However, according to the American Psychological Association, consistent or extreme stress can be harmful to your health.
While your body’s natural defenses are equipped to handle small and common periods of stress, chronic stress has been known to lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, obesity and insomnia.
Chronic stress has even been attributed to major illnesses including heart disease, research has found. Oftentimes, those experiencing extreme stress turn toward unhealthy methods of coping. Habits such as overeating, using drugs or alcohol, working too hard, spending excessive time alone and similar unhealthy practices in turn lead to poor health outcomes.
”Consistent or extreme stress can be harmful to your health.”
Here at the Pritikin Longevity Center, we promote a healthy mind and body connection by teaching you how to manage and cope with stress.
In addition to support networks and relaxation techniques, Pritikin offers five seminars that can help enhance your emotional well-being:
- Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
- New Thoughts, New Behaviors
- Taking Charge of Stress
- Listening and Being Heard
- Managing Your Moods
According to the APA, everyday stressors that are too often ignored, or inadequately dealt with, can amount to this kind of chronic stress. The good news is that there are a number of simple ways to reduce the moments and feelings of stress in your everyday life.
Simple ways to reduce stress
Just as the experience of stress itself is different for everyone, the factors and triggers that cause it vary as well. However, if you know the situations and environments that enhance your stress levels, you can effectively handle them. When you are fully aware and in tune with your body and its natural responses, you can take preventive measures to avoid feelings of stress in the first place.
Get enough sleep
Ensuring that you get a quality night’s sleep as often as possible is not only beneficial to your overall health, but to your emotional well-being as well. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index™ poll found that those who reported poor quality sleep also experienced high stress and a low life satisfaction. While getting the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep each night is important, the quality of sleep that you get is just as crucial.
Engage in physical activity
According to the American Heart Association, engaging in physical activity each day can relieve both physical and mental tension. Adults who are regularly active are at a lower risk for depression. Physical activity does not have to mean running a marathon or participating in a high-intensity workout class. Staying active can be as simple as talking a walk, dancing, swimming or riding a bicycle. At Pritikin, we offer exercise classes for all fitness levels.
Plan and prepare
Being prepared by planning ahead is a great method for preventing stress. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ resource center suggested staying organized and making a list of how and when you will tackle each item. When a stressful event is on the horizon, picture yourself in that interview, giving that speech or participating in that competition and imagine yourself succeeding.
Become your own coach and mentor
Our coaches and mentors were often important people in our lives. They encouraged and believed in us. They recognized our strengths. When the going got tough, they were the people we relied on to talk us through it. Similarly, when you’re feeling discouraged or frustrated, be your own coach or mentor. Imagine what they would have said to you. Embrace it. This inner pep talk can help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Additional remedies to reduce stress
There are times when all of the sleep, planning and preparing in the world won’t be able to prevent stress altogether. When it happens, don’t panic. Instead, take a deep breath and practice one of these natural remedies for relieving and managing stress.
Book a stay at the Pritikin Longevity Center and follow the journey that can help enhance your emotional well-being.