How to Manage Stress Successfully

How to Manage Stress Successfully
Next Health Staff
April 1, 2024

Welcome to Stress Awareness Month! Get ready to explore crucial insights and practical solutions for understanding and managing stress. In this comprehensive guide, we're tackling your top stress-related questions—from decoding stress hormones like cortisol to identifying physical and mental stress signs. Dive into actionable tips, including mindful meditation, self-care practices, and innovative therapies offered by Next Health. Join us as we navigate the complexities of stress to empower your journey toward holistic well-being:

What is Stress?

Stress is your body's natural reaction to situations or events that it perceives as demanding or challenging. Think of it as your body's alarm system kicking in when it encounters something it sees as a threat, whether it's physical, emotional, or psychological. These reactions release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, preparing you to respond to perceived threats. While occasional stress can be beneficial, chronic stress can negatively impact your overall health.

What is the Stress Hormone?

Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, and adrenaline are two key hormones released by your body during stressful situations. While adrenaline rapidly boosts your heart rate and energy levels, preparing you for immediate action in a fight-or-flight response, cortisol's role is more prolonged. It helps regulate metabolism, immune function, and blood pressure, aiding in the body's response to stress over a more extended period.

Understanding the balance between these stress hormones is crucial. Excessive or prolonged levels of cortisol and adrenaline due to chronic stress can lead to various health issues such as adrenal burnout.

What Causes Stress?

Stress can stem from various sources, including work pressure, financial concerns, relationship issues, major life changes, and even daily hassles. It's the body's response to demands or challenges, whether physical, emotional, or psychological. Additionally, environmental factors, such as noise or pollution, can also contribute to stress.

Understanding what stressors trigger you in your life is the first step toward effective stress management and improved overall well-being.

What is Chronic Stress?

Chronic stress is an ongoing, persistent form of stress that lasts for an extended period, often resulting from prolonged exposure to demanding situations. Unlike acute stress, which is short-term and quickly resolves, chronic stress can linger for weeks, months, or even years.

It can arise from various sources such as work-related pressures, financial difficulties, ongoing health problems, or persistent life challenges. Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health, leading to issues like high blood pressure, weakened immune function, anxiety, depression, and more.

What are Some of the Physical Signs of Stress?

  1. Muscle Tension: Experience frequent headaches, neck pain, or muscle tension due to stress.
  2. Fatigue: Feelings of exhaustion or persistent fatigue despite adequate rest.
  3. Digestive Issues: Encounter stomach discomfort, indigestion, or changes in bowel habits.
  4. Sleep Problems: Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns due to heightened stress levels.
  5. Elevated Heart Rate: Notice an increase in heart rate or heart palpitations during stressful periods.
  6. Weakened Immunity: Frequent illnesses or a weakened immune system due to chronic stress.
  7. Changes in Appetite: Overeating or loss of appetite as stress impacts eating habits.
  8. Respiratory Problems: Experience shortness of breath or other respiratory issues due to stress.
  9. Physical Pains: Unexplained body aches, back pain, or chest tightness linked to stress.
  10. Skin Problems: Stress-related skin issues like acne, eczema flare-ups, or hives.

What Does a Stress Rash Look Like?

A stress rash, also known as stress-induced dermatitis or hives, manifests differently in individuals. It typically appears as red, raised, or itchy patches on the skin. These rashes can vary in size and shape, ranging from small dots to larger patches. Some may experience hives that come and go quickly, while others may develop persistent rashes.

What are the Key Signs of Stress Affecting Mental Health?

  1. Anxiety: Feelings of worry, nervousness, or restlessness that persist over time.
  2. Mood Swings: Noticeable fluctuations in mood, from irritability to sudden mood changes.
  3. Poor Concentration: Difficulty focusing, making decisions, or memory lapses due to stress.
  4. Insomnia: Persistent difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep linked to heightened stress.
  5. Racing Thoughts: Overthinking, racing thoughts, or an inability to quiet the mind.
  6. Changes in Appetite: Eating habits affected by stress, leading to overeating or undereating.
  7. Emotional Distress: Frequent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or unexplained crying spells.
  8. Decreased Motivation: A lack of enthusiasm or motivation for activities previously enjoyed.
  9. Social Withdrawal: Avoidance of social interactions or withdrawing from social activities.
  10. Increased Irritability: Heightened irritability, impatience, or a decreased tolerance level.

Recognizing these mental signs of stress is vital for managing its impact on mental health.

How to Deal with Stress

Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation focuses on the present moment, helping you tune into your senses and feelings without judgment. This practice fosters a sense of centering and body awareness, contributing to stress reduction.

Guided meditation incorporates breathing exercises, imagery, and relaxation techniques. The Mayo Clinic recognizes meditation's mental and physical benefits, including stress and anxiety relief, decreased inflammation, improved sleep, and reduced burnout.

Prioritize Regular Self-Care

Self-care isn't selfish; it's essential for your well-being. Avoid waiting until burnout forces a 'Mental Health Day.' Instead, make self-care a daily habit to sustain optimal mental health.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breaths trigger relaxation responses, reducing tension and cortisol levels. Try a simple exercise by inhaling and exhaling along your fingers, progressively counting for a calming effect.


Physical activity releases endorphins, elevating mood and reducing stress. Even short bursts of activity like a brisk walk can be beneficial for both mental and physical health.

Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating, also known as emotional eating, involves consuming food as a coping mechanism for managing stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions. While it may provide temporary comfort, it often leads to consuming unhealthy, high-calorie foods in excessive amounts. This behavior doesn't address the underlying stressors and can contribute to various health issues, including weight gain, poor digestion, and an unhealthy relationship with food.

How to Stop Stress Eating

Identify Triggers: Recognize what prompts stress eating. Stress, boredom, emotions, or habits might trigger this behavior. Awareness is the first step towards control.

Mindful Eating: Pay attention to hunger cues and emotions when eating. Mindfulness helps distinguish between true hunger and emotional triggers.

Healthy Alternatives: Substitute unhealthy snacks with nutritious options like fruits, veggies, or nuts. Having these readily available helps curb impulsive eating.

Create a Support System: Seek help from friends, family, or support groups. Talking to someone can alleviate stress and prevent emotional eating.

Plan and Prepare: Plan meals and snacks in advance to avoid impulsive eating. Having a structured eating routine aids in controlling emotional overeating.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage stress eating and promote healthier eating habits for improved well-being.

Next Health's Stress IV Therapy

Next Health offers IV Therapy options like the Stress IV, designed to alleviate stress, support adrenal function, and enhance mood. IV Therapy bypasses digestive limitations, delivering nutrients directly into your bloodstream.

Reserve Stress IV 


Whole-body Cryotherapy releases endorphins, aiding in stress reduction and potentially reducing anxiety levels. Reserve session now

Infrared LED Therapy

Next Health's advanced Infrared LED Bed activates energy levels, releases endorphins for mood enhancement, and aids in realigning circadian rhythms for improved sleep.

Prioritize your well-being with these stress-relieving techniques and therapies from Next Health. Start your journey to better stress management and overall health today.

More Stress-Related Questions?

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