Stress management is so important in today’s society. Tax Day, holidays, finals, unexpected bills, strained relationships, sick or aging family members and your job may all make your stress levels rise, but they don’t have to. April is Stress Awareness Month, but any time is the perfect time to refresh yourself mentally and emotionally. Learning your stress triggers and incorporating different stress management techniques can reduce the toll of chronic stress on your mind and body over time.
What Is Stress?
Stress is your body’s natural response to overwhelming or fearful situations – also referred to as a fight-or-flight response. Whenever you feel anxious, your body signals the hypothalamus to release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones help your body gear up to take on the perceived threat or situation. Your muscles and blood vessels tighten, your heart beats faster to distribute blood quicker, your liver releases more glucose to give you an energy boost and so on. Once the threat or situation resolves itself, your hypothalamus signals your systems to return to normal. But where does that leave you?
How Does Chronic Stress Affect Me?
If you experience frequent or chronic stress, then your body will spend a lot of time in response mode, and your organs don’t get the chance to relax. It is important to find stress management strategies that work for you to allow your body to rest. Otherwise, you may overwork your heart and maintain high blood sugar and pressure, both of which put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. The prolonged muscle tension can also cause headaches as well as general body aches. In some cases, the hormonal fluctuations can cause acne and even irregular menstrual cycles in women. Depending on your stress level, you could experience other physical signs of stress. For example:
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Chest pains
- Trouble sleeping
- High blood pressure
Stress not only affects you physically, but it can also impact your mental clarity and behavior. Those with frequent or chronic stress may experience:
- Over- or under-eating
- Drug and alcohol abuse
What is Stress Management?
The definition of stress management is the utilization of tools, techniques and strategies to help one cope with stress. These methods not only help relieve stress, but can also improve one's mental and physical well-being. Stress management can help you manage blood pressure, anxiety, mood, sleep, digestion and even weight.
Why Do I Need Stress Management Techniques?
Chronic stress can seep into your relationships and daily interactions causing you to lash out at others. Adding stress management strategies like exercise or supplements can alleviate some of your anxiety. Activities you likely do to relieve stress, like watching TV, surfing the web or indulging in a few extra snacks, can actually leave you feeling worse than you started.
What Are the Five Stress Management Techniques?
- Exercise – Put your body’s stress response to good use and channel your anxious energy into an intense workout routine. Not only will you be able to clear your mind of your worries during your workout, but daily exercise also reduces stress hormones while releasing endorphins that improve your state of mind. Even a simple walk can clear your head and relieve stress. There are added mental health benefits to being outside too. Yoga is an excellent exercise to implement in your life when you have a high-stress job or life.
- Meditation - Clear your mind and relieve your stress with meditation. This stress management method is an effective way to slow down, quiet your mind and use your breathing to relieve stress. Meditation and yoga focus a lot on breath. These activities along with other breathing techniques are great ways to manage stress.
- Spend time with loved ones – Spending time with friends and family – and even your pets - can help you feel energized and recharged. Research suggests that this quality time encourages you to release more oxytocin - a natural stress-relieving hormone. You will feel more support during stressful situations, and the laughter you share will help release tension and brighten your state of mind.
- Write it out – Bottling up your feelings only makes them worse. Getting your thoughts onto paper can help you feel less stressed and help you get to the root of your feelings.
- Healthy routine and CBD - a healthy diet and good sleep are critical to reducing and managing stress. Self care can go a long way to lower stress levels. CBD is a natural way that can help you feel relaxed and improve sleep. CBD works with your body's Endocannabinoid System to promote overall mind and body wellness.
CBD For Stress Relief
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The best way to use CBD for stress management is by maintaining a consistent CBD routine by taking it at least once daily.
It takes some trial and error to find what works for you when it comes to lowering your chronic stress, but you can do it! Figuring out what is causing you to worry and taking control of the situation can help. If you have flare-ups of stress and anxiety, CBD Oil, CBD Gummies or other high-quality CBD products may help resolve them quickly. See your doctor and/or therapist if you are unable to relieve your an