What Is Stress?
Stress can be defined as a physical, behavioural or mental pattern of how an individual reacts while undergoing abnormal pressure. A constant feeling of stress is triggered when there’s an imbalance between the demands placed upon a person and his ability to meet those demands. Over a period of time this can lead to severe health problems as well. In present day context, stress has turned out to be a common phenomenon especially amongst working professionals.
Why Stress Management Is Important?
High levels of stress can have a long-term effect on your physical health and can disturb the psychological and emotional equilibrium. It can put your entire well-being at risk, ruining your ability to comprehend clearly and function effectively. Proper stress management is necessary to get rid of the excess baggage of never-ending pressure so that you can enjoy a happy, healthy and productive life. In order to lead a balanced life, where there’s time for work, relationships, relaxation and meet challenges without overwhelmed by stress, it is very important to deal with and manage stress effectively. Stress management can often be a tedious process as you need to experiment and go through trials to find out what suits you best.
Common Symptoms Of Stress
- Mood swings and frequent temper issues
- Depression and anxiety
- Insomnia and irregular sleeping habits
- Dependence on alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs for relaxation
- Muscle tension leading to stiffness and pain
- Low self-esteem and low confidence
- Loss in concentration
- Feelings of nausea, fatigue or dizziness
- Panic attacks
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety?
1. Identify The Reason Behind Stress
- The initial step is to look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses that can help to recognize the source of your stress
- Check whether stress acts an integral part of your work life or home life
- Make a stress journal to keep track of incidents that might have triggered stress at a certain point of time
- Mention what was your initial response to stress and how you felt, both physically and emotionally
- Don't be so close to chemical waste in the environment as it damages the health.
- From workload to family issues, sometimes even a zit on your face may give you minor stress. Make sure to keep a record of repeating instances that made you anxious
2. Share The Feeling With Loved One
- It may be a trivial issue or a serious matter, always express your thoughts and feelings instead of bottling them up
- Communicating your concerns in an open and respectful way to someone you trust will take away the heaviness from your mind and provide a peaceful feeling
- Your loved ones will never betray you or abandon you. So, whatever might be bothering you, share it with them and you might get something positive out of it
- Connect with people and try to reach out to them in case you feel depressed or left out
- If the situation demands, join a support group or book an appointment with a therapist
3. Learn To Balance Situation
- All work and no plan can burn you out. So, the deal is to apply better time management techniques so that you can set aside your leisure time for relaxation.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle so that it can increase your resistance to stress. Eating right and getting adequate sleep will keep your mind and body rejuvenated
- Do not get caught up in a cycle of responsibilities. Make a to-do list and tackle each task on the basis of its significance and urgency.
- The act of laughing acts as a natural remedy against stress. Take time out of your busy schedule and opt for things that make you smile
4. Learn To Forgive
- Accept the fact that perfection is a myth and that people are bound to make mistakes.
- Get rid of the anger, resentments and stop worrying about situations that are beyond your control.
- Free yourself from such negative energies by forgiving yourself as well as others and move on.
- Practicing gratitude sand helping others is a simple strategy to help you keep things in perspective.
- Instead of always expecting from others, learn to compromise and do things for them.
5. Think Positive For Every Situation
- The power of positive thinking is something that needs to be experienced before you can truly believe and accept it
- If you get a gut feeling that something isn’t right or doesn’t appeal to you, learn to say ‘no’. Do not blindly follow if you get a negative vibe
- Think of the big picture and understand whether stressing over a particular situation is worthwhile.
- Try to shift your perspective and notice the positivity in every situation. While facing major challenges, think of them as opportunities for personal growth
How To Protect Yourself From Being Stressed?
1. Try To Change Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle can be a major cause of stress without being aware of it. A balanced lifestyle ensures stress-free, productive well-being where you have time for both work and fun. Scrutinize your daily schedule and detect what might be the possible reason for stress amongst your day to day activity. It might be getting late for work or the fear of socializing, look closely at any minute detail in your lifestyle and take control of it. Leave early for work if you need to be or put efforts to improve your self-confidence but, make sure you fight any stressor and change your daily habits before a petty concern turns into a crisis.
