75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly 50% reported that their stress has increased in the past year – American Psychological Association.
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension which can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. So, why are we so stressed and what can we do about it?
Well, here are 4 facts about stress management that may help:
- Talking with a friend will help you feel better. Many people often think, “I don’t want to complain about my problems” but most of the time, your friend would appreciate the opportunity to help you. Why does this help? One explanation is that part of feeling stressed is feeling alone. When you lean on a friend, you are no longer completely alone and even though the problems you face aren’t gone, they feel like they are less intense.
- Go outdoors. Frequently, we become stressed when we have narrowed our focus and increased the intensity to where we lose perspective. When you ask a friend who is stressed, he/she will say, “I don’t have time to do anything else. I just have to get my work done.” This can spiral to a feeling of being overwhelmed and an ensuing sense of nervousness. The antidote: taking a walk outside. When you see the world around continuing to flow regardless of what you feel is stressful, you may realize that you can reset your perspective and lower your stress.
- Listen to music. One thing we are fairly certain of is that feeling stress is intense. Sometimes it helps to match that intensity of frustration / anger / nervousness in a healthy way. Music that you enjoy can match your intensity and bring you back to a stay of more balance very easily. Music also works by lowering the stress hormone cortisol and can have a relaxing effect.
- Write about what’s on your mind. As with talking with a friend, writing can be a tremendous stress reliever. You can put words to your feelings and in the process of expressing yourself, you gradually release your stress.
The key takeaway: Let your stress out!
About the Author:
Arun Villivalam, MD is a concerned and caring family physician and primary care doctor serving the community of Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Villivalam attended Thomas Jefferson University, where he received his medical degree, and completed his residency in family medicine at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Villivalam provides a variety of services to ensure the health and wellbeing of his patients, including physicals for all ages, chronic care management, stress management, urgent care, medicare wellness visits, school physicals and more.