A little bit of tension is often useful. It makes you pay attention and react quickly. Your breathing and heart rate go faster, your blood pressure goes up. For a holiday, a presentation or an exam, most people are tense, that’s normal. After the exciting situation, the tension disappears and body and soul recover.
But sometimes too many of us are asked or do we want too much. Everything seems to be against. Or we experience too little support from our environment. For example in case of problems at home or at work. Such situations give extra tension or tensions that take a long time.
You can then feel that you are constantly stressed. You are always tired and quickly irritated. Relaxing does not work well anymore. For example, you do not fall asleep well in the evening and can no longer enjoy. Then stress becomes a problem and unhealthy.
Complaints due to stress
For example, you can get these symptoms due to stress:
- fatigue, little energy
- be emotionally faster (irritated, angry, crying)
- sleep problems
- stomach problems
- neck or back complaints
- quicker cold or flu (reduced resistance)
Furthermore, long-term stress poses a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Because of the stress, people often also live a healthier life: smoking more or more, eating unhealthy, drinking more alcohol or exercising less.
Causes of stress
In order to reduce stress, you can look at what causes you the causes of stress.
For example, the following circumstances give an increased chance of stress:
- have a (chronic) physical illness
- an unpleasant event, such as an accident, robbery, burglary or assault
- a separation
- the death of a neighbor
- relationship problems
- domestic violence
- uncertainty at work, being unemployed
- uncertainty about money, for example, a high mortgage or other debts
- have a child with a (long-term) illness
- caring for a sick child, sick partner or relative (being an informal caregiver)
- abused as a child
- little support from other people
- being a single parent
Advice to better deal with stress
Do you notice that you get symptoms of the stress? Then try to do something about the stress. The stress complaints warn you that it is time to do something about it.
Or even better: avoid stress complaints by incorporating the advice against stress into your daily life.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce stress. See for yourself which ways are best for you. If necessary, consult your doctor or the GGZ practice supporter.
Deal with problems differently
1. First, try to get a good overview of your situation:
- Think about what gives you energy.
- What are your positive characteristics?
- Are you, for example, a go-getter? Do you help others? Do not you like quarrels? Do you feel responsible for how things go? Such positive qualities can unfortunately also play a role in complaints. For example, you put so much energy into informal care that you ‘forget’ to continue to take good care of yourself.
- Also, consider which things you (too) cost a lot of energy and about which you are worried.
- Talk about this with someone you trust.
- Or write events, your thoughts, and feelings on paper.
- Talking or writing helps to understand your situation and process events.
- Are you going to write? Write for example once a day what you are with, what you worry about. After writing, do something relaxing, such as walking for a while.
2. The next step is to come up with solutions. The things that give excitement usually do not dissolve themselves.
- Consider how you can improve the circumstances (in your relationship, in your family, at work, your health), so that they give less tension.
- What can you do yourself to ensure that you experience less stress? See if you can organize your life differently. Try to discuss and tackle problems immediately. See if you can divide tasks. Ask for help in time.
- Sometimes it is necessary to make choices and agreements, to definitively drop a number of obligations and to transfer some tasks to others.
There are also online courses (self-help) that can help you with this. Feel free to ask for help from your doctor. Your GP or practice assistant GGZ can guide you if you follow such a self-help course online.
Keep taking good care of yourself
- Go to bed on time and get up on time. See what you can do to sleep better as I want to sleep better . Enough night’s sleep helps to cope with problems better.
Keep eating healthy. Healthy eating keeps you fit and makes you better able to cope with stress.
- Drink little or no alcohol. Alcohol may temporarily provide some relaxation, but in time it can aggravate the problems.
- A lot of exercise and exercise can reduce psychological problems. It helps to worry less and to feel less gloomy. Look at I want to be healthy about how you can get started. Running therapy is also an option. This is running for people with psychological problems under the supervision of a (physio) therapist.