2. Eat Healthily
Consuming a well-balanced diet on a daily basis will keep your body and mind healthy in general. Lack of proper nourishment can make coping with stress a real difficult task. Never skip meals and start your day with the right breakfast. Add vegetables, fruits and whole grains to your regular meals and lean on proteins and vitamins for energy. This will ensure a significant change when you need to handle stress and get rid of random mood swings, keeping your mind clear and positive.Replace plastic with eco-friendly alternatives.
3. Do Exercise
Exercising is probably the last thing you want to do when you are stressed. But trust me when I say, any kind of physical activity is the ideal remedy to counter-attack stress. It more acts like a preventive measure as exercising releases endorphins that gives you a positive sensation and distracts you from your daily worries. Working out regularly for a minimum 30 minutes can help to relax your body and mind. You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym every day, rather swimming, jogging or playing any active sport serves the purpose as well.
4. Prioritize Tasks
The constant feeling of inability to complete a task can tempt you to avoid or cut back on all the healthy things and make you focus on the stress instead. An excellent stress management tip includes your efficiency in proper utilization and distribution of time. Before over-committing yourself, understand your potential first and prioritize activities as per their significance. Deal with things that need your immediate attention than worrying about subjects that aren’t as urgent. Make a list of duties you need to accomplish in a day and start with the high-priority items.
Yoga, meditation and deep breathing are calming techniques that activate the body’s relaxation response and set your mind into a state of tranquil restfulness. Practicing daily meditation helps to relax your muscles and release stress and tension. It recharges your body and sets your perspective in place so that you can take decisions with an open outlook and face challenges more efficiently. Meditation is possibly the most simple and convenient approach to manage stress in your life and gain a positive perception of stressful situations.
6. Drink Plenty Of Water
Sipping stress away with water is perhaps the ancient formula of stress management. Dehydration accounts as a direct trigger for stress because our organs, including our brains, require water to function appropriately. As per studies, dehydration increases the level of the stress hormone, cortisol that can make it difficult to handle stress. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day won’t magically solve all your problems, rather staying hydrated will make you better equipped to deal with them.
7. Listening To Music
Music is the contemporary stress buster as it has a unique link to our emotions. Listening to slow classical music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on your mind and body. It acts as a form of therapy for your psychological well-being. Music distracts you from your monotonous lifestyle and helps to burn away depression and anxiety. Singing (or shouting) along with music can also be a good way of releasing stress and tension.
8. Spend Time On Habits
It this fast pace life, we often forget to get some ‘me time’ and involve in activities and habits that make us happy. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes every day from your schedule and engage in relaxing hobbies like reading, knitting, painting, playing an instrument, doing an art project, playing cards or board games, watching movies, solving puzzles, writing or gardening. This will revive your body and mind and put you in a better place to handle life’s stressors.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is necessary for your body and mind to function well. Lack of sleep can make you feel irritated and tired, all through the day and magnify small issues to give you stress. Unfortunately, stress can disturb your regular sleeping pattern and lead to hyperactive brain functioning.Use essential oils to avoid a headache. Before relying on medication, try to opt for a simple change it sleeping habits and cut down the use of phones and laptops at night.
10. Avoid Alcohol Or Smoking
Alcohol and nicotine act as stimulants to increase your stress level rather than reducing it. When consumed in large proportion, they can make you depressed and anxious. It is up to no debate that the long-term effect of alcohol and smoking on our health is severely injurious.Therefore, try to avoid or at least reduce smoking and depending on alcoholic beverages to relax your nerves as it can only serve as a temporary distraction.
11. Reduce Sugar
Intake of refined sugar can result in energy crashes and mood shifts that can make you feel tired and ill-tempered. Cut down the consumption of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, desserts, savory foods and sugary snacks such as salad dressings and bread from your diet and notice how easy and relaxed you start to feel. This will keep your stress levels in check and let you peacefully sleep at night.
Author Name: Shreoshi Mitra
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