Stress is a natural part of life. The feelings that you experience when things become stressful is your body’s way of responding to difficult situations. Although not enjoyable, it is important to understand that stress is truly a part of life, and, to some degree, it is something that everyone must learn to cope with.
When Stress Becomes Excessive
There are times when the levels of stress that you are experiencing are not on a normal scale. Moreover, some people don’t possess the right skills and methods to cope with stress making them more sensitive to stressful situations in general. When left unchecked, undue stress or an oversensitivity to it can result in the development of certain mental health conditions like anxiety.
If you feel that the stress of your daily life is becoming too much to handle, you shouldn’t waste any time figuring out why you feel that way. You might very well be doing (or not doing) certain things that are causing you more stress than is necessary. Thankfully, there are proactive things you can do to take control of the situation and make positive changes in your life. Bear in mind that you should always consult a qualified healthcare professional if you feel that you are suffering from a mental health condition.
Here are four such things that might be causing more undue stress in your life.
1. Video Games
There was once a time, around the period when video games were swiftly growing in popularity when healthcare professionals and concerned parents began to question the effects that playing such games all day has on the mind. While there wasn’t really a need for full-blown panic, studies on stress and video games have indeed revealed that there is a link between certain types of video games and stress.
The fact of the matter is that certain games, such as combat-based ones, are literally designed to simulate a combat situation for players. With realistic graphics and tense battle scenarios, such games can raise your heart rate and cause your brain to react as if you were in a real-life stressful situation. If you find yourself suffering from stress and you play such games regularly, it might be necessary to take some time away to see if this is what is causing your stress levels to go up.
2. Lack of Sleep
These days, there is plenty of research to show the direct link between sleep and stress. When you sleep, your mind and body both go through a recovery process. Your muscles are repaired from the work of the day and your brain releases a series of hormones that allow you to unwind and relax. If you are not getting adequate sleep, then you won’t benefit from such things throughout the night.
When you wake up in the morning unrested after a night of tossing and turning because you went to bed far later than you should have, you are far less capable from a mental and physical standpoint to cope with the routine challenges of the day. Irritability, loss of appetite, and the inability to focus are all among the results of getting poor sleep. What’s worse is that poor sleep generally leads to more poor sleep the following night.
Take steps to improve your sleep so that you can get the rest you need. Evaluate your room to see if it is a space that encourages good sleep. Go to bed earlier than usual to give yourself time to fall asleep. Most importantly, put all screens and phones away at least one hour before going to bed as the blue light causes your brain to be more alert making it difficult to fall asleep.
3. Someone Else’s Stress
If someone in your life, such as a friend or family member, has been experiencing a stressful or traumatic time in their own life, this might be causing you to feel extra stress as well. Studies have shown that when a person witnesses or observes another individual going through something stressful, a certain type of stress in their own body occurs. This stress often referred to as empathetic stress, might be the root of your current stress issues.
Feeling someone else’s stress might make you angry, sad, or frustrated. Such feelings can arise when you care for someone deeply and feel powerless to help them get through their own struggles. Other people experience empathetic stress because they wonder about the likelihood of something happening to them that has happened to someone else. This creates unnecessary fear and raises your stress levels.
4. Too Much Social Media
Social media has become one of the most common aspects of modern life. Practically everyone is involved in social media in some fashion or another. Perhaps you are on it to better keep in touch with friends and family. Maybe you are part of groups that you interact with in real life and like to stay on top of current events and schedules for those groups. There is no denying that there are many useful applications for social media. There are, however, some negative ones to bear in mind.
Most people tend to post only the good things going on in their life online, such as vacations, promotions, or happy family news. This can lead to a false depiction of reality. When you are constantly viewing other people’s happy news, your brain can become jealous as you wonder why every single day of your own life isn’t filled with happy, shareable moments. The fact of the matter is that no one’s life is actually like that, it can just appear that way on social media.
If you are feeling stressed out and down about your life, take some time away from social media. Instead, choose to focus on the positive things in your life going on away from the internet. You might be surprised to find that you are better able to enjoy your day-to-day life once you have stepped away from the false reality of Facebook.