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How to Relieve Stress

July 29, 2020 Read Time - 5 minutes

About Author

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

How to Relieve Stress

Stress, anxiety and depression have become an undeniable part of the modern human condition.


55% of Americans report that they are stressed during the day. This statistic is among the highest in the world, up 20% from the global average. Several common causes of stress include school, work and relationships.


As we make our way through our days, we try to navigate the expectations and responsibilities placed on our shoulders. It is natural to feel overwhelmed by stress sometimes, but just because stress is a normal part of life doesn’t mean it has to inhibit your enjoyment.

Below we compiled some of the facts about stress as we know it today. We’ve also put together a solution to the question, how can I stop stressing and start relaxing?

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

Book an appointment

What is Stress?

Stress is an essential part of the human experience. Stress is the body’s natural reaction to challenges and threats.


At a fundamental level, stress is a tool which motivates us to adapt to changing circumstances in order to survive.


Physically, stress is the release of specific chemicals which slow down our immune and digestive systems so that the body can concentrate its energy on breathing, blood flood, alertness, and preparation of the muscles.

Today, stress plays less of a factor in moments of fight or flight than it does in our mental health. Stress as we most commonly experience it is the feeling of demands or threats from any number of sources in our day to day lives that leaves us thinking, how can I relax my mind?


Read: Can You Buy Anxiety Medication Online?


Woman hold up a help sign because she is stressed out and needs stress relief.

Stress Symptoms

There are many different symptoms of stress and each person will experience stress in different ways. That said, symptoms of stress tend to manifest in any of the following ways:

Top Five Emotional Signs of Stress

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical Symptoms of Stress

  • Low energy
  • Stress Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Stress rash
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive Symptoms of Stress

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Related: Stress Test | Check Your Stress Levels


What Are The Top Ten Causes of Stress?

In no particular order, below are some of the most common reported causes of stress:

  • Being unhappy in your job
  • Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
  • Working long hours
  • A traumatic event
  • Divorce
  • Facing discrimination or harassment at work
  • Loss of a job
  • Getting married
  • Moving to a new home
  • Chronic illness or injury

Read: How to Deal With Anxiety


What Are The Top Five Ways To Reduce Stress

Woman meditating at her desk to relieve stress.

If you experience chronic stress you might often find yourself thinking, how can I reduce my stress?

Stress is a burden for the majority of people, yet taking the steps to promote stress management in our lives can be a difficult process.

Below we compiled some of the simplest and most convenient ways to lower your levels of stress.

Exercise

Putting your body through physical stress can actually relieve your mental stress. People who exercise have been found to experience lower levels of anxiety. When you workout, your body releases endorphins which are chemicals that improve your mood.

Sleep

Getting proper sleep is important for all aspects of mental health, not just stress. That said, good sleeping habits have been found to lower levels of stress. It also promotes healthy brain activity that allows you to focus better during the days and complete the various tasks that otherwise would be left to stress you out. 

Spend Time With Friends And Family

As humans, we want to be part of social networks in our day to day lives. Appreciating your relationships with those around you gives you a sense of belonging and can foster friendships that bring joy into your day.

Learn To Avoid Procrastination

This one is particularly difficult given the constant means at our fingertips to be distracted by. Procrastinating leaves us scrambling at a later time which induces high levels of stress.

We recommend developing the habit of making a to-do-list and keeping realistic deadlines for yourself that allow you to plan work out accordingly. 

Laugh

Laughing has been found to relieve your chemical stress response, relieve tension in your muscles and boost your mood. That last one should come as little surprise given that it is hard to remember our anxieties in moments of laughter. If you need to take a break, wind down with a funny TV show or hang out with friends.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

Book an appointment

Get Stress Treatment Online

If you’re constantly stressed out and it’s impacting your well being it may be time to consider talking to a doctor. There are many approaches to stress management that a doctor can help you with.

PlushCare offers online access to top doctors, nationwide. Our doctors can work with you to develop a stress treatment plan, including any necessary medications.

Online doctors can write and refill prescriptions and electronically send them to the pharmacy of your choice.

Don’t go on living a life of stress, help is out there. Take the first step and book an appointment here.


Read More About How to Relieve Stress


Stress.org. Worrying in the Workplace Stress Statistics. Accessed April 13, 2020 at https://www.stress.org/42-worrying-workplace-stress-statistics

Healthline.com. 16 ways to relieve stress. Accessed April 12, 2020 at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#section8

Webmd. Causes of Stress. Accessed April 12, 2020 at https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/causes-of-stress#1

Medicalnewstoday. Why Stress Happens and How to Manage It. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855#types

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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