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Coping with Stress: Reduce and Relieve Stress

Coping with Stress

Stress is a common problem that affects many people in different ways. It can have negative impacts on your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as your relationships, work, and happiness. While some of the common causes of stress are well-known, such as money, work, family, or health issues, some surprising factors can trigger or worsen your stress levels. In this blog post, we will explore some of these hidden causes of stress and how you can cope with them using some unconventional self-care techniques that you may not have heard of before.

What are some surprising causes of stress?

According to various sources, some of the surprising causes of stress include:

  • Poor foot biomechanics. Your feet are the foundation of your body, and they affect how you move, balance, and posture. If your feet are not functioning properly, they can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your legs, hips, back, and neck. This can also affect your mood, energy, and sleep quality. Some of the factors that can contribute to poor foot biomechanics are wearing ill-fitting or hard-soled shoes, walking on flat or uneven surfaces, or having foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, or plantar fasciitis.
  • Nighttime eating. Eating late at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is the natural cycle of your body’s sleep and wakefulness. When you eat at night, your body interprets the incoming calories as a signal to stay awake and alert, and it produces hormones that keep you energized. This can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and it can also affect your metabolism, digestion, and appetite. Lack of sleep can then lead to more stress, as well as other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
  • Other people’s stress. Stress can be contagious, according to a study that found that observing someone else performing a stressful task can increase your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This phenomenon is called empathic stress, and it can occur when you witness someone you know or care about experiencing a traumatic event, such as a car accident, a chronic illness, or a violent attack. You may also feel stressed when you see someone suffering from war, famine, or disease in the news or on social media. This can make you worry about your safety and well-being, as well as the state of the world.
  • Social media. While social media can be a great way to connect with others, share information, and express yourself, it can also be a source of stress for many reasons. Some of the negative effects of social media include: comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate, jealous, or insecure; exposing yourself to cyberbullying, trolling, or harassment; losing your privacy and personal data; wasting your time and attention; and experiencing information overload, fake news, or negativity.
  • Your expectations. Having high expectations of yourself and others can be a good thing, as it can motivate you to achieve your goals and improve your performance. However, when your expectations are unrealistic, perfectionist, or rigid, they can also cause you a lot of stress and frustration. This is because you may set yourself up for failure, disappointment, or rejection, and you may also put too much pressure on yourself and others. You may also miss out on the joy and satisfaction of the present moment, as you are always focused on the future or the past.

What are some unconventional self-care techniques?

Self-care is the practice of taking care of your own needs and well-being, especially when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burned out. Self-care can help you cope with stress, improve your mood, boost your immune system, and enhance your quality of life. While there are many conventional ways to practice self-care, such as eating well, exercising, meditating, or getting enough sleep, there are also some unconventional methods that you may not have tried before. Here are some examples of unconventional self-care techniques:

  • Walk barefoot. Walking barefoot, also known as earthing or grounding, is a simple way to reconnect with nature and stimulate your feet. Your feet have thousands of nerve endings and reflex points that correspond to different parts of your body and organs. When you walk barefoot on natural surfaces, such as grass, soil, or sand, you activate these points and improve your blood circulation, balance, and posture. You also expose yourself to the negative ions and electromagnetic fields of the earth, which can help reduce inflammation, pain, and stress in your body.
  • Give up being right. Being right can feel good, especially when you are arguing with someone wrong, ignorant, or unreasonable. However, being right can also be stressful, especially when it comes at the cost of your peace, happiness, or relationships. Sometimes, it is better to let go of your need to be right and agree to disagree, or even admit that you are wrong or don’t know. This can help you reduce your stress, avoid conflicts, and improve your communication and understanding with others.
  • Do it your way. One of the best ways to practice self-care is to do what makes you happy, regardless of what others think, say, or expect. This means following your passions, interests, and values, and expressing your personality, style, and creativity. Doing it your way can help you boost your self-esteem, confidence, and authenticity, and it can also make you more attractive, inspiring, and influential to others.
  • Embrace margin. Margin is the space between your load and your limit, or the gap between what you have to do and what you can do. Having a margin in your life can help you reduce your stress, increase your productivity, and enhance your well-being. To create margin, you need to prioritize your tasks, delegate or eliminate the unimportant ones, and set boundaries and limits for yourself and others. You also need to schedule some downtime, rest, and fun in your daily and weekly routine, and be flexible and adaptable to changes and challenges.
  • Throw away your scale. Your weight is just a number, and it does not define your worth, health, or happiness. Obsessing your weight can be harmful to your self-image, self-esteem, and mental health, and it can also lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, or other issues. Instead of weighing yourself every day or week, focus on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how your body functions. You can also measure your health and fitness by other indicators, such as your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, or heart rate.


  • Q: What is stress and how does it affect me?
  • A: Stress is the body’s natural response to any demand or challenge that requires you to adapt or change. Stress can be positive or negative, depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the stressor, and your perception, coping skills, and resources. Some of the common effects of stress include increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and muscle tension; decreased digestion, immunity, and growth; and changes in mood, behavior, and cognition.
  • Q: How can I tell if I am stressed?
  • A: Some of the signs and symptoms of stress include: headaches, stomachaches, chest pain, or fatigue; insomnia, nightmares, or sleep problems; anxiety, irritability, anger, or depression; difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; overeating, undereating, or craving unhealthy foods; smoking, drinking, or using drugs; withdrawing from others, losing interest, or feeling lonely; and having low self-esteem, confidence, or motivation.
  • Q: How can I manage my stress better?
  • A: There are many ways to manage your stress better, such as: identifying and avoiding or reducing the sources of your stress; changing your attitude and perspective towards the stressors; seeking support and help from others, such as friends, family, or professionals; practicing relaxation techniques, such as breathing, meditation, yoga, or massage; engaging in physical activities, such as walking, running, swimming, or dancing; pursuing hobbies and interests, such as reading, writing, painting, or gardening; and taking care of yourself, such as eating well, sleeping well, and having fun.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and learned something new. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to share them with me. Thank you for your time and attention. Have a great day!

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