7 Ways to Combat the Emotional Effects of Stress from Simplecleanliving.com

7 Ways to Combat the Emotional Effects of Stress

eA while ago, I shared information about how stress can manifest problems in your body, but did you know that you can also end up having emotional problems as a result of stress? Experiencing chronic stress can quickly deplete neurotransmitters……the feel good chemicals in your brain.

There are many ways that your emotions can be impacted by excess stress in your life.  Following is a list of some of the emotional symptoms of stress that are most common.

Those symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings that occur frequently or that are extreme.
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Worry
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Anger
  • Hostility
  • Resentment
  • Frustration
  • Guilt
  • Insecurity
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness
  • Lethargy
  • Pessimism
  • Excessive negativity
  • Changes in appetite-either increased or decreased
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares or night panics
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Problems learning and retaining new information
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased confusion
  • Lack of organization
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Feeling overwhelmed or burned out
  • Crying spells
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Crying spells
  • Suicidal thoughts

The symptoms above can seriously compromise the quality of your life, and if not dealt with can continue to escalate. The good news is the when experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, there are things you can do to help yourself feel better.

Some of the things that you can do to help improve any mood issues are:

  1. Exercise: light to moderate exercise can help to release endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These chemicals are the natural, feel good, stress relievers and anti-depressants. As little as 15 minutes of exercise can release these chemicals in the brain.
  2. Food: animal protein contains the full spectrum of amino acids that are used to produce the neurotransmitters that you need to feel better. Consuming adequate animal protein will give your brain the tools it needs to help you feel better!
  3. Essential fatty acids-studies have been done that show that consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids help those who struggle with depression. These days, most people are consuming high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids, but lack Omega 3s in their diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and flaxseed oil. I recommend taking fermented cod liver oil each day as well as using flaxseed oil, or grinding up flaxseed and mixing it with some food each day (I mix two tablespoons with my daily smoothie)
  4. Laughter: everyone loves to laugh and laughing is one of the most fun ways to reduce stress. When you laugh, it releases endorphins which will reduce your stress and help you to feel good. So get online, watch some funny videos, funny movies or find a local laughter yoga class (yes, they do exist!)
  5. Meditation-meditation typically involves deep breathing as well as a period of quiet focus and it great for reducing stress and helping you to feel more calm. Those who practice meditation regularly are able to handle stressful situations more easily than those who don’t.
  6. Supplementation-there are certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs that are really great for reducing stress.  Some of the best include vitamin B complex, magnesium, GABA, passionflower and l-theanine (derived from green tea).
  7. Herbs- herbs that possess nervine properties are great for reducing stress, depression and anxiety. These can easily be made into a tea or used in tincture form. Some of the best herbs for stress are lemon balm, oatstraw, chamomile, lavender, St. John’s Wort, Valerian and skullcap. Herbs are gentle to use, but be sure to check for any contraindications if you are using medications.
If you are experiencing severe levels of any of the above emotional issues or symptoms of excess stress such as suicidal thoughts, please contact a qualified mental health professional to help you.