Stress is a stranger to no one these days. Our modern times are filled with stress at every turn, and the past 18 months have intensified those stress levels for many people, whether they are concerned for their personal health or society as a whole.
We have known for a long time that stress kills, but did you know it can affect every part of your life, including hearing health? Today we will talk about a few ways to mitigate and cope with stress to benefit all of our health, including hearing health.
It is normal to feel worry and stress, and it is essential to have healthy coping mechanisms. There will always be stressors in our lives: we can’t change that. We can, however, decide how we will react to these stressors. Learning how to cope with stress in healthy ways works to improve mental and physical health, lessen depression, and enhances our immune systems.
A few simple ways to reduce stress:
1. Get active!
Physical exercise is good for your physical and mental health! Movement releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) all over the body that helps you to relax and feel calm and happy. Exercising regularly has been shown to reduce anxiety, frustration, anger, and general feelings of distress.
And you don’t have to do anything strenuous: something as simple as a daily walk around the neighborhood has great benefits. Many of our devices, and even some hearing aids can track steps to see how much you have walked every day. A variety of exercise is fun and is a good way to get out and de-stress.
2 . Turn off the news!
It’s totally understandable to want to be informed, especially these days. It is tempting to have the news on during every waking hour, but the constant negative input stokes fear and stress. Why not limit the news to a few minutes a day, or better yet: just skim the headlines and only look at what is necessary? This one thing can make a huge difference in our stress levels.
It is important to take some time to kick back and unwind each day. There are many relaxation techniques, from aromatherapy to deep breathing, or listening to relaxing music or nature sounds. Getting outside can be relaxing too—especially if you can immerse yourself in nature for a little while
4. Cut the caffeine and don’t smoke!
Did you know smoking can increase your stress levels? When combined with the other known health risks of smoking, it may be time to call it quits. The nicotine found in cigarettes is a stimulant, and stimulants increase stress levels in the body and exacerbate thoughts of worry.
Caffeine is another stimulant, so depending on how you handle caffeine, you may want to cut back on that as well.
5. Take note!
Sometimes just identifying and quantifying our fears can make them seem more manageable in our minds. Try jotting down the thoughts that are in your head. This gives your mind something concrete, helping your brain to see it as a manageable thing.
Take it a step further by writing down the things for which you are thankful. Gratitude is a huge stress relief, and sometimes just putting your life into context can help you to reduce anxiety.
Beneficial coping mechanisms are vital to mental and physical health these days. Be intentional about your thoughts and how you express them, even to yourself, and you will feel more in control of your feelings and your stress response.
Remember that the first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon CA 94583 (925) 394-4646