Let’s face it: things don’t always go as planned. An unforeseen event can trigger a stress response that causes a cascade of negative emotions and feelings. It’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed now and then, but don’t let those feelings last too long or control you. When left unchecked, chronic stress can negatively impact your mental and physical health.
The body creates the “fight or flight” response during stressful times in order to prepare the body to fight off a threat or danger. Long-term activation of the sympathetic nervous system – and the subsequent overexposure of stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) – can take a toll on the body. Chronic stress can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, as well as cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke, to name a few. Excessive stress has even been linked to several ocular conditions, including: blurry vision, dry eyes, eye strain (asthenopia), eyelid twitching (myokymia), and central serous chorioretinopathy – a condition in which fluid accumulates under the retina, causing a serous (fluid-filled) detachment with subsequent central vision loss or distortion.
If you find that you're having trouble keeping your stress in check, try one of these 10 ways to quickly de-stress in 10 minutes:
10 WAYS TO DE-STRESS IN UNDER 10 MINUTES
1. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. In... and out... (and repeat).
2. Get moving. Go on a walk, run, or do a quick round of bodyweight exercises.
3. Spend time surrounded by nature. Take a walk in the woods, watch the clouds pass by, or go star-gazing.
4. Silence or turn off your phone and place it in another room, so you won't be distracted by notifications.
5. Listen to music. Sing along and dance if you want to.
6. Do something hands-on, like arts-and-crafts, a coloring book, or just let your mind wander and doodle freely.
7. Speak up about what is stressing you or write your thoughts down in a journal.
8. Have a cuddle or hug session with your loved one.
9. Spend time with your pet (plants and pet rocks count, too).
10. Cook or mindfully snack on something you enjoy.
I hope this simple list helps you have a wonderful and stress-free week ahead!
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