I've been looking up solutions for stress since I started college over 4 years ago. Now that I'm a graduate, I thought it would get better, things would even out. I thought I'd find peace, or peace of mind, or something.
These days, with the pressure for success mounting, and my own clock constantly ticking in the back of my head, it's been nearly impossible to destress.
I came across this infographic three separate times. And each time I ignored it, thinking, "Ah, everything is killing me, why should stress be any different."
This kind of "who cares everyone is stressed out" mentality has driven me to neglect not only my mental health, but my stress level. Honestly if you look around your classrooms or offices, 90 percent of the people around you are probably freaking the hell out right now. You just can't see it, or don't know it.
The main takeaway from this image, is that people are stressed, now more than ever. Some of the most shocking statistics come in the physical symptoms that come from stress. Most of the time we think things are okay if we're "physically" well, but if you take a second, and observe your mental health as something that is just as important, you'll quickly recognize how shitty things actually are.
When I'm feeling the most stressed, there are a few physical symptoms that go with it:
1. Headaches: I get terrible headaches in the front of my forehead that make me feel like I've been partying for years, or that I'm just really hungover. Even if I haven't been drinking, these symptoms persist, and just recently I realized they were from stress.
2. Fatigue: I am tired nearly all of the time, and even if I do get enough sleep I wake up anxious and irritated. Probably because my stress levels are through the roof.
3. Aches and Pains: Random aches and pains make everything feel a lot worse than it is.
All of this happens because of an increase in Cortisol, a hormone that can end up killing you in excess.
The image shows a few things you can do to de-stress, because stress has been known to kill. It causes a rise in blood pressure, creates tension in your joints and muscles and can even hurt your heart.
So consider these options, even if you don't feel like stress is affecting you adversely. Just try them:
-Journaling (my go-to destressor)
-Music (another amazing one!)
We all have tough days, and when they start to take hold of us, we can't let ourselves get overwhelmed. Take back your life and minimize your stress.