Haven Healthcare Provides Tips for Managing Stress
At Haven Healthcare, we know it can be incredibly difficult to deal with stress. Whether you have a family member in hospice care or you are dealing with some medical issues of your own, stress can bottle up. Unfortunately, long-term, chronic stress can have serious consequences, leading to insomnia and other health issues. That is why it is important to find a healthy, constructive way to cope. If you are struggling to manage your stress, try out some of the following techniques.
Identify Your Stressors
At Haven Healthcare, we know stress cannot be addressed unless you identify the cause. When you experience stress, take note of the experience: is it work-related, a problem with a personal relationship, or a health concern? You should also take note of how you respond to your stressors: do you bottle up your emotion or do you find a way to cope? Is your coping mechanism healthy or do you turn to unhealthy behavior like overeating, drinking, or smoking?
It can be difficult to identify your stressors in the moment, so it helps to give yourself an opportunity for introspective thought. Journaling at the end of the day is a good way to evaluate your emotions and actions and figure out what causes your stress.
Stress is a physical response to an unpleasant experience, so it helps to deal with it in a physical way. This is why so many health experts recommend exercise as a way to combat your stress or anxiety. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, or “pleasure chemicals,” in the brain which combat negative feelings. Exercise also releases pent-up tension in your muscles, a byproduct of stress. Aerobic exercises like jogging are a great way to release endorphins, while other exercises like yoga help you relax and release tension.
Practice Breathing Techniques
You may not notice it, but your breathing becomes fast and shallow when you are stressed. This increases your heart rate and, in turn, increases your stress. You can stop this vicious cycle by practicing some simple breathing techniques that help you slow down and clear your mind. Next time you feel stressed, try breathing in and counting to four, then exhaling and counting to four all through your nose. This simple technique will help you deepen your breath and slow your heart rate.
Take Time to Relax
At Haven Healthcare, we always recommend that our patients and their loved ones take time to sit back and relax. No matter what you are going through, you need set aside time for yourself. Practice a hobby that you enjoy like reading, playing music, or going for a walk. By taking time to unwind each day, you proactively address your stressors.
Make Future Plans
Once you find some new and healthy coping mechanisms, make plans for how you will address your stress in the future. This can include breaking big projects into smaller steps, prioritizing tasks that are important, confronting people who are adding to your stress, and practicing positive self-talk. By thinking of ways to address your stress, you will be prepared next time you are in an unpleasant situation.
Contact Haven Healthcare
Haven Healthcare offers a variety of services including hospice care, palliative care, outpatient physical therapy, and rehab management. Regardless of your needs, we always strive to help you find ways to cope with stress in a healthy, constructive way. To learn more, contact Haven Healthcare today!