try to self-medicate, but this can create an even bigger issue over time, leading to addiction and mental health problems. Using drugs can, in some cases, complicate how you deal with stress and anxiety.

Using Alcohol to combat stress

Alcohol is enjoyed in moderation by many people without ill effects. Still, if you combine stress and anxiety with alcohol, it can lead to a spiralling problem that can and often does end in alcohol dependence. Many people like a drink as it helps people socialise and relax, but if we use it to combat stress or the effects of trauma or abuse, we can find that we need to drink more to achieve the same result.

The effects of alcohol are reduced over time as the body builds up a tolerance, and more alcohol is required to maintain the effect until, in the end, the alcohol becomes a much bigger problem than the initial stress, and drinking too much alcohol is not a good choice.

By reducing or stopping bad choices and making healthy changes in your lifestyle, you may help your body cope in times of stress, which in turn will help you cope emotionally.

Fixing how you feel with food

Food can play an unhealthy role in how some people moderate stress. Eating food can be a very satisfying and enjoyable experience, but this can distract from difficult emotions or feelings. If we use food to make us feel better, that can lead to a self-destructive way of coping, making people feel even worse about themselves and become overweight and develop physical issues in time like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.

Dealing with stress

If you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam, it often feels stressful because you can’t make the traffic go any faster, you may not know how long you will be held up, and there is nothing you can do to change it, no control leads to more stress.
Not healthily dealing with stress can lead to the pressure building to the point that leads to implosion or explosion or what some people call a meltdown and end up as a depressive or aggressive episode.

We can have a wide range of reactions to extremes of stress, from violent outbursts to quietly drinking our life away. Depression and other mental and physical problems can manifest themselves in our life while under long term pressure is making life even harder.

Lack of control

Suppose we find ourselves stuck in traffic on the way to an appointment. In that case, we feel stressed. This is due to not being able to have any control. We feel helpless, and the outcome is uncertain, so we feel emotions like anxiety, frustration, and anger building up. Leaving more time to complete the journey will reduce the stress.

Stress-induced anxiety

When we find ourselves unable to control a situation or outcome, we get stressed. When we are unprepared for a situation, we get stressed. Whenever people feel helpless, they will feel their anxiety levels increase if the anxiety gets too high. People can even begin to experience panic attacks, leading to higher stress levels in similar future situations.

Changing the approach

By changing the way, we approach situations and giving ourselves time to prepare. It can be possible to reduce your stress-related anxiety. The good news is that you can influence your imagination. You can shape your thoughts. You can change your anxiety levels with help from counselling and other types of therapy.

Phobias and panic attacks are anxiety-based fear responses that can be very life-limiting and upsetting for the person involved and can be treated effectively with psychotherapy and other therapy options like hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and that includes online counselling or online psychotherapy.

Sometimes there is no fixing it.

If you find yourself losing your job or going through a messy divorce, you have no choice but to carry on and cope as best you can, right?

Well, yes and no. How you manage your stressful thoughts and feelings will make a big difference to the impact stress has on you, especially over time. If you learn to understand better how your physical actions and your emotional health can increase or decrease stress, you will be better equipped to handle the real problem that is long term stress.

Coping with stressful situations

Short term worry and anxiety created by stress is not pleasant to experience but is also not generally permanently debilitating, but suffering long term stress can, over time, negatively affect your physical and mental health.

A simple fact is that people who cannot share their problems or cannot talk openly about their thoughts and feelings will not do well in the long or short term. People who have a very supportive network of friends and family can confide in will generally cope much better with any life-changing experiences and may even recover faster. Unfortunately, not everyone has a good support network.

The ability to talk to a person who is not directly involved in your life, like an online counsellor or psychotherapist, can be a valuable option for finding support and sorting through the confusion.

How can I help?

By working together with online therapy, we can start to identify what elements within you work against you, how you deal with stress and what can be done in the short term and in the long term look at changing ways of thinking and feeling that encourages change for the future and personal growth.

Some things naturally help with stress, such as physical exercise and eating well; a good diet helps the body replenish energy. Meditation or yoga can help with relaxation to lower stress. We are all complex individuals and unique in our own way.

What makes you the person you are is not the same as everyone else, we all have our positive abilities and personal faults, and that is just who we are as people.

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