Find Relief: Ways to Manage & Reduce Your Stress
We all experience stress, and our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses. However, when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can seriously affect our bodies.
Gallup reported that “about eight in 10 Americans say they frequently (44%) or sometimes (35%) encounter stress in their daily lives.” Because so many individuals are experiencing it, our team at Fiddler’s Green wants to share ways to alleviate stress.
As an independent senior living community in Corunna, Michigan, our mission is to enhance our residents’ quality of life through convenient services, connection and engagement, and health and wellness. We want to share the impact that chronic stress can have on the mind and body and simple ways to manage and reduce feelings of stress.
How Stress Impacts Our Minds and Bodies
According to The American Institute of Stress, “stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences.” During a stressful situation, whether it is big or small, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline, triggering the “fight or flight” response. The Mayo Clinic states,
“Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.”
This is a healthy reaction during a potentially dangerous or emergency situation, but the continued release of stress hormones could lead to additional health risks.
Symptoms of chronic stress include:
In addition to its symptoms, chronic stress can cause other chronic health conditions, such as:
- Colds and other viruses (due to a weakened immune system),
- Circulatory problems,
- Heart disease,
- Gastrointestinal issues,
- And Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
Ways to Manage and Relieve Stress
Due to its significant impact on our overall well-being, individuals need to find healthy ways to manage stress.
Recognize Your Stress Triggers
The first step to stress management is identifying what is causing your stress. If you know what causes it, you can learn to avoid or adapt to those situations. What stresses you out may not cause stress for someone else, and vice versa, so it is important to understand what triggers it for you.
Anytime you start to feel stressed, make a note of your situation. It could be anything from the actual situation (getting stuck in traffic) or how the situation makes you feel (out of control). Once you understand the types of scenarios that trigger your stress, you can look at common denominators to determine an underlying cause, and if possible, work to avoid them. For example, if getting stuck in traffic every day causes you stress, try taking an alternative route.
Connect with Others
Connecting with close friends and family members is an effective way to manage stress. According to HelpGuide, “face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.”
This is just one of the benefits of choosing to live in an independent senior living community like Fiddler’s Green. Our Corunna, Michigan, community provides a safe and welcoming environment that cultivates an atmosphere of comfort, connection, and convenience.
Residents at Fiddler’s Green benefit from being a part of our close-knit community and sharing meaningful interactions and experiences that can, in turn, lead to reduced levels of stress.
Exercising is another way to balance out the cortisol and adrenaline that stress releases. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America states, “exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.” Known as the “feel good” hormone, endorphins help improve mood, thus reducing feelings of stress.
Exercise does not have to be high-intensity or for long periods of time to be effective. Simply getting up and taking a walk can help reduce your stress levels. Other activities that can help relieve stress include:
- Tai Chi,
- And even gardening.
Practicing stress management is about being mindful of your situations and taking the time to understand how things impact your mental health. If you want to learn more about our independent senior living community, we invite you to contact Fiddler’s Green today!