The big causes of stress and anxiety are generally easy to identify, and can be anything from relationship problems, to money issues and poor health.
However, what many of us fail to realise is, there may be several other stressors we encounter on a daily basis that are secretly ramping up our stress levels.
Mild stressors have been shown to pose long-term hindrance to our health, and they can even lower our tolerance for more severe stressors like pain and injury.
So to help you pinpoint the mild stressors in your life, we have outlined the most common ones and how to outsmart them:
Evidence shows going to bed late means you are more likely to experience constant worry, negative thoughts, and overall low mood – regardless of how many hours of sleep you get. Adults and teenagers who identify as ‘night owls’ also report feeling more pessimism and depressive symptoms than those who consider themselves ‘early birds’.
If you struggle to get to sleep early, the National Sleep Foundation recommends winding down and preparing for bed at least two hours before you plan on falling asleep. This means switching off all technology and spending time relaxing. Stick to this routine and your body will learn to start winding down at a certain time each night.
Deceitful behaviour is thought to interfere with our mental and physical well-being, but this doesn’t mean you should start confessing in order to relieve built-up anxiety and stress. Holistic psychotherapist, Victoria Lorient-Faibish says:
“Many people with a history of lying struggle with fantasies of confession, but they often fail to realise that coming clean might make things worse.”
Victoria recommends coming clean to someone you trust who will not judge, or put any pressure on you.
In an attempt to hold off fatigue during the day, many of us overload on caffeine without even realising. Consuming too much can intensify anxiety, adrenaline, cortisol and blood pressure. This makes us more sensitive to everyday stressors and affects our ability to sleep. To avoid this, stick to one or two cups of coffee a day and be mindful of other foods/drinks that contain caffeine such as soft drinks and chocolate.
Every day we are bombarded with intrusive noises such as traffic, car horns and babies crying, and these can trigger the body’s cortisol response – leading to increased stress and anxiety. If you feel like you cannot control noisy interruptions in your everyday life, the worse they will affect you.
To protect your health as much as possible from intrusive noise, consider sound proofing your home with large, heavy textiles such as wood, thick carpets and rugs that absorb sound. You can also try drowning out stressful noises by playing calming relaxing music and meditation sequences that will help to stem stress hormones and relax your mind and body.