Stress is a pretty universal feeling, and everyone (I’m sure) at some point has complained about how stressed you are with either work, school, sports, etc. Despite the normalcy of stating your stress level, people don’t often talk about how stress, while a seemingly standard feeling, is incredibly taxing on your body mentally and visibly. Sure everyone is familiar with stress acne (my worst enemy), but not everyone is aware of the other symptoms that can chip away at your well-being.
For one, stress causes the muscles in your body to tense up like a guard against physical danger, but left unchecked, these tense muscles can wreak havoc on your musculoskeletal system. It can cause tension headaches, chronic muscle pain, as well as some other more severe disorders such as muscular atrophy (which could only develop after a multitude of years with muscle tension.) Chronic stress can also cause high blood pressure as well as hypertension. Prolonged stress is a serious issue.
Although most of us don’t suffer from prolonged exposure to stress and stress hormones, stress can still be taxing on our bodies. I know from experience that months under stress not only showed in my skin but my emotional well-being and anxiety.
The point of me bringing up all of this, is that I think we all need to value our emotional sanity more and make sure to listen to our body. If we’ve been under a lot of stress for a while we should evaluate and perhaps take a step back. There’s absolutely no shame in ‘taking yourself out of the game’ in order to ease your mental health. Some other ways of managing stress are:
- disconnecting from the situation/ cutting yourself off from the stressor
- rationalizing the situation
- getting enough sleep
- forcing yourself to think positively
- surrounding yourself with positive and inspiring people
These are just a few ways you can manage stress, but depending on your situation these may or may not work. Sometimes talking to someone, such as a therapist, is the best move. Evaluate your situation and trust your instincts.
How do you deal with stress?