Stressed Out? How To Become Stronger & Happier
Get rid of stress and become wiser about the symptoms.
Palpitations, ruminating thoughts, insomnia and forgetfulness – get rid of stress and its symptoms once and for all, and make yourself both stronger and happier.
Palpitations, abdominal pain, tics and headache. Memory loss, short temper, insomnia, increased craving for sweets and other stimuli, thoughts and anxiety.
Stress manifests itself in many different disguises. And they can be quite difficult to see through when you yourself are affected.
You are probably aware that you are busy and may have had it for a long time, but the awareness that it has actually developed into stress, we often tend to push away from us for too long.
Many people neglect the stress symptoms because it can be perceived as a sign of weakness that you can not handle everyday life without being stressed. Fortunately, stress is no longer as big a taboo as it was just a few years ago, and it makes more people respond to their stress symptoms faster and dare to seek help from a stress coach or psychologist.
But there is still a tendency for us – consciously or unconsciously – to overhear and ignore the body’s messages for far too long. And it can aggravate the problem significantly. Because the longer we are about to hit the brakes and address the causes, the more violent the symptoms become, and the harder it can be to get rid of its stress again. The brain and body do not stop the vicious downward spiral by themselves but will continue to try to shout at us by adding more and more stress symptoms.
As we continue to overhear stress symptoms, the signals become louder and louder, and as we continue to overhear the mental and physical stress symptoms, we may end up collapsing.
STRESS OCCURS IN THE BRAIN
Stress takes place to a large extent in the brain. And the brain responds greatly to stress. The hippocampus and amygdala in particular are affected by stress.
During prolonged severe stress, the body is in constant readiness because the levels of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are high. It impairs your cognitive abilities and causes the hippocampus to shrink up to 10-15 percent. You become less able to remember and to concentrate on even simple things like reading a book.
The stress hormones that the hippocampus can normally regulate now begin to break down nerve cells in the hippocampus. It has also been shown that prolonged or repeated periods of stress can be a cause of depression and cardiovascular disease.
While the hippocampus shrinks, the amygdala grows. The amygdala is a small almond-shaped area in the temporal lobe of the brain, which i.a. handles fear. That is why we can more easily develop fear and anxiety when we are stressed.
LET THE BODY WORK
As a rule of thumb, it takes as long to get out of stress as it does to build it. That says a bit about the fact that the road out of your state of stress can be really long. Fortunately, the first important steps can be quite simple.
A stress diary can, for example, be an eye-opening tool. Each time you experience a stress symptom, write it down in your diary along with the following information:
1: Date and time.
2: Stress symptoms.
3: Cause of stress.
4: Any comments on how you could have reacted differently.
The purpose of the stress diary is to find out what triggers your stress and give you ways to act differently so that you do not react with stress symptoms in the future.
In addition, stress experts recommend regular bedtimes as both a cure and prevention for stress. Lack of sleep can greatly contribute to making you stressed. And stress can ruin your night’s sleep even more. In the rested state, on the other hand, you can handle the challenges and stressful situations you encounter much better.
By going to bed every night at about the same time, the body and brain get used to the fact that it is, for example, at 22, that you go to bed and need to recover to be fresh for a new day. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, drop all screen viewing – TV, iPad, computer and mobile – from at least one hour before bedtime.
Instead, read a book, meditate, iron clothes, write thoughts down, draw, or do something else that gets you in gear and makes you mentally ready to go to sleep.
It is also a really good idea to prioritize exercise. Exercise at moderate intensity, such as walking at a brisk pace, long walks, cycling or running regularly for up to half an hour, burns stress hormones and gives you pleasure and satisfaction. It clears the head, and exercise promotes the important, good sleep because our muscles go into a rest period once we have used them. However, you should not exercise shortly before bedtime. For it takes some time for the body to adjust from having been active to going into a state of rest.
GET HELP TO BREAK THE PATTERN
If you are deeper in the stress mill than you can manage to change, you can seek advice from a specially trained stress coach who can help you build good habits that get you out of stress.
Asking for help in everyday life, both at work and in your private life can be a necessity in order to get out of your stress patterns. But it is difficult for many.
Stress sufferers are often very bad at asking for help to relieve themselves. They often think that they can handle it all themselves and will not burden others or be a nuisance. But when we want to do it all ourselves, we also become more vulnerable to stress.
Because in the real world, few of us can completely avoid stressful experiences, no matter how hard we try. But we can get better at dealing with them when they arise.
When faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself, ‘What can I do now to change the situation so that I do not become stressed by it?’ ‘Can I ask others for help?’
And if that is not possible, then say,
“Never mind – and how do I get out of here?”
THE 9 MAJOR CAUSES OF STRESS
- Life events such as family enlargement, divorce, illness, death, dismissal, and unemployment.
- Dissatisfaction at work, eg due to lack of influence, meaning, predictability and reward.
- Traumatic events such as threats, violence and bullying.
- The boundless work where the job spreads into your free time and you never completely take time off.
- Your physical work environment, eg noise, cold, poor indoor climate and shift work.
- Family life if it is characterized by conflicts, poor communication and lack of recognition, time and money.
- Societal events such as war, environmental, illnesses such as Covid or catastrophes.
- The stress of others can be contagious.
- Your own thoughts, expectations and ambitions.
GET STRESS-FREE WITH NEW HABITS
- Get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
- Write a stress diary.
- Exercise moderate exercise.
- Eat lots of greens.
- Drink two to three litres of water daily.
- Hold again with caffeinated beverages after 6 p.m.
- Do not drink alcohol daily.
- Do something in your spare time that gives you joy.
- Surround yourself with people who make you happy.
ARE YOU STRESSED?
The most common signs of stress are:
Irritation and anger
Decreased sex drive
Increased consumption of stimulants
Increased sickness absence