We all try very hard to keep our stress managed, and prevent it from impinging on our day-to-day lives. Yet, despite our best efforts, we still find ourselves falling victim to the effects that stress can have on our day-to-day lives. We can find that our concentration lapses, we feel alternately agitated and exhausted, we can be quick to anger and our decision-making abilities can be clouded by panic. Stress can be seriously detrimental to our quality of living. And taking control of our stress and our lives isn’t as simple as popping a pill or downloading an app. It takes effort and dedication to adjust our behavioral responses to stressful situations and mitigate the effects of stress on how we behave around our colleagues, our friends and our families.
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While there are various techniques which can help us to combat our stress, we can help make them more effective by identifying the reasons why our stress becomes so ubiquitous to our way of life. Here are some reasons why you may not be able to shake off your stress, even if you’re already trying stress management techniques…
You’re not using the right relaxation techniques
Relaxation is, as you might expect, a key component of stress management. But if collapsing in front of your TV and bingeing half a season of a show on Netflix is your only means of relaxation after a stressful day, you may be doing your body and your mind more harm than good. A 2015 study found that this kind of binge watching can exacerbate anxiety and even contribute to depression. There are many healthier and more effective relaxation techniques which will help ease your stress. Here are some of our recommendations.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Stress is cumulative, and if we don’t get enough sleep (or enough good quality sleep) it can exacerbate our stress levels. While you’re asleep your body works hard on your behalf to repair the damage that day-to-day living does to your body, so if you’re not getting enough you may find that everything seems a little harder and you’re much quicker to stress. Here are some tips on how to sleep better. Whatever’s keeping you up at night, you’ll find that at least one is effective for you.
You’re drinking too much coffee and not enough water
A cup of joe can be an excellent way to start the day. But did you know that chugging coffee after coffee can actually make you feel more tired and sluggish while also making you more stressed and irritable? Your morning coffee may give you a useful caffeine jolt, but knocking back another one when you come down from your caffeine high your brain develops more receptors for the neurotransmitter adenosine. This makes you immune to the effects of caffeine and actually makes you feel more sleepy even though your body is actually getting more tense.
You can’t put your phone down
Finally, the smartphone is an incredible invention that effectively puts the whole world in our pockets. However, when we become unable to put it down, the constant flow of data combined with the bombardment of blue light can agitate our brains and exacerbate our stress. Your phone can be useful, but it can also work against you. It’s vital that you know when to put it down.