We have all felt mental and emotional strain from adverse or demanding circumstances. This is called stress. Stress can stem from tension with family, friends, coworkers and even strangers. It can also be caused by pressures and expectations we place on ourselves. Can we all agree that stress has negative effects on our mood, health and overall quality of life?
Although both men and women experience stress, it can effect them in very different ways.
Women are more likely than men (28 percent vs. 20 percent) to report having a great deal of stress and are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men,
Studies show that stress causes the following in women;
Physically Headaches, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, pain (most commonly in the back and neck), overeating/under eating, skin problems, drug and alcohol misuse, lack of energy, upset stomach, less interest in sex/other things you used to enjoy, pregnancy issues.
Emotionally Anxiety, depression, anger, unhappiness, irritability, feelings of being out of control, mood swings, frustration.
Mentally Forgetfulness, worry, can’t make decisions, negative thinking, lack of focus, boredom.
Occupationally Work overload, long hours, tense relations, poor concentration, unfulfilling job.
Socially Less intimacy, isolation, family problems, loneliness.
Spiritually Apathy, loss of meaning, emptiness, unforgiving, doubt, guilt, despair.
Identifying that there's an issue and understanding how it's caused is a HUGE step, but we can't stop there. Now, lets talk about the 5 ways to eliminate and/or manage stress in your life.
Physically. Exercise, practice relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, listen to relaxing
music), eat healthy, schedule leisure time, get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours/night).
Emotionally. Express your emotions, repeat positive emotions, work toward a healthy self-esteem.
Mentally. Have a positive outlook, realistic thinking, resilient attitude, be creative.
Occupationally. Establish doable goals, identify home-work balance, set limits.
Socially. Strive to maintain loving relationships, establish healthy boundaries, stay connected with friends.
Spiritually. Find your meaning/purpose, focus on gratitude, stay in the present moment.
Somethings that have worked for me are reading, exercising, meditating, alone time, changing careers, and remaining present (focusing on the now, not the past or the future). Below are a list of books that will help you along this journey. (They can all be found on Amazon and are linked below).
Remember if you ever feel too overwhelmed by the stress of life or need additional help, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional (therapist, life coach, etc. ) It is not likely that you will never experience stress, but you can equip yourself with tools to minimize and manage it.
Find a Therapist near you