4 Things That Will Change The Way You See Stress

For most of us, stress is an unavoidable part of life. Whether it’s a major stressor or just daily hassles, stress can take a toll on us both mentally and physically. The surprising thing is, many of us become so accustomed to feeling stressed that we hardly notice the signs.

So while we all have different stressors, different responses to stress and different methods of coping; these 4 facts about stress will change the way you see it. And they may even help you find some much needed stress relief.

Stress is totally natural. The fight or flight response is our body's automatic response to a threat—real or perceived. Sometimes, the threat is so intense that it triggers a freeze response.

In modern humans, this freeze response means that muscles are tense and ready for action, yet it is never initiated. When we don’t release this tension, we can get knots in our backs, shoulders, neck and arms.

Your cell phone may be stressing you out. In fact, studies have found that:

  • Heavy cell phone use increases sleep disorders.
  • Constant accessibility via cell phone is associated with mental health issues.
  • Light from computer screens throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep sleep and increasing stress.
If you find you struggle to sleep soundly, it may be time to reduce your screen time. Two easy ways to do this are to turn your computer and phone off one hour before going to sleep and don't sleep with your cell phone on or next to your bed.

You may be your biggest source of stress. Stress doesn't always come from external sources. Stress can be self-generated when we worry about things out of our control, criticize ourselves, imagine the worst case scenario or hold unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Internal stress is an important type of stress to recognize and manage.

Instead of letting thoughts build up internally, try talking through them with friends or family. Journaling or writing down your thoughts can also be a great way to relieve stress and to think through things.

You can't control stress, here's what you can do instead. When the brain feels threatened because of a stressful event, it can cause you to react in a knee-jerk manner (fight or flight response). It needs to feel in control. When the brain senses the ability to make a choice, it feels it is back in charge.

Therefore, the key to dealing with difficult people and situations is to shift your focus. Instead of focusing on others' behaviors for which you have no control, focus on your own response for which you have total control.

Do Something About Your Stress. The good thing about stress is that it’s not just something you have to accept. There are several effective ways to find relief; you just have to find what works for you. But you don’t have to do that alone.

You can learn more about stress by utilizing the extensive resources of GMC’s Health(e)Library. Remember, your doctor can help, too! With compassionate care at the heart of all we do, the experienced doctors of Gwinnett Medical Group will ensure that you receive personalized care at every stage of the healing process. 

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