Stress is a normal part of life. At times, it can help you focus and motivate you to get things done quickly. But when stress becomes frequent, intense, and hard to manage, it can negatively affect your mental, physical and emotional state of well-being.
At Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery, we understand that our patients experience many stressors throughout their lifetime that can negatively impact their career, relationships, health, and happiness. That’s why we are proud to offer effective ways to manage and reduce your stress.
What is Stress and How Does it Affect You?
Despite the common misconception, stress is more than just an emotional state of being. It’s a series of physiological responses that are triggered by everyday stressors in our life.
Since stress is a normal human reaction, the body is actually designed to identify it, experience it and react to it. This is called the stress response. First, our brain detects stress and notifies our adrenal glands to activate our stress response. This is commonly known as fight or flight. Then, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol, the two main hormones that give your body the energy it needs to either fight off the stress, or avoid it. However, when our body experiences a lot of stressful triggers, our system can go into overdrive and overwork itself.
Long-term exposure to stress can cause weakened immune function and lower insulin sensitivity leading to higher risk of diabetes. Without healthy coping mechanisms, stress can even rewire your brain, leaving you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress
Stress can affect your entire body, both mentally and physically. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in appetite
- Jaw pain
- Fatigue and frequent mood swings
If stress becomes a long-term issue, it can lead to more serious health concerns including:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Heart attacks
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Fertility issues
- Skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis
How to Manage and Reduce Stress
Stress management is a wide variety of techniques used to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Improving your ability to cope with life’s stressors can help increase your emotional awareness and sense of control, and improve your overall mood throughout the day.
The four main areas you can focus on to improve your stress include sleep, exercise, nutrition, and relaxation or meditation. Incorporating these into your daily routine has the power to completely transform your mental and physical health.
- Sleep is very important for your body to function properly and 7-9 hours a night is strongly recommended. To improve your sleep, avoid stimulants at night such as alcohol or caffeine.
- Exercise is a great stress reliever, however, exercising too much without the appropriate amount of nutrients can cause more stress to your body. Our nurse practitioner at the wellness center, Emily Kauffeld, recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity daily and an hour or more of more vigorous exercise 3 days per week. The important thing is to be mindful with your exercises and always listen to your body. If your body is worn out, maybe it just needs a simple walk that day.
- Nutrition can help your body maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day. To maintain a healthy blood sugar level, eat a healthy and filling breakfast, incorporate protein in every meal as well as healthy fats and vegetables and avoid skipping meals.
- Meditation plays a very important role in reducing your stress. During meditation, you exercise your mind to focus your attention and eliminate the jumbled thoughts that distract you throughout the day. Guided meditation apps like Calm or Headspace can help you get started. Even starting with a few minutes a day can be extremely beneficial.
Our Wellness Center Providers are experts on stress management. Watch this video where Emily Kauffeld, FNP-C further explains how to use these stress reducers in your daily life.
If you are able to incorporate these healthy management solutions but still experience chronic stress, visit us at the Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery Wellness Center. Our experts can determine the root cause of your stress and create a custom healing plan with science-based solutions to get you back to being your best self.
Schedule a Free Consultation To Explore Stress Management Solutions
Life isn’t always easy — we know! And although we can’t prevent you from experiencing all the stressors life will throw your way, we can help you develop a personalized approach to find healthy and effective coping mechanisms to improve your quality of life. Schedule a consultation for helping your body manage stress at the Wellness Center today!