We often hear the saying “pressure builds diamonds,” but the truth is often far from this rather convenient adage. Different people have different reactions to stress and pressure, and some don’t particularly react well. Especially when subjected to copious amounts of unmanaged stress, it can lead to diseases or even damage your mental health significantly.
But simply shrugging off stress as something that must be avoided at all costs won’t help either. We have to face our problems at some point. While that on its own is difficult, something needs to be seen on a much deeper level.
Eustress and Distress
The first thing you have to understand about stress is that it’s not always negative. Stress is more of a general term that describes how our bodies respond to overwhelming situations. This means there is both positive and negative stress, and figuring which one can help you manage your stress levels better.
Positive stress, or eustress, is believed to be something that we can manage or cope with. Examples can be moving to a new house, starting a new job, or learning something new like a hobby. These situations can be stressful, but it’s something that motivates many people and feels exciting. On the other hand, distress is more believed to be something outside of our coping mechanisms. Negative situations like performing in front of many people or having too many demands at work could lead to mental and physical exhaustion.
What to Do When Stressed
When we feel stressed, our vision and judgment are often far too clouded for us to make any decisions. To help you out, here’s a couple of tips you can employ when feeling overstressed.
Disengage from the Source. The first and most important thing you should do whenever you’re stressed is disengaging from its source. Essentially, stop what it is that worries you. This can be immediate: if you’re too stressed to study, stop trying to learn and rest. If your mind is worried about doing your paperwork and tasks at work, take that all-too necessary break. If you can’t disengage, at the very least, pause. And then do the next step.
Use Relaxing Breathing Techniques. Once you’ve taken a break, breathe. Breathe slowly, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Take five seconds to breathe in and breathe out; put all your consciousness into breathing. This will help calm down your heart, allow your body (and mind) to relax so you can move forward.
Exercise Can Lower Stress Levels. When the mind is tired, an interesting solution to it is to exercise. Studies have proven that exercise can decrease stress levels, whether through the increase of “happy hormones” in our brains or through its reduction of adrenaline and cortisol in our system. After a tiring and stressful day at work, exercise might be the last thing on your mind, but try it out. It might work wonders for you.
Slow Down Your Schedule. A hectic life is a fast-track way to being stressed all the time, especially if you’re working in a high-pressure environment. This is when taking a vacation can help you: relaxing your mind, taking a breather from everything, and just recovering your energies will do wonders. If leaving work isn’t possible, at the very least, arrange for a lighter schedule. You need as much load off your plate for now, and slowing down your plan is the only way you can allow yourself to regenerate naturally.
Ask for Help. If you still don’t feel much better after taking steps to relieve yourself from stress, perhaps it’s time to seek professional help. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting the help you need, and visiting a health professional will do your mental health wonders. Not only will you be able to receive therapy, but you can also be prescribed proper medicine and procedures like ketamine treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy. These things will significantly help you, allowing you to function better in your everyday life.
Make Steps to Build a Better Mental Health
Prevention will always be better than cure, which is still true even when applied to mental health. Consider forming good habits that take better care of your mind. You can exercise regularly, eat the right food, have a routine that encourages and empowers you. These are all actions you must take to maintain good mental well-being. Of course, having a support system like family and friends to show love and concern also helps improve your condition.