Stress Management Techniques

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Stress Management Techniques

 

Headaches, fatigue, irritability, trouble concentrating… all of these are classic signs of stress. For many of us, stress is just an accepted part of daily life. But did you know that it can actually be bad for your health? Three out of four doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments, and stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease. It can even increase the risk of a heart attack by 25% and the risk of heart disease by 40%! With such high stakes, learning to recognize and manage stress levels is an important goal for all of us. Today, we’ll explore some of the less common signs of stress, along with things you can do to manage stress and stay healthy.

Less Common Signs of Stress: Beyond the Headaches and Fatigue

Skin Issues

During times of stress, the body pulls moisture from our skin, which means that cuts, scrapes and scratches often take longer to heal. Acne, hives, rashes, psoriasis and rosacea are also signs of a body experiencing stress.

Vision Changes

Stress affects your body’s circulation leading to decreased blood flow to the eyes and possible changes in vision. Stress can also cause your pupils to dilate, which can make vision seem hazy.

Weight Gain

When our bodies experience stress, they tend to hold on to fat, rather than using it as fuel. Stress also slows your metabolism down and makes us crave fat and sugar, which can lead to weight gain. Luckily, there are many simple techniques that can help reduce stress throughout your day. 

 

Try a few of these ideas this week to bring some peace back into your routine:

Mental imagery

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place that you find to be peaceful and beautiful… your “happy place!” Use all of your senses in this exercise – experience the sights, the smells and the feelings of the scene. The more vivid a picture you can create, the more your body will engage and relax.

Breathe deeply

Breathe in deeply for eight slow counts. Hold your breath for two counts, and then release for eight counts, releasing tension as you exhale. This practice can help you manage stress, and it’s also been shown to improve your memory.

Head outdoors

If you’re able to get outside, take a walk during your lunch break or after your work shift, and enjoy some of the benefits of sunshine and fresh air. People with limited mobility can certainly enjoy these benefits, too; take some time to sit outdoors, go for a drive or enjoy the views through a window. You’ll feel more relaxed, in-control, and energized for the rest of your day!  

 

At Core Physical Therapy, we care about your total well-being. We hope these tips can help you lower your stress level and feel better throughout your day! As always, physical therapy can help stress, fatigue, headaches and more. If you’ve tried these at-home techniques and are seeking further help, contact us today!

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