Chronic stress? See how to fight it by combining body and mind training

When stress becomes an integral part of your life, you mustn’t underestimate it. Substance use as a coping mechanism will never be effective in the long run. What should you do then? Change the way you respond to certain situations. Learn the five steps of an effective fight against chronic stress!

Aleksandra Łomzik

Stress is an inseparable part of our everyday life. Sometimes it can manifest itself as an important driving and motivational force. Stress is a natural response to difficult situations or challenges and helps our bodies gear up for action – an increased level of adrenaline speeds up the heartbeat, raises blood pressure and provides us with energy.

More often than not, the stress response self-regulates, and when the threat is gone, the body calms down and goes back to normal. Unfortunately, in the case of constant, chronic stress, this “fight or flight” response does not turn off, which can have a negative impact not only on our mental but also physical well-being.

There are numerous examples of unwanted effects of stress that cannot be underestimated. These may include:

  • depression, anxiety, memory problems;
  • heart problems, hypertension;
  • digestive issues;
  • migraines;
  • neuralgic pain;
  • disturbed circadian rhythm, problems falling asleep, fatigue.

So, how do you deal with a lot of stress and prevent its unwanted effects?

A way to combat stress? Mindfulness

First of all, we should look at the sources of stress in our lives and how we respond to it. Stress can be caused by a variety of issues, the most frequent ones being random situations beyond our control, major changes in life such as moving, changing jobs or losing a loved one.

There may also be psychological reasons for stress, including job burnout, lack of a support system or a feeling of lack of control over one's own life. However, we should be vigilant and not push our psychological comfort into the background – these isolated, seemingly minor sources of stress, can pile up and come to the surface when we find ourselves in a crisis situation that might be hard to deal with.

So let's assume that we have no control over the circumstances in which we may experience stress. What can we do then? We can always work on changing the way we respond to these types of situations.