When people try to relieve stress, they often focus on maintaining a proper diet, exercising, and dealing with common stressors like excessive overtime at work. However, some sources of stress aren’t commonly recognized, and they can undermine your attempts to relieve stress unless you address them head-on. Below are three oft-ignored sources of stress.
Hidden Causes of Stress
1. Toxic Relationships
A toxic relationship creates negativity in your life. Perhaps it’s a relationship with a domineering sibling, a critical friend, or a demanding boss. When you engage with others who create negative feelings through their actions, it can cause stress and anxiety. Toxic relationships can make you feel tired, self-critical, or depressed. When you recognize a toxic relationship, find the courage to let it go and choose to spend time with those that are loving and supportive instead.
If you can’t separate yourself from a boss or a family member, make an effort to minimize contact with them within reasonable limits. To boost your self-esteem and potentially relieve stress, consider talking to the person about their behavior.
2. Constant Connectivity
Being constantly connected to electronic devices causes stress, even if your intention is relaxation. Electronic screens emit light that stimulates the brain, so eliminating contact with screens an hour before bed will help improve the quality of your sleep. Social media is a potent stressor, as your inner critic is activated while looking at friends’ and influencers’ carefully curated feeds. Try cutting back on connectivity time, and even explore taking a full break from social media to see how peaceful life can be without it.
3. Too Much Or Too Little Exercise
Moderate exercise is a good stress reliever. For most healthy adults, 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week is enough. Moderate exercise can consist of walking, swimming, or going on a bike ride. Exercise is an outlet for challenging emotions, produces natural feel-good chemicals in the brain, and can help you sleep better. Too little exercise can lead to weight gain, loss of muscle and range of motion, depression, insomnia, and anxiety as well as metabolic problems. Too much exercise, however, can cause symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and decreased motivation and immunity. Find activities that you enjoy, get outside, and interact with people you like.
It can be challenging to find ways to relieve stress. If you are struggling to find peace and joy, contact Peggy Sealfon-Stonewater Studio at (239) 821-2266. Peggy is an integrated life coach and author who specializes in helping others mitigate stress and anxiety and live rich and glorious lives. Find out about her programs, retreats, speaking engagements, and books on her website. Start changing your life today.