Verified on 07/11/2022 by PasseportSanté
Stress is a psychological and physiological phenomenon of our body that can be beneficial to us or, on the contrary, be harmful to our health.
What are the positive effects of stress? What are its negative effects? How to manage daily stress? How to find calm in the event of stress? Here are our explanations.
What is stress for?
It is thanks to stress that man and the higher animal species have been able to perpetuate themselves. Indeed, stress gives the necessary resources to flee or confront its predators.
Today, the positive effects of stress are:
- it allows you to gather all your resources to deal with the stress-generating event in an appropriate way;
- it forces us to surpass ourselves, both physically and mentally;
- it can allow us to increase our performance.
Physiologically, stress causes an immediate adrenaline rush that accelerates the heart rate and amplifies the breath. Better oxygenated, the muscles contract and gain in power. The nervous and hormonal system goes into overdrive. Physical and mental abilities are then optimized.
What are the effects of stress on our health?
Stress can trigger different reactions such as:
- muscle tension;
- digestive and intestinal problems;
- sleep disorders such as insomnia;
- lack of appetite;
- dizziness ;
- joint pain;
- heart palpitation;
- skin problems.
When stress is too intense, continuous, even chronic, it can harm our health and in particular increase the risk of:
- diabetes ;
- heart disease;
- high blood pressure;
- cancer ;
- anxiety ;
- depression ;
- musculoskeletal problems ;
- low libido;
- early death.
Stress management depends on physical and mental health, but also:
Professional activity, mood of the day, difficulties at certain times in life… play a huge role in the experience and the consequences of stress. An individual in good physical shape, with little predisposition to hypertension, for example, will not suffer from stress attacks in the same way as a person already weakened by cardiovascular disorders. Similarly, those who are surrounded or who have the opportunity to rest and relax, recover more easily from a moral ordeal such as an accident or job loss.
His personal story
This predisposes more or less well not to develop excessive stress in response to difficulties.
Faced with stress, some people feel a real surge of anxiety while others do not at all.
Having a healthy lifestyle can help:
- improve day-to-day stress management;
- to take a step back;
- to redirect one’s thoughts;
- face challenges with more confidence.
To do this, it is recommended to:
Have a good sleep
While fatigue increases adrenaline levels, making you more vulnerable to stress, rest improves productivity. Getting enough sleep is essential for performance and helps manage stress.
Physical activity is beneficial for mental health. When under stress, it helps channel the released adrenaline into the body. In addition, physical activity releases serotonin and endorphins which contribute to the feeling of well-being.
Meditation not only reduces stress, but also promotes concentration and even increases performance. This practice helps to free your mind from ideas of the past and worries of the future, to focus on the present moment as well as on your breathing.
Stress is often accompanied by a feeling of lack of control, even helplessness. Finding a way to exert some control over the situation can help.
smile and laugh
Laughing is always good, the body releases endorphins, similar to the practice of physical activity. Laughter also reduces anxiety. Similarly, the simple act of smiling is beneficial.
We can find comfort in talking with people about different aspects of life. Spending time with certain people, even virtually, can help to calm down and find balance.
Keep a diary
Its purpose is to contain the thoughts that disturb us. Most people write down their concerns before going to bed to clear their minds. As a result, the worries seem less serious. You can also, in retrospect, write in your journal the things you enjoyed doing or the things for which you feel gratitude. It can help focus on the positive aspects of your life.
In case of stress, it is possible to use different techniques or tricks to regain calm. Here are some examples:
Practice heart coherence
Cardiac coherence is a relaxation method that is effective in just a few minutes. The cardiac coherence state is a state that corresponds to a frequency of 6 respiratory cycles per minute. To do this, it is necessary to perform 6 times in a row over one minute:
- an inspiration through the nose for 5 seconds;
- an exhalation through the mouth of 5 seconds.
This exercise should be repeated several times a day, every day. It allows you to focus your attention on your breath, exhaling chasing worries outward.
Breathing influences stress. To keep it away, it is recommended to:
- do not overload the brain with alarming information;
- step away from screens during practice;
- sit or lie down;
- close eyes ;
- feel his body and observe his breathing;
- blow slowly and for a long time;
- wait a bit with empty lungs;
- let air enter the lungs naturally;
- repeat several times in a row, quietly, without forcing, until calm.
Listen to music
Listening to soft and relaxing music, or even the sound of the sea, sitting or lying down with your eyes closed, or standing while dancing slowly also helps relieve stress. It should be noted that some videos contain:
- soothing words;
- techniques for calming down;
- sounds influencing brain waves;
- subliminal messages.
Do a meditation session
Mindfulness meditation aims to welcome with indulgence and tenderness:
- its difficulties;
- his sufferings;
- its weaknesses.
To do this, it is:
- to listen to one’s bodily interiority;
- observe with closed eyes what is happening in oneself, without any judgment.
Practice the Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy or Dialectic Behavioral Therapy works on emotions and actions, changing body temperature through:
- a shower ;
- a bath ;
- an exercise.
For example, soaking your face in ice water for a few seconds inhibits the anxiety response. Similarly, taking a cool shower short-circuits negative thoughts and anxieties by forcing your body to adapt to the temperature of the water.
To reduce stress, massage can be beneficial. This can consist of:
- a simple self-massage of the hands or legs with a body cream;
- facial self-massage.
Ten minutes are enough to find a little serenity.
Adopt the technique ofEmotional Freedom Technique
L’Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a mind-body approach that was developed in 1993 in the United States by engineer Gary Craig. The goal is to appropriate certain easy acupressure points specific to Chinese medicine to get better. Indeed, by tapping on certain places of our meridians, we can manage to channel and calm our emotions. This technique only takes 30 seconds. To do this, it is:
- sit comfortably when you feel the stress rising;
- tap with his right hand on the outer side of his left hand;
- repeating these words: “Even though I’m stressed today, I believe deeply and intensely in myself. Even though I’m stressed today, I deeply and intensely give myself the right to get rid of it. Even though I’m stressed today, I accept and love myself deeply and intensely. »
It is then a question of changing the various places of tapping by repeating the aforementioned sentences:
- between the two eyebrows;
- on the right temple;
- under the right eye;
- under one’s nose ;
- on the chin;
- on the left clavicle;
The exercise ends with a deep inhale and exhale.
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How to stay calm in times of stress
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