Everyone experiences stress from time to time. When most people think of stress, the first thing that comes to mind is the feeling of emotional tension in the face of life’s challenges. But stress is much broader than that. It is the body’s natural response to anything that throws it out of balance. It has a physical response (sweaty skin and racing heart) and an emotional response (anxiety, excitement or depression) and can be caused by a variety of triggers, from “negative” events (big work deadlines) to “positive” ones. Physical activity or injury and the occurrence of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, or others (stimulant withdrawal).
Stress can actually be helpful in small doses, such as helping to meet a deadline or avoid danger, but chronic stress can negatively affect your health and well-being. This means that managing stress, so that it does not become chronic, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Fitbit Stress Management experience helps you develop a greater awareness of both your physical symptoms of stress and your mood, so you can begin to understand how your stress typically presents and what might trigger it. Plus, it helps you identify and focus on behaviors that can help reduce both your physical and emotional stress responses. Below are some common ways to manage stress or build resilience to future stressful events.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overreacting or being overwhelmed by what is happening around us. Meditation, as many of us know, is a way to practice and develop mindfulness. Engaging in a mindfulness meditation practice as short as ten minutes a day can help you bring present-moment focus and a sense of calm to the rest of your day. Read more posts on how to cultivate mindfulness here.
Practicing mindfulness can help you sleep better, improve resilience to stress, increase your ability to focus, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, meditation changes our brain and biology in positive ways, improving mental and physical health. Sustained mindfulness practice over time has been shown to change the way your brain responds to stress, enabling you to face challenges with greater calmness, clarity and focus.
How Fitbit can help: Set a weekly goal in the Fitbit app each week to practice mindfulness. Access a variety of mindfulness and meditation sessions from the Discover and Mindfulness section and track your progress. Bookmark your favorites for easy access to your favorite sessions
You can see how your HR (and EDA if applicable) changes throughout your session and reflects on your stress level. Depending on your Fitbit device, you can use the Relax app for guided breathing or the EDA Scan app to learn more about your body during a mindfulness or meditation session.
Identifying your mood can improve your understanding of what triggers your emotions. It can help reduce the intensity of your emotions in addition to the stress on your body from adverse experiences and help you control those emotions.
Said differently, taking a step back from feeling ‘stressed’ to truly process your feelings — anger, anxiety, tension — can help you reframe the situation in a way that puts you more in control. Mindfulness has been shown to help strengthen your brain and build resilience to future stress.
How Fitbit can help: Log your mood even after a mindfulness session. You can begin to identify trends to help you manage stress better. See how your moods change throughout the day and see if they correlate with your stress management score. You can identify trends that may influence your future behavior.
The positive effects of physical activity on both the mental and physical components of stress are exciting. As little as 10 minutes of exercise is enough to improve mood, and 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity can improve mood for up to 24 hours.
Exercise also helps fight depression and can be as effective as antidepressant medication. It also lowers stress hormones that are part of the body’s stress response and lowers blood pressure.
The effect of physical activity is interesting because it is actually a trigger for physical symptoms of stress in the short term, but it counteracts many of the factors that put long-term stress on our minds and bodies. In essence, it is believed to train the body to challenge itself through small bouts of stress to cope more effectively. It increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the release of hormones and chemical messengers such as endorphins, endocannabinoids and serotonin that stimulate brain function and improve our mood. Its beneficial effects extend beyond improving mood with improvements in alertness, cognition, memory, sleep and well-being. It boosts metabolism, reduces fatigue and fights inflammation.
How Fitbit can help: Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes (AZM’s) feature lets you track the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity you do, regardless of how you choose to exercise, because it uses the same definition for heart rate zones as the national guidelines for physical activity. .
Set goals to improve your AZM and challenge your friends with one of our games, take advantage of our variety of workout videos, or take advantage of our other physical activity features.
If walking is your exercise of choice, the news is good, because even a small amount of movement is good for your body, and your stress, then nothing. Even a short walk, such as 10 minutes, can improve mood.
It is not only the physical activity component of walking that provides benefits, but also the effect of being in nature, as the stress-reducing effect of walking in natural environments is greater than in urban areas.
How Fitbit can help: Track your steps with a Fitbit device or connect your mobile phone to the app Track steps. Set goals. Get reminders. You can also participate in walking challenges with friends and use the Reminder to Move feature to help break up periods of inactivity in your day.
21 percent of adults say they feel more stressed when they don’t get enough sleep. To get all the physical and mental benefits of sleep, experts recommend that most people prioritize at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep not only gives your mind and body a chance to rest and recover, but also allows your brain some time to disconnect and perform the necessary processes needed to work through life’s complexities and do some housekeeping to prepare you for the day ahead. helps the challenge
Even when it’s time to sleep, falling asleep can be challenging if you’re not physically and mentally prepared. It may be helpful to start by allowing a buffer at least an hour before your bedtime to get ready for bed. However, adding habits to your pre-bedtime routine that help calm the mind and calm the body can get you ready for sleep on time. If a racing mind is disrupting your sleep, you might consider trying a meditative practice, such as mindfulness or guided imagery, to help focus your mind and divert it from wandering. Conversely, if you’re feeling too energized to drift off, things like breathing exercises, sleep yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) can signal your body to know it’s time to rest.
How Fitbit can help: Check out the sleep section of the app to learn more about how you’re sleeping so you know where you can improve. Try meditation specifically designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Find out if noise or snoring is affecting your sleep quality so you can take steps to reduce its impact. Set bedtime reminders and use Smart Wake as a less jarring alarm clock.
Dietary patterns emphasizing whole foods (fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish) and minimizing processed foods and animal products are associated with lower risk of depression, anxiety, and stress.
However, stress can trigger our drive for comfort foods, including overly sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets like baked goods. Trying to balance these competing triggers can be difficult. Try to be aware of your eating habits and their relationship to stress so you can work on developing habits to maintain a healthy diet.
How Fitbit can help: Try food logging in the Fitbit app to learn more about your food choices and their nutritional value. For optimal physical and mental health, try to limit highly processed foods and focus on whole foods, including fruits and vegetables.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, changing your sleeping habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.