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The Effects of Stress on Your Body

effect of stress on a woman

Between work obligations and family responsibilities, life gets stressful. Sometimes a little too stressful. Even though most people experience stress at some point, many just don’t know how to deal with it. And trying to deal with it can ironically cause more stress—but don’t stress out. The team at Women’s Health Arizona is here to help you find the right balance while managing stress.

How To Reduce Stress: 8 Tips for Stress Management

Stress affects your whole body. It can cause mood changes, weight fluctuations, irregular periods, and even fertility problems. 

If you’re someone who deals with unexpected or chronic stress, it’s important to practice stress management. From less screen time to more sleep time, here are eight tips you can use to practice your stress management at home and on the go.

1. Practice Self-Care

Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths (although bubble baths are very important). Self-care is about building a healthy foundation for yourself and avoiding stress triggers. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, cooking healthy meals, and keeping a consistent sleep schedule.

2. Get the Proper Amount of Sleep

All too often women end up getting less sleep than they should. This lack of sleep is usually a result of things like work, childcare, chores, and worry. If you get too little sleep, you could experience heightened stress throughout the day. 

Whether you’re a busy mom, a busy professional, or both, you can create a sleep routine by turning off your screens early, avoiding caffeine, and making your bedroom a quiet, restful space.

3. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques can clear your mind and relieve your stress. Meditation isn’t just about sitting on the floor cross-legged; it can be running, painting, gardening, knitting, yoga, and anything else that makes you feel happy. 

That being said, sitting in a quiet, peaceful room is always a great option. Implementing breathing techniques into your relaxation routine can help you feel more grounded and at ease.

4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Staying active is one of the healthiest lifestyle changes you can make. Regular exercise helps you nurture a stronger body while managing stress levels. A regular exercise routine will improve your overall health, keeping you in your best shape to tackle the day. Plus, it’s an excellent way to blow off a little steam.

 5. Learn When To Say No

Saying yes to everything can backfire fast. You need those spare moments in your life to recharge yourself and avoid triggering stress. Next time you’re faced with a request you know you can’t fulfill, simply decline to maintain your peace. The power of saying no is stronger than you think—try it sometime, you’ll love how it feels.

6. Silence Your Phone

We’re on our phones so much that we often forget we can (and should) turn them off. Silence your phone and turn off notifications to take yourself offline for the night. Silencing your phone at the end of the day also allows you to sleep better.

7. Time Management

A little procrastination can turn into a lot of stress. When we’re working under pressure, we often experience a spike in stress. Alleviate stressors by creating a schedule and setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. You can either do this with a handy time management app or a physical planner.

8. Seek Support

If your stress has become so overwhelming that it’s affecting your life, please seek support from a licensed therapist or psychologist. We also recommend reaching out to support groups. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.

Helpful Relaxation Exercises To Reduce Stress

The concept of invoking a relaxation response through specific techniques traces back to the work of Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist from Harvard Medical School, in the 1970s. 

Dr. Benson recognized the impact that relaxation exercises could have on reducing stress. Today, his methods are still considered practical tools used to relieve stress. Check them out below and practice them at home.

  • Breath Focus – This exercise involves paying close attention to your breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly. By focusing solely on your breath, you disengage from distracting thoughts.
  • Body Scan – In a body scan, you focus on each part of your body, from head to toe, noticing any tension or discomfort and allowing it to release.
  • Guided Imagery – Guided imagery involves visualizing calming scenes or experiences in your mind. You can find guided imagery apps and online recordings to help you through this exercise.
  • Mindfulness Meditation – Mindfulness meditation encourages being present and in the moment, being aware of your thoughts without worrying about the past or future.
  • Yoga – Yoga is an ideal way to stay active while focusing on relaxation. It combines physical postures, breathwork, and meditation to promote relaxation and flexibility. 
Exercices to reduce stress

Prioritize Your Health With Women’s Health Arizona

Staying healthy and prioritizing your health is one of the best ways to alleviate stress. Prioritize your health by scheduling your next well-woman exam at Women’s Health Arizona, the largest ObGyn group in the state. With over 120 providers available, you can get the support you need without having to travel too far. Get started and request your appointment today.

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