One out of three people report experiencing persistent stress and excessive anxiety on a daily basis. Stress is directly linked to sleep problems, like insomnia, which leads to fatigue. Fatigue and stress can significantly disrupt day-to-day life, affecting everything from personal relationships to the ability to carry out daily tasks. Additionally, if stress builds up, it can lead to more serious health concerns, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Keep reading to learn about how fatigue and stress can affect daily life and beneficial ways to manage them.
Fatigue and Stress
Fatigue and stress affect everyone differently, depending on lifestyle and genetics. For some, it is only a minor inconvenience, and for others, it can severely impact their day-to-day life.
Fatigue is defined by an overall feeling of weakness, exhaustion, and decreased energy levels. Fatigue occurs when the body has to work harder than usual to carry out everyday activities.
Stress is defined as a defense response to a threatening situation, causing a heightened sense of awareness. It can be helpful in small doses, but when it becomes excessive, it can cause health problems. Common symptoms that are caused by fatigue and stress include headaches, muscle pain, changes in appetite and sex drive, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
The following practices can help lower stress levels and reduce symptoms of fatigue.
Exercise. Studies have shown that exercising at least three times a week can increase energy levels by as much as 20%. Exercising regularly also provides other health benefits like reduced stress, improved moods, reduced pain, and more efficient body functions. Cycling, walking, and swimming are all good low-impact workouts that are easy to incorporate into a daily routine in order to fight fatigue.
Yoga. Yoga is an excellent relaxation technique that also improves flexibility, incorporates breathing exercises, calms the mind, and tones the muscles in a low-impact way. Yoga has been shown to significantly reduce stress and even help fight depression.
Massage. Getting a professional massage can be very beneficial for reducing anxiety and stress. Many masseuses also use calming music and aromatic candles to promote relaxation.
Sleep. Getting enough sleep every night is key to feeling your best during the day. The average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep every night.
Eat healthy. Try to include fiber and protein into your meals because whole grains provide physical energy, and the amino acids in proteins are necessary for nearly every function in the body.
Drink water. Staying properly hydrated can help keep you alert and prevent headaches. Try keeping a reusable water bottle around to remind you to drink often.
Herbal remedies. There are many beneficial herbs that can help fight fatigue and relieve stress. Ginseng and gingko are meant to boost energy, and chamomile and lemon balm provide soothing and sedative effects.
Fatigue and stress can disrupt day-to-day life in many different ways. Fatigue and stress can hinder the ability to concentrate, cause irritability and mood swings, and affect sleeping and eating patterns. It is important to try and manage these frustrating symptoms in order to stay healthy and happy. Exercising regularly, trying herbal remedies, and eating healthy can help prevent fatigue and stress.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Stress management: types of relaxation techniques. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=2
- Mayo Clinic Staff (2013). Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Self-help tips to fight fatigue. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/self-help-energy-tips.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Fatigue. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fatigue.html