It’s safe to say that many of us become too familiar with the word ‘stress’ very early on in life. Although a natural reaction to life’s demands, stress can manifest itself often in physically painful (headache, backache, stomach ache, muscle tightness, and more) and/or emotionally taxing ways (anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and such).
Some of us are so preoccupied with life’s everyday demands and distractions that we seldom stop to think about the state of our mental health and stress management. What IS mental wellness anyway? Does stress have a direct impact on our physical health and wellbeing? If so, what can be done to aid in stress management? We will answer these questions and explore stress’ impact on the mind and beyond.
What is mental wellness?
Stress’ effects on the body
- Stomach ache
- Muscle tightness
Before we can tackle stress relief, it’s important to first observe what sends stress levels soaring. Each individual will experience different symptoms on different levels of intensity. Once you’ve identified what your triggers are, you can think of ways to try and manage them. If you that elevated heartrate and hyperventilation are your main or most immediate reactions, you could start with breathing exercises to prevent stress from escalating. A healthy diet, regular exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and setting aside leisurely time for yourself all contribute to your overall wellbeing, which can mitigate stress’ negative effects.
Much of stress management starts with the understanding that you are not alone and seeking support during overwhelming times is a necessary aspect of life. Speaking with a friend, relative or counselor and venting your feelings to can help bring your mind to a more relaxed state. Furthermore, healthy coping practices such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing and spending time in nature have proven to be highly beneficial when it comes to managing stress levels.