Though causes of
stress can be plentiful, there are multiple ways to combat stressors and the
negative toll they can take on the body.
Geithner, Ph.D., and an ACSM-certified health/fitness instructor, says people
experience stress in different ways, depending on the severity and duration of
the stressor. Stress can have a positive impact in that it can motivate
as well as help maintain focus and alertness. On the down side, stress may
result in feelings of being overwhelmed or out of balance, and can cause
anxiety and depression.
that stress can have numerous disruptive effects on the body – not just the
mind – including fatigue, headaches, stomach upset, sleep problems, backaches,
changes in appetite, increased cortisol secretion (the so-called "stress
hormone"), changes in weight (loss or gain), increased resting heart rate and
respiratory rate, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, muscle tension,
sweaty palms, and cold hands and feet.
"Stress is a
common problem in today's society, largely because increased pressure to
perform on the job has created work/life imbalances," Geithner said. "Other
major stressors include death of a spouse or family member, divorce, marriage,
and personal injury or illness." She also cited job demands, a move or change
in a work or living situation, relationship issues or arguments, financial
issues, and holidays as possible causes of stress.
Many methods of
stress reduction exist, including breathing, meditation, progressive relaxation,
and exercise. All tend to reduce anxiety, depression, heart rate and blood
pressure, and enhance a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing.
as a distraction from the stressor, and results in reduced muscle tension and
cortisol secretion," Geithner said. "The additional benefit of exercise is that
when done alone or used in combination with other stress reduction methods, it
also improves physical fitness and has the potential for more profound effects
on chronic disease risk reduction than other stress reduction strategies."
As part of a
stress management routine, Geithner suggests eating a healthy diet, getting
adequate sleep, practicing breathing exercises, and including aerobic as well
as mind/body exercise such as yoga, t'ai chi, or pilates.
Make time for
activities and people you enjoy on a regular basis, and laugh often," she said.
"Try to accept that you can't control everything in your life. Make choices
that support your well-being and reduce your stress, rather than add to it.
It's Not Too Early to Start Thinking About Festival Fashion
Get inspired for your trip to the desert.
By Julia Marzovilla
This Magic Concealer Is My Holy Grail
It works like magic on pimples, under the eyes, *and* around the face.
By Julia Marzovilla
The Jewelry Trend Report You Need Ahead of Spring
Super-sized pearls, summer camp-core, and more.
By Emma Childs
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe