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How to Relieve Stress

writtenByWritten by: Leah McCabe
Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

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.

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reviewBy Reviewed by: Melissa Dowd (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)
Reviewer

Melissa Dowd (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)

Melissa Dowd received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of CA and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. In addition to her work as a clinical therapist, Melissa is passionate about promoting emotional wellness through leading workshops, guest appearances, and across social media platforms.

January 24, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

Why Am I Always Stressed?

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?

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

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What is Stress?

Stress is an essential part of our human biology that serves as the body’s natural reaction to challenges and threats.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, “Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.”

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 muscle preparedness.

Today, stress operates less as a tool of survival and more as a sustained component of our larger 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 leave 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 as any of the following:

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, lonely, worthless, or 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
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

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 work out, 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. Sleep also promotes healthy brain activity that allows you to focus better during the day and complete the various tasks that otherwise would be left to stress you out.

Spend Time With Friends And Family

As humans, we naturally want to be part of social networks in our day to day lives. Appreciating your relationships gives you a sense of belonging that fosters connections and brings joy into your day.

Learn To Avoid Procrastination

Avoiding procrastination is particularly difficult given the constant means for distraction available at our fingertips. However, procrastinating leaves us scrambling to complete tasks at a later time which often 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.

Get Stress Treatment Online

If you’re feeling overworked, unable to relax, or constantly stressed out, it may be time to consider talking to a professional. At PlushCare, we’re proud to offer virtual therapy sessions that you can attend from the comfort of your home.

Our licensed therapists can teach you healthy approaches to stress management. Even better, our therapy sessions cost just $119 per session or $99 for weekly sessions. You get a $20 discount for booking weekly therapy sessions, and you can cancel at any time.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

If our therapists believe you will benefit from medication, they may recommend you book an appointment with one of our trusted doctors. PlushCare offers convenient, reliable, and affordable virtual doctor’s appointments you can access from the comfort of your home. Together, our therapists and doctors will work together to ensure you get the help you deserve. 

Click here to book an appointment with one of PlushCare’s trusted doctors.

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


Read More About How to Relieve Stress


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Stress.org. Worrying in the Workplace Stress Statistics. Accessed December 16, 2020 at https://www.stress.org/42-worrying-workplace-stress-statistics

Medlineplus.gov. Stress and your health. Accessed on December 16, 2020 at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm

My.clevelandclinic.org. Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention. Accessed on December 16, 2020 at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress

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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