Healing from Mental Stress

Healing from Mental Stress

A 2-Step Process to Heal from Mental Stress

There are two methods of approaching the healing of mental stress issues. Both must be addressed before jumping to conclusions about what you need to do to begin to heal. You can try to identify the root cause by getting some lab tests run before you decide which method is best for you.

If there are no medical issues causing the imbalance in your mental health, you can begin to work on healing your mind and heart by researching methods such as ETT (Emotional Transformation Therapy), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

You may need to try several methods before you come across one that works, but it’s well worth the time and effort. Your mental and physical health depends on finding methods to heal from mental stress.

Medical Issues that Could Be Causing Mental Stress

There are many medical issues that could be causing mental stress – among them, hormones or other chemical issues. A sudden onset of symptoms might indicate a red flag for medical abnormalities such as vascular disease, stroke, nutritional shortages, infections or hormones.

It’s important to run medical tests to see if you’re suffering from any of these conditions. Your doctor can discuss the results of the tests to determine whether your mental health stress is resulting from a medical condition and then plot a method of treatment.

In all likelihood, mental stress is happening because you’re undergoing some outside, emotional trauma. But, lately, experts have noticed the rise of underlying medical reasons for mental stress such as environmental toxins, diseases (especially those associated with aging and degeneration) and drug interactions.

Unfortunately, it may be more difficult to find a medical reason for mental stress than emotional-caused stress. Finding underlying medical issues that may be causing mental stress is complex and challenging.

It’s easy to misdiagnose the underlying condition of mental stress, so it’s more often thought to be outside environment and emotional issues. There are many signs that are common to both types of mental stress – medical and emotional.

Although all the signs have things in common, the medical side should be tested first. Some medical issues can become serious in a very short time, so it’s best to mark those issues off your list with specialized tests.

Signs of Medical-Related Mental Stress

Mental stress caused by a medical condition can cause you to change your goals and your lifestyle. There are several signs to look for when you’re bombarded with mental stress so you (and your health care provider) can run medical tests.

One physical sign that can be attributed to mental and/or medical stress is fatigue. If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue and it’s becoming difficult for you to complete your daily tasks, you’ll want to find out if you’re lacking vitamins and minerals.

Nutrition can be a significant catalyst to developing mental stress and it begins with eating patterns and diet which may lack the ability to fuel the brain and body. Pain – especially chronic pain – such as in the back or stomach may also be medically caused.

Chronic pain that just won’t go away without powerful pain pills or therapy can cause mental stress that can keep you from living your best life.  After determining the reason for the pain, surgery or physical therapy might be needed.

Headaches are also known to cause mental stress. Worrying about the headache causing time off from work or inability to socialize can trigger mental stress that can make the pain worse.

Causes of headaches are many and you should talk to your doctor about testing for any type of mental issue (such as tumor) that may be present. Infections within the body may cause chemical changes that exacerbate mental stress.

Exposure to toxins in the environment is a fairly recent addition to possible causes of mental stress. The mental symptoms caused from exposure to toxins may wax and wane depending on the amount of toxins in the body at one time.

The environment contains high levels of contaminants that are present in most of our lives. Insecticides, room deodorizers and fertilizers contain toxic chemicals – and so does the medications you might use on a pet such as flea sprays.

Doctors are now testing much more for environmental toxins when patients complain of sleep problems, depression, anxiety and other mental stress disorders. Another sign of medical-caused mental stress might be abnormalities in movement.

If you develop certain tics such as when you speak or try to enunciate, there could be a medical reason. Clumsiness and problems with walking or balance may be caused by a medical mental disorder and you should be tested if that occurs.

Mental stress can be a red flag that could save you from a medical condition that could get progressively worse. Discuss any pain or other unexplained medical condition with your doctor so he can run tests to find the root cause.

Emotional and Lifestyle Causes of Mental Stress

After you’ve made sure there are no medical issues causing your mental stress, you should focus on emotional and/or lifestyle issues. Emotional and lifestyle issues may cause mental stress that becomes so acute that it morphs into medical problems.

Almost everyone experiences trauma at some point in their lives from the death of a loved one, move to another part of the globe or other major lifestyle changes. These are usually temporary stressors that can be good or bad in the long-run. For example a marriage or getting a dream job might be stressful and cause you to feel depressed or have other stress issues.

Even bad stress such as meeting deadlines or athletic competition can be beneficial if it motivates you to perform better. You may have mental stress that you bring on yourself from worrying about something that will likely never happen. Worry about losing your job or something happening to a loved one are examples of worrying for no valid reason.

