Stress can keep people motivated and, in cases of potential harm, help maintain focus to find safety. On a day to day basis, however, people are experiencing more stress than ever before with a faster pace of life. Over time, this takes a toll on the mind and body as it wears down under the strain. Repeated stress can increase incidences of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and substance use disorders. Learn more about stress and positive coping strategies to support an individual in recovery.
Recognizing the existence and impact of stress on a person’s life is an important first step. Each individual experiences and manages stress differently so it takes an individualized approach in coping with the stressors. The following indicators can point towards high levels of stress:
- Efforts to relax the body begin in the neck and shoulders, which indicates tension and stress
- Stress raises cortisol levels which can boost oil production in skin, leading to increased blemishes and acne
- Physical symptoms can include shakiness, tremors or heart palpitations
- Hair begins to thin out
- Not laughing as often or feeling like sense of humor is lost
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- Trouble concentrating, thinking clearly and remembering things
- Eating habits increase or decrease in response to emotional stress
- Turning to substance such as drugs or alcohol to cope with stress
Coping with Stress
The symptoms listed above can be generalized to many people who experience some form of stress or another on a daily basis. What sets this kind of stress apart from high levels of stress is the frequency and duration. When indicators of stress (fatigue, losing hair, insomnia, etc) begin to interfere with a person’s quality of life, it may be time to seek help. A variety of things can be done which may help a person deal with stress more effectively. Some of these can include:
- Socializing more with family, friends and co-workers. Isolation can increase stress but connection to loved ones can lower stress and build a support network
- Utilizing mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to dispel negative thinking patterns. Positive thinking can lead to changes in behavior which may reduce causes of stress in a person’s life
Most importantly, if stress has been overwhelming and substance abuse has entered the picture, a visit to the doctor may be in order. A trusted physician can help determine what has been going on and how to proceed with positive stress management techniques. Stress indicators can mask other conditions so getting help immediately is important. The first step is to ask for help.
Stress can have detrimental effects on the mind and body leading to other more serious conditions. If drugs or alcohol have become a coping mechanism for stress, The Villa can help. Call today to find out how we can offer positive coping skills for life’s stresses. 1-818-639-7160.