Stress Management: What is Stress and How to Deal with it?
Stress is not something new. With so many triggers in our world today, it’s no doubt that life is full of stress. The question now is how do you manage your stress? How do you take care of your mental health and live your life fully despite the stress? In our post today, we’ll be talking all about stress management – how to recognize it, how to cope with it, and some tips to strike a balance. So keep reading!
Stress is a normal part of life and like everything else, there are many ways to deal with it. Before we go over the heart of this content, let’s first define what stress is and how to recognize one.
What is Stress?
Stress is our body’s physical response to whatever is happening in our surroundings. It is a normal reaction that the body has when changes happen, and our body responds to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Sometimes, stress can be positive as it can keep us alert and ready to avoid danger. But stress can also be negative when a person experiences continuous challenges without relief in between. This negative stress will result in overfatigue and tension, and this is what we have to deal with healthily.
Learn to Recognize Stress
The first step in stress management is acknowledging that it is ever-present in your life. Stress is manifested differently in each individual and we respond to it in many different ways. A person may feel angry or irritable, be sleepless and tired, or have headaches or upset stomachs.
There are many signs of stress and learning what yours are is the first step in learning how to manage stress. You will also need to identify your stressors, i.e. the situations that cause you stress. These could be family, friends, school, work, money, relationship, or health problems. Once you have determined and understood where your stress is coming from, you’ll be able to find ways to deal with it.
How NOT to Deal with Stress
While there are many ways to deal with stress, there are ways that are unhealthy and should be avoided. When we get stressed, there is a tendency that we resort to doing unhealthy behaviors to help us relax. Behaviors such as eating too much, cigarette smoking, alcohol or substance abuse, and/or sleeping too much or not sleeping at all. These habits may help you feel relaxed and better at first but they can be harmful in the long run. Avoid these behaviors and find healthier ways to reduce stress.
Deal With Stress the Healthy Way
There are healthy ways to cope with and manage stress. Here are a few stress management tips you can try, and see which ones work for you.
Recognize that there are things that you cannot change. There are certain things that you can’t change and the earlier you can accept that, the better you can let go of them and not get upset with them. A great example of this is being stuck in traffic whenever you are driving to and from work. You cannot change the fact that this will always be the rush hour, and there will always be traffic.
What you can change is your perspective and the way you react. You can look for ways to make your commute or drive a little bit more relaxing, like listening to an audiobook, music, or even a podcast. There are ways where you can make a stressful thing non-stressful.
Avoid getting into stressful situations. If and when you can, remove yourself from situations that may cause you stress. There are certain circumstances wherein you can walk away to avoid stress. For example, if social media stresses you out more than giving you good vibes, you can do a social media detox to stay away from it. Deactivate your Facebook account or delete your Twitter App, it’s up to you to take control of your life.
Sweat it out. Exercising is one of the best and easiest ways to deal with stress. When you do physical activities, your brain releases endorphins (aka happy hormones) that will make you feel good and trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercising will also help you release your frustrations and therefore relieve stress. There are a lot of ways to exercise, find something you enjoy like dancing, walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Do it regularly and you will certainly see an improvement!
Improve your perspective. This can be easier said than done, but this is not impossible. Change your outlook and try to develop a more positive attitude when you face challenges. Be more forward with how you feel and try to address the negative situations with positive thinking. It will be hard at first but you’ll get better in time with practice.
Do the things you enjoy. When you are stressed, one thing that can relieve you is by doing something you love. Read a book, bake cookies, write in your journal, watch your favorite TV series, talk to a friend, or learn a new hobby. Simple things will bring simple joys and that’s what you need when you feel stressed.
Find and learn new ways to relax. You can learn and practice new relaxation techniques to handle daily stress. These techniques will help you slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. From meditation to deep breathing to yoga, the possibilities are infinite. You can opt to take classes or self-learn from videos, books, and other online resources. This is definitely one way of stress management.
Find support with your loved ones. Don’t let your stress get in the way of socializing with people you genuinely like. Spend time with your friends and family, this will help you feel better in no time. Talk to them and share the problems you’re having. Confiding in people you trust will help you relieve the baggage you’ve been carrying.
Always ensure you get enough sleep. This advice may be overused but it’s one of the most helpful ways to deal with stress. Getting a full and good night’s sleep will be a tremendous help for your mind. It will help you have a clear mind and give you more energy to think things through. Having enough sleep will make it easier for you to handle the next day’s challenges. It’s recommended that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep so keep that in mind.
Maintain a balanced diet. Eating healthily will keep your body and mind fueled. Lessen your sugar intake and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Practice a balanced diet in every meal. You will get more energy and proper nutrition that will keep your body healthy.
Stress is always present in our lives and it’s up to us to cope with it. Just remember that there are a lot of healthy ways to battle stress. Don’t limit yourself with what you know. Find new ways to cope with stress and always keep a positive attitude in dealing with it.
Take control of your life and hopefully, the stress management tips listed above will be helpful to you.
If stress is still a rampant problem to you and the tips you’ve found are not enough, discuss this issue with a healthcare professional.