Stress is your body’s feelings of emotional or physical tension as your body reacts to a challenge or demand. The body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that makes your brain more alert, causes muscles to tense, and increases your pulse. The two main types of stress include acute stress or short-term stress that goes away quickly, and chronic stress or long-term stress that lasts for weeks to months. When used positively, stress can lead to growth, action, and change; while negative, long-term stress can lessen your quality of life.
When you’re experiencing stress, you may feel – worried, angry, irritable, depressed, or inability to focus. Physical signs of stress include – headaches, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, weight gain or loss, tense muscles, and frequent or more severe colds. Excess chronic stress is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression or anxiety, skin problems like acne or eczema, and menstrual problems. Benefits of managing or reducing stress includes – better sleep, control of your weight, becoming sick less often or recovering faster, less muscle tension, better moods, and stronger relationships with family and friends.
To prevent or reduce stress try planning ahead, deciding what tasks need to be accomplished first, and preparing for stressful events. One can manage stress by learning skills such as problem-solving, prioritizing tasks, and time-management; enhancing your ability to cope with stress; practicing relaxation techniques; and improving personal relationships; noticing when you feel stressed; getting active and eating healthy.
The following are 10 tips to manage stress:
2. Relax your muscles
3. Deep breathing
4. Eat well
5. Slow down
6. Take a break
7. Make time for hobbies
8. Talk about your problems
9. Go easy on yourself
10. Eliminate your triggers
Children experience stress differently than adults, this means that their ways of expressing stress also look different. Consider that when your child is experiencing mood swings, acting out, poor sleep or concentration, and complaints of stomach aches or headaches, they may be trying to cope with their stress. There are four stress relief activities for kids which includes:
1. Aerobic activities
2. Stretching / Yoga
3. Deep breathing and guided imagery
4. Get outside
Below are more resources that you can use for managing stress:
Effective Stress Relievers for Your Life
Stress and Your Health
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