A moderate amount of stress can be good for you; it gets you excited about life, motivates you and improves your performance. When stress becomes too intense or continues for a prolonged period of time however, it becomes harmful and impacts our lives negatively.

Causes of Stress

It might be an impending deadline at work, an important exam, relationship problems, or a traumatic event such as an accident. There are many different sources of stress and even positive life events such as planning your wedding may contribute to stress. Circumstances that cause stress are called stressors and we experience a wide range of stressors every day.

Related: Overcoming Stress

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

If some stress is good, how does one tell when it turns into a negative impact on one’s life then? There are behavioural, mental, emotional and physical signs to look out for that tell us when the stress has become too much to handle.

When this stress is prolonged and not managed, it may lead to medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, and depression.

Related: 8 Quick Ways to De-stress

Managing Stress

Stress is inevitable and a part and parcel of life. To effectively manage stress, it is important to firstly identify your stressor. Once you have identified the cause of your stress, it becomes easier to manage it.

Most of us might already have methods to cope with stress. Talking to a loved one or a close friend about how the day went can be a great stress-reliever. Sometimes, all we need is a listening ear to help us let go of our fears. However, not all methods are good for us. Stress eating, stress shopping, or binge drinking after a long day might help ameliorate a stressful situation by providing quick relief, but they are neither healthy nor effective long term solutions.

There are foods that aid in counteracting stress, but remember that moderation is key. Opt for healthy snacks like nuts or fruits, and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea instead of a Long Island to calm your thoughts and ease those anxieties away.

A healthy body and a healthy mind makes a happy life. Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise regularly to release those endorphins that keep us positive and happy. Proper breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation not only help manage stress, they are also highly beneficial to your mental wellbeing.

We might not be able to control the situations that cause us stress, but we can control how we manage it.

Related: 10 Easy Ways To Manage Stress

Where to Find Professional Help

Whilst some people may benefit from self help strategies, others may need some professional support to help manage their stress. There are support options available for people who may find their stress overwhelming.

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