This could become a pattern that causes anxiety, discomfort or other negative feelings. Some people cope better than others with circumstances that they may perceive as negative, but if they’re exceeding your ability to cope, you should seek help.

Daily hassles affect us all in different ways. Such hassles include making decisions, school or work deadlines or difficult projects, conflict with others and traffic jams. Of course, not everyone perceives these situations as stressful.

For example, you may become highly stressed if you have to speak to an audience – but, a person such as a politician who does it on a daily basis – will not be stressed. These daily lifestyle stressors and others that would fill a book, if mentioned, can cause physical illnesses such as chronic fatigue, headaches and other maladies.

If you’re going through stress that is taking a toll on your mental and physical well-being, it’s time you learned methods of coping. It could be as simple as taking deep breaths, meditation, tai chi or other forms of relaxation techniques – or you might need more extensive therapy to get you through the angst.

Coping with Mental Stress

There are many methods of coping with mental stress, including taking prescription medications and relaxation techniques. But, when the usual and simpler relaxation techniques aren’t working, it’s time to step up the game with some techniques that go deeper into the psyche.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a coping mechanism for mental stress that addresses depression, tension, anxiety and much more – including chronic pain. This method combines acupressure which affects mind and body chemicals to get to the root cause of the stress and eliminate it.

A self-help technique to relieve stress and pain, EFT tapping therapy can be performed anywhere or anytime and no equipment or medications are necessary. EFT works by focusing on the energy (meridians) that course through the body and changes the flow to encourage emotional and physical healing.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has been used successfully to treat disorders such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Even the experts don’t agree on how EMDR works, but it is being used more and more for treating trauma-related issues such as rape or accidents.

This type of psychological approach to mental stress doesn’t use medications or talk therapy. It uses the patient’s rapid and rhythmic movements of the eye to reduce the power of past memories to affect his/her current lifestyle.

EMDR treatments usually last about 90 minutes. During the session, the therapist moves his fingers in front of your eyes and you are asked to follow the motions with your eyes.

You’ll be asked to recall a traumatic event in your life and describe the emotions that it brings to light. As the session continues, the therapist will skillfully change your thoughts to happier ones.

ETT (Emotional Transformation Therapy) is used for people suffering from mental stress that might involve pain and trauma and helps them to reach the final healing process.

This therapeutic method to healing incorporates color waves, eye movements and light to bring about emotional transformations. It’s a non-invasive, non-medication type of therapy that stimulates the brain for faster results.

ETT tends to target the unpleasant memories that might be keeping us from success and the light and colors reshape the neural impulses to have more positive responses. The ETT therapist takes cues from the emotional responses shown in verbal conversation and facilitates the changes through light and colors.

ETT therapy is used to treat a number of mental stress issues such as anxiety, panic, chronic pain, depression and much more. Those who suffer from anger or fear have found ETT to be especially helpful in clearing out the negative thoughts that trigger these responses.

Less intense forms of dealing with mental stress include yoga, tai chi and meditation. These are the go-to methods of healing that work perfectly for most people. Meditation helps you get back in touch with your true feelings and to find that quiet place to think and figure out problems.

Yoga helps to both physically and mentally relax and release the endorphins so important to mental health. Yoga exercises help to stretch your muscles and keep you agile and flexible.

Tai chi is both a physical and mental exercise that anyone can benefit from. Exact movements are used to strengthen and stretch the body while bringing positive thoughts to the mind.

How to Prevent Mental Stress

If your mental stress seems to be in your mind to stay and it’s taking an emotional or physical strain on your life, it’s time to learn how to control and prevent this stress from taking a toll that could have tragic physical and mental results.

Some stress is uncontrollable – losing your job or facing serious health problems. Then, there is stress that is natural to humans, such as meeting goals and facing lifestyle changes.

But, some stress is controllable. For example, how you handle traffic jams, being late for a meeting or relationship issues. When you learn how to control these stressors in your life, you’ll be able to see immediate improvement in almost every area of your life.

Learning to say no is one of the first and most attainable goals in your commitment to prevent stress. Most of us over-commit and haven’t learned how to set boundaries. Don’t take on more than you can easily fit into your schedule.

Change negative thoughts to positive ones. This may take some time. It’s a habit that you have to get used to putting into practice. For example, rather than stressing out over being in traffic, look at it as an opportunity to learn something from a positive thinking podcast or listening to music you love. Some things are beyond your ability to control – especially the behavior of others.

