Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. Today I want to talk about stress – understanding it and managing it. Stress is a ubiquitous presence in our lives and a common topic in health forums. Stress manifests diversely for each individual, depending on various factors, situations, and durations. It can evoke emotions like unease, anxiety, and helplessness, which can interfere with our sleep, appetite, energy levels and our life in general.
The Biological Impact
Extended exposure to stress activates our body’s fight or flight system— the autonomic nervous system— releasing an overabundance of stress hormones like cortisol. This constant exposure disrupts nearly all of the body’s processes and paves the way for an array of mental and physical health issues like anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and even difficulties with memory and concentration.
It’s important to acknowledge the stressors in our lives and identify the sources. Recognizing the feelings of stress is the first step towards investing in the holistic health of our mind and body. Simple actions like taking a break from social media, reading a book, or indulging in enjoyable activities can help alleviate stress, even if momentarily.
The Value of Self-Investment
Investing time in activities that bring joy can uplift your mood and significantly reduce overall stress. It’s crucial to discover joy in the daily nuances of life and to prioritize self-care and balanced living. Regular exercise, nutritious meals, and maintaining a balance in social engagements are pivotal in managing stress and enhancing mental well-being.
Sleep is crucial to mental and physical well-being, and its deficiency is linked to irritability, focus problems, and increased risks of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Thus, it’s vital to prioritize sleep to maintain a healthy balance between the mind and body.
Seeking Help is a Strength
If stress becomes overwhelming, seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but rather a strength. Reach out to organizations like the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for guidance, support, and personalized strategies. Managing stress and mental health is a continual journey, so be patient, allow growth, and continually monitor your mental state.
Remember, managing stress effectively enables you to navigate life’s challenges more smoothly. There isn’t a universal solution for managing stress, as everyone’s needs and situations are different. It’s crucial to explore different stress management techniques and mental wellness strategies and see what works best for you.
Remember to invest in yourself, maintain a balanced lifestyle, connect with others, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed. With self-patience and consistent effort, cultivating mental resilience becomes an attainable goal, allowing you to face life’s uncertainties with a balanced mind.
Stay informed and prioritize your health!
– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)
Check out this video from Dr. Curry-Winchell @ Beyond Clinical Walls to learn more: