Anxiety Is More Common Than You Think
With the demands of today, it is easy to see how anyone can feel overwhelmed, falling victim to the symptoms of stress and anxiety. However, to avoid suffering physical and mental health issues resulting from chronic stress hormone exposure, it is essential that people find time to unwind. At Harmony Bay, we offer the best stress and anxiety services in NJ.
Why Stress and Anxiety Services Are Beneficial
Stress increases the production of adrenaline and cortisol, which are the hormones responsible for triggering the fight-or-flight response. In the event of a true emergency or the possibility of mortal danger, this response is beneficial. However, today this response may be triggered by less physically threatening situations (e.g., verbal disagreements, slow-moving traffic). This anxiety and daily stress can create a new health issue or worsen an issue that already exists.
Health issues that can develop or worsen due to chronic exposure to stress hormones and anxiety include:
- Cardiac disease.
- Dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease).
- Gastrointestinal issues (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], gastrointestinal reflux [GERD]).
- Headaches, including migraines.
Individuals can use the five tips below to reduce their stress level, which will cause their body to decrease its production of cortisol and adrenaline.
5 Tips for Managing Stress
It takes practice to learn how to manage stress. However, the five tips below should provide individuals with the information they need to create a plan for stress management.
1. Implement an Exercise Routine.
Regular exercise offers an individual numerous benefits, one of which is helping the mind and body relax.
Set fitness goals, however, be sure these goals are feasible; otherwise, the inability to meet them can lead to a feeling of discouragement. Even if an individual neglects to meet his or her goal, some exercise is better than no exercise at all.
Exercises to consider include:
- Brisk walking.
For safety’s sake: Patients need to speak with their general practitioner before starting any exercise program.
2. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet and Do Not Skip Meals.
Eating a well-balanced diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains improves one’s general health and contributes to an overall feeling of wellness.
Skipping meals can negatively affect an individual’s mood and increase his or her stress level.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provides guidelines for the creation of a healthy eating routine. Those guidelines are available here.
3. Structure Each Day.
Structure is beneficial because it helps reduce the amount of stress an individual feels about his or her daily demands. In addition, establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it can reduce stress and promote wellness. Ideally, aim for at least 7, but preferably 8 hours of sleep a night.
Individuals who tend to experience insomnia and those who have sleep apnea need to speak with their physician about managing these conditions.
4. Limit Exposure to Digital Media.
The constant notifications of news alerts, text messages and social media posts resulting from digital media can increase an individual’s stress level, therefore, schedule several breaks from social media platforms, the internet and news throughout the day. Even just limiting the amount of time spent on social media helps reduce stress.
Furthermore, reduce anxiety and stress by discontinuing the use of electronic devices from 30 to 60 minutes before heading to bed. This digital curfew can be extremely beneficial because the artificial light emanating from computer screens, tablets and smartphones can limit the amount of melatonin the body releases. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. When the release of this hormone is disrupted, it is more difficult for an individual to get an adequate amount of sleep. In addition, exposure to these lights before bed makes sleeping soundly a challenge.
5. Plan Some Downtime.
Give the mind a break from stress by participating in restful activities.
Restful activities include:
- Listening to music.
- Tai chi.
Harmony Bay’s Stress and Anxiety Services in NJ
Harmony Bay has dedicated, compassionate and highly skilled mental health professionals available to help you manage your stress, which ultimately decreases your anxiety level.