Considering stress can have damaging effects on our bodies, knowing how to cope with stress is vital. Whether it’s related to work or home, too much stress can feel overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll look at how to cope with stress. As part of this, we’ll identify the main causes and review some coping with stress strategies.
As you may already know, stress is our body’s reaction to pressure. It’s caused by a hormone called cortisol, which your body releases as part of its alarm system. Unsurprisingly, this was a useful function in the distant past, but it’s less effective now that we lead relatively safe lives.
Even so, there are plenty of sources of stress. These include:
Let’s start with the obvious: work. There are plenty of things in work that can make us stressed, such as:
– Approaching deadlines
– High-pressure environments
– Challenges with coworkers
– Unsupportive management
A massive 83% of Americans suffer from work-related stress, and 54% of the working population miss at least one day of work a year because of it.
Under home, we can consider everything that isn’t work-related. Again, this is a pretty broad category, but the main stress triggers include:
– Money problems
– Housing issues
Unsurprisingly, 73% of Americans reported feeling stressed due to money issues. When you combine this with work stress, it’s easy to see why so many people are looking for coping with stress strategies.
Finally, we have relationships. This is a difficult area because it includes both work and home life. Stressful relationships might arise due to a lack of support, breakdowns in communication, or simply being around people you don’t really like.
As mentioned, stress triggers the release of cortisol. Its purpose relates to our fight-or-flight response and it mainly helps to shut down non-essential functions.
Unsurprisingly, this can have some pretty major effects on our bodies.
In the short-term, physical effects of stress include:
– Tightened muscles
– An increase in blood pressure and heart rate
– Stomach ache
– Increased breathing
The stress effects on the body are all due to cortisol. It makes our body think we need to run away or fight, hence the increase in blood pressure and breathing. This is specifically so we’re ready for a higher level of physical activity, whatever it may be.
Think of this more as the ‘medium term’ effects of stress. These symptoms might persist for the rest of the day or several days after feeling stressed. The physiological symptoms listed above are immediate impacts.
So, the stress effects on the body that’ll last a bit longer are:
– Feeling overwhelmed
– Low self-esteem
– Low energy
– Nausea, diarrhea, constipation
– Muscle aches from tension
– Clenched jaw
– Dry mouth
Perhaps the most important stress effects on the body are long term. If you work a stressful job or have a difficult home life, stress can do the following:
– Increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes
– Decrease your sex drive
– Lead to erectile dysfunction or missed periods
– Depression and anxiety
– High blood sugar and pressure (increasing your risk of diabetes)
– Low sex drive and fertility problems
So, what are we to do in order to cope with stress? Well, the easiest stress reliever is to remove it from your life wherever possible. Here are some of the most effective short-term coping with stress strategies.
This might seem obvious, but try to avoid the people and situations making you stressed. While this might not be possible at work, you could at least aim to temporarily remove yourself from stressful environments.
Again, this sounds pretty obvious, but revive a hobby. Plenty of research shows that people with hobbies are less stressed than those without. So, think of what you enjoy doing and lose yourself in it.
A great stress reliever is to disconnect yourself from everyone, both in your personal and professional lives. One of the best things you can do is get out in nature, as it has proven benefits for our mental health. It could be as simple as spending the day in a park – pretty much any green environment works.
Now we need to look at the more difficult environment to manage: work. Generally, you won’t be able to remove yourself from stressful situations, so here are some techniques for stress relief in the office.
Feeling overwhelmed is easy if you’ve got a big to-do list. Take some time to write a list of what needs doing and then arrange them by priority. It could be by deadline, by size, or by your desire to do them.
Another option for stress relief in the office is to rely on others. See if you can assign some of your tasks to people on your team and share the workload. It’s common for people to do everything themselves in an effort to please their bosses, but this isn’t worth getting stressed over.
Similarly, a good stress reliever is to streamline processes. See if you’re duplicating work from colleagues and, if so, stop doing this. Consider using software to track activities, as this’ll make it easier to catch.
If you need to cope with stress, try using Textr Go to improve your work-life balance. You can set up multiple numbers in the app, allowing you to have a work and personal number. Better yet, you can set do not disturb for when you’re at home!
Textr Go lets you chat with unlimited calling and texting – a great way to relieve stress. It offers affordable plans for going on trips, and you can sync messages across web and mobile for easier scheduling.
Finally, the app allows you to assign work to team members for centralized workflows while also providing efficient CRM with customer tagging, group messaging, and automatic replies.
So, download the Textr’s app now on iOS, Android and for web browsers. Textr Go is coming soon, but you can have a go with loads of its great features already.