Stress is a part of our society that we all get to face daily. From work stress to caregiving stress, moving to a bigger home, gaining promotion, the death of a loved one, divorce, and a lot more, it has been weighing so much on the mental health of both young and old.
Long-term exposure to stress can have undesirable effects on the health of an individual. It may lead to medical conditions like a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. Stress may affect cognitive functions and make you less productive and less happy in life. The effect of stress is damaging to health, which is why it is important to learn about stress buffers to help manage stress better.
Studies have shown that stress buffers, including exercise, meditation, and social support can help to fight stress.
How Stress Buffers Fight Stress
While there has been more focus on how exercise helps to maintain physical health, it is important to know that exercise is a great buffer for stress and may help to downplay the effect of stress on the mind and body. Habitual exercise can reduce stress and can be especially helpful if stress has stripped off your ability to concentrate.
Exercise causes the production of endorphins, a hormone that acts as a painkiller and stress reliever. The production of this hormone helps you to sleep better and treats your stress and anxiety. Exercise as a stress buffer decreases your level of tension, improves your sleep, and elevates your mood.
Meditation has proven to be a great stress buffer, making it the most common reason why people engage in it. Meditation helps you to feel less stressed by releasing nerve-calming hormones into your bloodstream. It can also help reduce symptoms of stress-triggered medical conditions.
Meditation does to the body the opposite of stress. It triggers a body relaxation response that restores the body to a calm state. It can be a quick stress reliever to get your body out of stress. People who practice mindful meditation hardly break under pressure. They do not scream or shout at their employees or colleagues when stressed.
Meditation is a double dose of relaxation and calm. Meditating daily can help build resilience to stress.
A strong social support system can serve as a stress buffer. Studies have shown a positive correlation between the social support system and the ability to fight stress. A social support system can reduce the impact of a stressful event. For instance, the emotional breakdown from a divorce can create mental stress, while support from family and friends can help reduce the impact of the divorce. You get to share how you feel and get social support from others. This can take away your stress gradually until you no longer feel it again.
A social group can boost a positive reaction to shocking events that may stress your mental health. It can also be a buffer against depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.