Stress can seem overwhelming. It consumes you, it sneaks up on you, and it clouds everything else in your life.
But one way to lift that cloud is to shed some light on the causes, remedies, and curiosities of stress. By better understanding the phenomena that contribute to anxiety disorders, we can take away their power.
The following factoids aren’t meant to be an end-all solution to the problem of stress; instead, they are conversation starters. Let’s explore the underlying factors that build up our anxiety levels and together, perhaps we can start to break them down…
CHILL OUT AT BEDTIME
Lack of sleep only adds to an already stressful existence. The following day is plagued by distraction, irritability, and general fatigue. While it’s easy to say “get more sleep,” it’s more difficult to give constructive ways in which to achieve this goal.
One recent article suggests that turning down the temperature in your bedroom could help. Not only does it put you in “hibernation” mode, but it could also promote a less stressful demeanor. Warmer temperatures foster the amplification of cortisol in the human body; this is commonly referred to as a “stress hormone” and it is increasingly produced during the summer months. That’s why, despite what you’ll see in beach movies and other pop culture reflections, stress levels spike along with the rising temperatures. By chilling out, you could also chill out your burgeoning anxiety.
(SOME) HUSBANDS NEED A TIME-OUT
Let’s face it: family can be stressful. One person’s daily routine can be hectic enough, but when you multiply that schedule by three, four, or more, it becomes unruly.
But here’s a surprise: husbands can be more of a burden than children.
According to one recent study, women reported that their significant other caused up to twice as much stress as their kids. But instead of playing the blame game, let’s get to the root of these feelings.
Parenting is a team sport. Spouses must work together to do what’s in a child’s best interest, but societal norms often place a disproportionate amount of responsibility on mothers. They can feel unsupported by their male counterparts, thus adding to their stress levels as well as harvesting notes of contempt.
Raising kids is challenging enough, but they’re an example of “good stress” – worthwhile endeavors that contribute to our legacy and the betterment of future generations. It’s important to identify your core values as you raise children together to avoid pitting spouses against one another.
Communication is the key to reversing negative perceptions and silent aggravations. By defining your philosophies regarding teamwork, discipline, and other familial matters, you can emerge with a more galvanized partnership. Share the load; shed the stress.
When you envision your “happy place” what do you see? Most often, it’s a vast meadow or ocean vista, free from complications and cares.
Now compare that to your cluttered workspace or domicile. Everywhere you see clutter, you are experiencing obstacles to a stress-free life. Psychologists indicate that messiness triggers anxiety, and there are many practical reasons why:
- The clutter forces you to think about everything you have left unaccomplished
- Each messy surface is an onslaught of stimuli, eradicating your “happy place” paradigm of serenity and placidity (this can also include too many open tabs on your web browser)
- When you can’t locate an item due to lack of organization, it further sets back your productivity, multiplying your already elevated stress factors
- If you allow clutter to define you, it could lead to feelings of shame and regret (How did I let it get this bad? What is wrong with me?)
- Living in a cramped space doesn’t allow for such freeing self-care endeavors as yoga, which can ease your tension
These findings aren’t meant to add to your feelings of anxiety; rather, they are a trailhead to a better way. By identifying how a lack of cleanliness adds stressors to your life, you can change course. Create a system, file your to-do items, and chip away at your clutter according to which tasks must be done most immediately.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ANIMAL TO WORK HERE (BUT IT HELPS)
The office is a dog-eat-dog environment, but that could actually be a good thing! The presence of a workplace pet has been shown to reduce stress among coworkers and could even result in increased productivity. When you get ahead of schedule, your stress goes down even further, resulting in an upward spiral of fuzzy positivity.
One scientific study actually measured the rate of cortisol (the aforementioned stress hormone) production in two groups of employees. Those who worked in the presence of a dog had lower levels of cortisol than those who had no pet interaction at work.
MANAGING YOUR STRESS
Whether you prefer to cuddle with your pooch at the office, crank up the A/C in your bedroom, or purge your cluttered desk to feel better, acknowledging the sources of stress in your life is a vital step to conquering them. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to anxiety, but identifying situations that add to your stress is a brave and bold move.
We salute you… and we want to help.
Contact one of our skilled team members today and continue the conversation triggered by the topics above. Let us know how stress affects you, and together we’ll strategize ways to prevent it from ruling your life.