Finding Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress takes a huge toll on the body. Not only mentally but emotionally as well. For people who go through prolonged periods stress, it can be detrimental to their health. While it’s tempting to deal with stress in unhealthy ways, there are some healthy alternatives.

Most Americans Are Afflicted by Stress

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 8 in 10 Americans say they are afflicted by stress. Only 4% of Americans stated they never feel stressed. For the many who do feel stressed out, Americans list children and work as their biggest stressors. Americans who work say that a majority of their stress comes from not having enough time to do everything that needs to get done, with women reportedly feeling stressed more frequently than men.

Besides work and children, other common stress factors include social stressors, self-esteem issues, or having a medical illness. For those who are constantly on the go, or who frequently experience high-stress situations, they might not even realize they are stressed. When stress isn’t realized, the body will reach a point where it can no longer cope, causing a physical or mental crisis to ensue.

Some common symptoms associated with too much stress include:

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Digestive issues
  • Insomnia

Besides these physical problems, stress can also have a negative effect on one’s mood, making them feel more anxious, irritable, and depressed.

People who are under a lot of stress also suffer the consequences of not taking care of themselves. Overeating, undereating, and not getting enough exercise are common behaviors for those who are under too much stress. For some, while smoking a cigarette or getting drunk may seem like good ways to relieve stress, these behaviors usually end up causing more harm than good.

Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress

Self-care is an absolute must when it comes to dealing with stress in a healthy manner. Some of the best self-care habits that stressed out Americans can implement include taking vacations, soaking up the sun, and having regular coffee dates with friends.

Taking the time to relax in the shower or tub also helps reduce stress. Relaxing in showers and bathtubs for 10 to 15 minutes also helps to reduce muscle tension and blood pressure. In fact, taking a hot bath might be just as healthy as exercising. Decluttering, decorating with simple color schemes, and lighting up particular locations instead of entire rooms, are also effective ways for making the home a stress-free environment.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.