Everyone talks about stress, but its true meaning differs with each individual. Stress is determined by one’s ability to adapt to an external event. Stress can be insidious and have such diverse sources such as the workplace, family, health, poverty, prejudice or violence. All is determined by the way in which one reacts to the new situation.
When it becomes chronic, stress can lead to anxiety.
Stress is increasingly recognized as a trigger for cardiac disease. Elevated and prolonged stress can be associated with:
- An increase in cholesterol levels;
- An increase in blood pressure;
- An increase in blood coagulation;
- Inbalance in blood sugar levels (glycemia);
- Poor eating habits;
- Tobacco use.
To deal with stress, a good social support system is important. Speaking with parents or friends can lower the emotional load. Other resources are available if speaking with relatives is difficult. Discuss this with your physician who will direct you to get suitable help.
Here are a few hints that may help you handle your stress:
- Make time for only yourself
- Do activities that interest you;
- Use relaxation techniques: meditation, breathing;
- Treat yourself to massages;
- Don’t try to be perfect;
- Don't be too competitive;
- Change your routines;
- Get plenty rest and sleep. And... enjoy yourself!
Nightfall can, at times, be the source of anguish that can lead to insomnia. It may be useful to get up to watch television, read or do an activity that you enjoy. Without realizing it, tension and anxiety will gradually diminish. Even if you don’t sleep, you will relax.
Here are a few hints that promote sleep :
- Encourage relaxing evenings;
- Drink warm milk before going to bed;
- Stop exercising early in the evening;
- Filter or adapt the lighting in your room to encourage relaxation, air it out;
- Avoid caffeine late afternoon and onwards: coffee, tea, chocolate and soda.
One of the best ways to decrease stress levels is to take advantage of life. Take time to do things that you truly enjoy.
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