In turbulent times, there are practically no people left who would not be in a state of stress. Prolonged and strong experiences affect well-being and undermine health. We tell you how to deal with it.
The symptoms of stress are not always easy to recognize. Often the body lets you know that it can not cope with the load, non-specific manifestations: causeless fatigue, a decrease or increase in appetite, sudden weight loss or weight gain, or even just a bad mood. If you notice such symptoms in yourself, do not ignore them, but try to figure out what is happening: consult a doctor and be examined. If stress is to blame, find your own way to deal with them, and Healthyinfo will tell you what can be done.
get enough sleep
Back in 2010, scientists from the UK and Italy conducted a large-scale study, during which they found out that a person needs to sleep about 7–8 hours a day. Those who sleep less than 6 hours are 12% more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and premature death. However, sleeping too much — more than 9 hours — is also impossible: in this case, the risk of developing serious diseases rises to 30%. Therefore, even if a lot of things have piled up, you should not stay up late. It is better to sleep well, get up early and continue to work with fresh energy.
Interestingly, not all experts agree that a person definitely needs to sleep 6–8 hours. So, Russian neurologists believe that the duration of sleep is determined genetically. The average adult needs 7–8 hours of sleep, but some people really need a little less or more time to rest. Moreover, the older a person becomes, the less he sleeps. For example, a newborn sleeps up to 17 hours a day, a schoolboy — about 10 hours, and the elderly — less than 7 hours.
Watch your diet
In a stressful situation, some people lose their appetite, while others are drawn to eat something harmful. Both are harmful to the body. Therefore, even in stress, you need to monitor nutrition:
If possible, plan the menu for the day or week in advance. So there will be no temptation to eat junk food or cook too high-calorie food.
There are 5 times a day in small portions. This will help the digestive tract work better, relieve feelings of hunger and overeating.
Do not snack on the go, but allocate time for a full meal — at least 15–30 minutes.
Add more fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to your diet.
Limit the consumption of fatty, fried, salty and spicy foods.
Don’t sit still
Physical activity is a good way to relieve stress. During the load, the production of endorphins and dopamine increases, the synthesis of cortisol decreases, and the blood supply to the internal organs and nervous system increases. All this improves mood, gives strength and helps to cope with unpleasant emotions. In addition, physical activity helps keep the body in good shape, strengthens muscles, ligaments and joints, improves the functioning of the heart and immune system — and therefore gives the body the ability to resist the harmful effects of stress.
To feel good, it is not necessary to go to the gym or fitness club. Exhausting the body with hard training is not necessary. It is enough to go for a walk and walk for at least half an hour a day. You can run, ride a bike, do yoga — and best of all in nature. A 2015 study published in the British Journal of the Sports Medicine by a group of scientists from Edinburgh found that being in a park or forest increases emotional resilience and enhances the beneficial effects of exercise.
Follow the daily routine
Psychologists recommend even in a stressful situation to adhere to the daily routine. This will help you gain a foothold and feel more confident. Even if you’ve never done it before, it’s time to start. And above all — go to bed at about the same time — it is better no later than 23.00. The body recovers in deep sleep, which usually occurs between midnight and 3 am. If a person stays up late, he loses this opportunity and feels tired even after a night’s sleep.
To recover from a busy, difficult day, you need to allocate time not only for sleep, but also for other types of recreation. For example, you can schedule meetings with friends for the weekend in advance, as well as set aside 1–2 hours in the evening to read a book or watch a movie.
Pay attention to the body
In a stressful situation, it is important to be able to switch to the sensations that are happening here and now. The easiest way to do this is through the body. For example, when feeling anxious, touch objects around, walk around the room, or even go outside. Feel how the wind ruffles your hair, how springy your shoes are when walking. Listen to the steps of people passing by, to the noise of public transport. Such simple practices help reduce anxiety about the future and return to the present.
Meditation also helps to focus on the sensations in the body and reduce anxiety. It does not require special conditions — just find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and try not to think about anything. Achieving inner silence is not easy, and it may not work right away. But if you manage to stop the internal “thought mixer”, you will feel the effect immediately. Regular meditation improves mood, gives strength and relieves stress.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support
In a difficult situation, it is especially important for a person to feel that he is not alone, and to get the support of others. You can talk about what worries you with friends and relatives, discuss issues of concern on thematic forums, or contact a psychologist. The main thing is not to become isolated in your anxiety, not to ignore stress and use all available methods to deal with it.
For those who fast, the article “How to complete the fast and stay healthy” may be useful.