The body’s response to stress interferes with normal body functions, clouds judgment and feeling. Over time it can cause stress overload and have a negative effect on both your physical and mental health. Unrelenting stress in your daily life can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can also make you less productive at work and less effective at home.
We all develop techniques to deal with the stress in our lives. Human tendency is to go with what is comfortable and makes us “feel” better. Such coping mechanisms work only temporarily and in the long term don’t do much to change the effect of stress on our physical and mental health. Unhealthy coping methods can actually make things worse.
Proper stress management involves reducing stress, preventing it where possible and using healthy coping methods when the stress is unavoidable. You don’t have to fall victim to stress! There is always hope and there are ways to manage your stress in an effective manner. If managed appropriately, stress can even prompt you to make healthier life choices.
It may not appear so, but you have more control over stress than you might think. It’s important not to cope with stress in ways that only make the problem worse. Avoid drinking too much to unwind at the end of a stressful day or stuffing yourself up with unhealthy comfort food. Resist the temptation to zone out in front of the TV or computer for hours, to take your frustration out on others or to use pills to relax. As you can see, there are healthier ways to cope with stress and its symptoms that will benefit you right away and in the long run.