If you have a boss or other person in your life who stresses you out with his/her behavior, think about how you can respond in a positive way. It might be that you just walk away.

Practice time management and avoid procrastination. Make a to-do list every day, making the most important tasks priorities – and do them first. Transfer what you don’t get done to the next day. As you mark off the tasks, you’ll feel much more empowered. Be grateful for all you have.

Take some time every day to think about the positive things – and people – in your life. You’ll be more able to keep things in perspective than letting little things during the day stress you out.

Managing your stress has everything to do with how you control your thoughts, environment and emotions. Unless you maintain control, your life may get out of control and when stress bears down, you change both physically and mentally.

Keep stress-healing methods in mind, and when stress seems to be more than you can handle, try one of the techniques that you believe will work best for you.

As You Age, Stress Chips Away at Your Memory

Stress is very much a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can motivate you and spur you on to tackle challenges. On the other, it can seriously impair certain processes in your body, especially if your stress is long term.

One process that it can hinder is your memory. While under stress, there are lots of things going on behind the scenes that can make your memory worse. When you’re stressed, you can’t sleep – and a lack of sleep leaves you feeling confused and fuzzy with your memories.

Another issue that you’ll face with memories and stress is the forming and recalling of long-term memories. This is because of cortisol, a stress chemical, which forces you to prefer your short-term memory instead. This is something meant to help us in short term stressful situations, but it actually ends up hurting you if you’re continuously stressed out.

By only preferring your short-term memory, you end up with a lot of problems on your hands. First, by not regularly using your long-term memory, you risk losing some of those mental connections, leaving those memories possibly gone for good.

This can be a horrible situation, leading to something similar to Alzheimer’s in a way. Another serious problem that arises is that you won’t really be able to learn things that well without the ability to form long term memories.

When you learn something, you’re basically committing that to your memory, forming a long-term connection. Without that ability, you’ll find it hard to learn new information, recall old information, and you’ll be making any work or schooling much harder for yourself as a result.

Stress can even make you forget short term things just because you might be hyper-focused on one particular thing. If you’re freaking out over something that you need to do and someone asks you to do them a favor, you might brush them off and agree.

However, you might then totally forget about them asking you, because you were too busy worrying to actually form that memory at the time. If you tend to get depressed while you’re stressed out, that can also make it difficult to form memories.

While depression alone can hinder memories, it’s often made worse by something that accompanies depression in some people: alcohol consumption. Alcohol can cause you to have trouble remembering things or forming those memories in the first place, meaning that if you’ve turned to drinking in order to relieve your stress, you’re probably doing more harm than good.

Biomarkers That Prove When Your Stress Is Too Much

Sometimes, it can be hard to just know when the stress you’re under is too much to handle. You might be able to see signs in terms of aging, but at that point, it’s already too late for you to do anything about it, because you’ve already let it affect you physically.

What you need to do is look for certain biomarkers that will let you know ahead of time where your stress levels are at so that you can avoid getting wrinkles and suffering from other stress-related issues in the future.

Biomarkers are basically biological signals that you can look for in order to understand where your stress levels are at. One common one that you can look out for is your blood pressure.

Blood pressure can be tested quickly at the doctor’s office, at pharmacies or grocery stores if they have a machine – or in the comfort of your own home. High blood pressure is often indicative of stress, so you can look out for that and engage in stress relieving activities if you notice it rising.

Another biomarker that you can check at any time is your heart rate, which is often referred to as BPM or beats per minute. Similar to blood pressure, this is indicative of too much stress in your life.

When checking your heart rate, you need to make sure you’re not coming off of any kind of physical activity, because that could skew your results. If your resting heart rate is high, then you likely have too much stress in your life.

While it might not be immediately clear, muscle tension can give you a good idea of how stressed out you are. If you find yourself clenching your fists, grinding your teeth, twitching, or craning your neck, then you’ll be able to identify that you’re stressed out beyond a normal level.

You might discover that you have one particular thing that you do when you’re stressed, which can be useful in the future to determine where you’re at. Whether you’re having yourself professionally examined by a doctor or you’re doing it on your own at home, using these biomarkers helps you know how stressed out you are.

Knowing that information is important because you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you don’t realize that you’re stressed, and over time, you end up developing things like health problems and physical signs of aging, like wrinkles. Staying away from stress is an important part of staying young and healthy, but you wouldn’t even know you were stressed out if it weren’t for the help of biomarkers.