Brian Hesler, M.D.
Psychiatry & Psychology
Speaking of HealthWhat is a panic attack?May 09, 2023
In today's society, stress and change often are thought of as the same thing. Stress is a physiological and psychological response to a change in a situation the body and mind find to be overwhelming.
With the fast pace of work and home, being constantly inundated with technology and still wanting to have time to connect with those around you, life can feel overwhelming and stressful at times. You may often ask yourself how you should manage stress.
Try these five tips to manage stress and reduce the overall stress of day-to-day activities:
1. Use guided meditation.
Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. There are many guided meditations available online that can help you find five minutes of centered relaxation.
2. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body's response of fight or flight to a perceived threat. Deep breaths taken in for a count of five seconds, held for two seconds and released for a count of five seconds, can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest, which helps reduce the overall stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
3. Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition.
Physical exercise and nutrition are two important components in how you respond to stress. When your body is healthy, your mind can be healthy and vice versa. Physical exercise is proven to be a great stress reliever and also helps to improve your overall quality of life. Nutrition is important because stress can deplete certain vitamins, such as A, B complex, C and E. Maintaining proper nutrition not only helps your body feel better, but your mind as well, which allows you to better combat stress.
4. Manage social media time.
Spending time on social media sites can become stressful, not only by what you might see on them, but also because the time might best be spent enjoying visiting with friends, being outside enjoying the weather or reading a great book. In addition, many people use social media at night, which may worsen sleep due to increased stress at the exact time people are trying to wind down for the evening, resulting in fewer overall hours of quality sleep.
5. Connect with others.
Humans are social beings. You need to have connections with people to feel supported. Finding a sense of community, whether at work, with a religious organization or through shared activities, such as organized sports, is important to your well-being. Enjoying a shared activity allows you to find support and foster relationships that can be supportive in difficult times.