There are both good and bad sides to stress. As Health explained, on the one hand, our fight-or-flight response makes us smarter and more focused. It can also boost productivity levels and help us withstand extreme anxiety.
However, when not managed appropriately, stress can have detrimental consequences - it has been linked to health problems ranging from heart disease to weight gain. It's important, then, to be prepared to control this inevitable facet of life when it surfaces, and a relaxing home and backyard can help.
The dangers of stress
Stress's negative side effects hardly stop at cardiovascular conditions and weight fluctuations. According to the HelpGuide, chronic stress comes with a laundry list of complications. It may cause impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, poor judgment and incessant worrying. Stress can also wreak havoc on your emotions, leading to feelings of loneliness, agitation, irritability and sadness - anything but positive!
Not only do these emotional and cognitive outcomes take a toll on your mental health, but they can also strain relationships. Imagine if you snapped in anger every time your kids did something bad. Consider what would happen if you couldn't focus on a conversation with your spouse, making it seem like you were uninterested in what he or she was saying.
A growing body of research has demonstrated that mental health conditions like chronic stress affect far more than the mind. The American Psychological Association highlighted how this mental health condition impacts just about every part of the body. In the respiratory system, stress makes breathing difficult and can lead to hyperventilation. Meanwhile, it also takes a major toll along the digestive tract, leading to ulcers, nausea and general pain - your stomach is known as "the second brain," after all.
Physical manifestations of stress can lead to the emotional side effects like irritability, thus causing relationship hiccups. The pain can also stop you from enjoying your life overall. For instance, you may not want to leave your room if you're dealing with stress-related stomach pain. Similarly, general discomfort may keep you from staying active with your kids.
Stress can put your heart health at risk
How to live stress free with a well-designed backyard
While it's important to eliminate major stressors, perhaps cutting back on work hours or settling a feud with a friend, that's not always possible. For instance, you may be constantly worrying about an ill family member - a condition that you have no control over. In these circumstances, stress management is key.
Socialize with friends
According to the Mayo Clinic, spending time with family and friends is an effective stress-management tactic. By maintaining these important relationships, you always have someone with whom you can talk, share wins and losses and - most importantly - relax.
Having an entertainment-ready backyard provides more opportunities to get together with friends. Include amenities that are ideal for group activities. For instance, a barbecue island lets you cook up burgers for an entire neighborhood. Including a TV on your custom patio means you can invite your buddies over to watch the big game. Even just having nicely paved surfaces and a lush green lawn makes it easier to have folks over on a whim because you'll always have a beautiful space to show off.
"Engaging in hobbies like reading is a great way to unwind."
Take time to relax
The Mayo Clinic also noted that engaging in hobbies like reading is a great way to unwind. Carving out some "me time" during the day to participate in a fun activity serves as a nice distraction from worries, too. However, that's hard to do that when your yard has no place to sit or is just too cluttered to look at.
It only takes a few additions and to turn your backyard into an oasis. Incorporate a fountain so you can relax to the sounds of a waterfall. Create seating by including a gazebo or just setting up outdoor furniture on the patio.
The National Institutes of Health highlighted the stress-relieving benefits of physical activity, noting it releases neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness. Instead of buying a gym membership or running through your neighborhood, exercise in your own backyard.
Of course, this is challenging if your yard is filled with puddles of mud or general clutter. Landscaping options like turf installation guarantee a soft, lush surface all year-round. So once your grass is in order, roll out the yoga mat and practice your tai chi moves.