Stress is our body’s way of physically, emotionally, or intellectually responding to positive or negative change. Our stress response can manifest as palpitations, high blood pressure, overthinking, and feelings of fear or outrage. Although you can’t control your stress response, you can stop it from getting out of control.
Holistic health coach Kim Tuber Butters recommends the following ways to manage your stress response.
The road to relaxation may very well begin with biofeedback therapy. As the name suggests, biofeedback is a form of treatment that gives real-time feedback about your body’s stress indicators. For some, it’s only the start of full-fledged therapy, complete with targeted stress reduction techniques in the presence of a licensed therapist.
For others, it’s a way to know what changes might occur in your body during a stress episode and control them with self-management techniques. These include deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery, which is the practice of visualizing positive things to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Progressive muscle relaxation is based on the same idea as our holistic health coaching program. Introduced by Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s, it follows the idea that our mind influences our body and vice versa. By relaxing yourselves physically, you can also promote mental calmness, and you’ll see how once we describe what the practice entails.
Progressive muscle relaxation only takes about 10 to 20 minutes of your day. It involves lying down or sitting up and tensing and relaxing your muscle groups, one at a time, starting from the lower extremities, all the way to your face and upper torso.
By tightening and releasing all those muscles, you can remove some of the mental stress that seems to have you in its grips. This practice may not work for everyone, but there’s certainly no harm in trying.
Smoking is seen as a stress reliever, but it only has a placebo effect. Your stress might go away momentarily, but it will return at a later time. In fact, the habit may actually increase feelings of anxiety. Nicotine can be addictive, and trying to quit may cause withdrawal symptoms, putting you on edge and forcing you to get your nicotine fix.
Developing a nicotine addiction is never good for the human body. It may lead to stress responses in the short run and heart attack further down the line. Without a doubt, it’s the worst thing you can do to your body.
If you’ve reached out to a therapist to mitigate and manage your stress response, your condition has probably reached a point where no effort on your part appears to be working. Continue your therapy sessions and seek the help of our online health coach to learn self-management skills and increase your odds of success.