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Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping
Contents:
  1. Reduce stress with activity, good food and sleep
  2. Stress-proof Your Teen - Helping Your Teen Manage Stress And Build Healthy Habits paperback
  3. Anxiety Disorders & Stress Management: Resources for Working with Kids & Teens Booklist
  4. What is resilience?

Stress affects us in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally and in varying intensities. Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for: If you are experiencing these symptoms for a prolonged period, and feel they are affecting your everyday life or are making you feel unwell, you should speak to your GP.

You can ask for information about the support services and treatments available to you. Find out more about stress in our A-Z guide.

Reduce stress with activity, good food and sleep

Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use. Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.

Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Stress-proof Your Teen - Helping Your Teen Manage Stress And Build Healthy Habits paperback

Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems. We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations, 34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels, 35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e. People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite. Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats.

This is known as the 'fight or flight' response. Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.

Anxiety Disorders & Stress Management: Resources for Working with Kids & Teens Booklist

As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke. Over time, the build-up of these chemicals and the changes they produce can be damaging for your health. When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.

You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition. All sorts of situations can cause stress. The most common involve work, money matters and relationships with partners, children or other family members. Stress may be caused either by major upheavals and life events such as divorce, unemployment, moving house and bereavement, or by a series of minor irritations such as feeling undervalued at work or arguing with a family member.

Minimizing the Effects of Stress in Your Kids

Relationships are a great support in times when we feel stressed. If you want to try to learn more about mindfulness , Dr. Emanuele notes there are also apps that guide you through the basics of how to practice mindfulness. Headspace and Smiling Mind are two popular ones. Smiling Mind is designed for young people so it may be a better fit for tweens.

The best way to get a little perspective is to take occasional breaks from social media. Do yoga, go for a run , spend time with friends in person, hang out in nature. Whatever it is, doing things in real life can be a big stress reliever and make you feel better about yourself in a way that scrolling through a feed never will. Try to practice self-awareness during offline activities, too.

Physical activity

Notice how you feel in the moment when you are being active, and note what really feels like fun to you. You might surprise yourself. Rachel Ehmke is managing editor at the Child Mind Institute. Join them. Follow ChildMindInst. Was this helpful? Yes No. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Online Privacy Statement, which describes our use of cookies. By using this site without adjusting your settings, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More. One thing they had in common was social support. Even POWs held in isolation devised a tapping method of communication with their fellow prisoners.

Sometimes they just talk about it; some patients want to map it out on paper. Who can you count on?

What is resilience?

Make your own list of your social network and keep it handy when you need to call on someone for support. If you lead a highly stressful life, the solution may be to add one more task to your daily to-do list. Give back. Research consistently shows that helping other people and giving social support is a powerful way to manage the stress in your life and boost your resilience.

The simple act of touching another person — or being touched — can ease your stress. James A. Coan, an assistant professor of psychology and a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia, recruited 16 women who felt they had strong support in their relationships. To simulate stress, he subjected each woman to a mild electric shock under three conditions, all while monitoring her brain.


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Coan says the study simulates how a supportive marriage and partnership gives the brain the opportunity to outsource some of its most difficult neural work. Spending time with your pet can offer a temporary reprieve from stress. Spending time with your dog and taking it for a walk is a twofer — you get the stress reduction of a pet plus the stress-busting benefits of a walk outdoors.

The evidence that pets are a source of comfort and stress relief is compelling. At Veterans Affairs hospitals, therapy animals including dogs and parrots have helped patients undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress reduce their anxiety. In a controlled study of therapy dog visits among patients with heart disease, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found a significant reduction in anxiety levels and blood pressure in the heart and lungs in those who spent 12 minutes with a visiting animal, but no such effect occurred among comparable patients not visited by a dog.

While some stress is essential for human function, chronic stress creates a cascade of physical changes throughout your body. Heart: During a stressful event, your heart rate increases and your body releases the stress hormones — cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.