Understanding Stress Management
We all face stress in our lives whether at home or at work. The reasons behind our stress and the symptoms of our stress may vary from person to person. Yet one thing is common, if this stress is ignored, it can cause serious damage to our physical and mental health. A good way to do that is stress management.
Stress management refers to a variety of techniques and psychotherapies to help control and overcome stress to help improve our daily functions.
So what are some of the stress management techniques one can follow to help reduce stress?
Stress Management Techniques
Identify your stress. Recognizing and understanding your stress is one of the keys to successful stress management. It could be workplace related, exam, marriage, or any other stress. Once you reflect on the causes of your stress, you can identify your body’s response to the stress as well as the duration of the stress. This knowledge itself will help to manage and combat stress.
Take action. By actively taking action and trying to change the stressful situation, you can do yourself a world of good. Communicate with assertiveness and be clear about what might be bothering you. Avoid putting yourself in a stressful situation by saying “no” and take control of your environment if it’s causing stress. Something as simple as not following the news constantly during the COVID-19 outbreak can help you calm down. By proactively ensuring you aren’t in a stressful situation, you can feel much better.
Emotion-led relaxation. One of the most powerful emotions is happiness. Thinking about happy memories and positive affirmations boost the amount of endorphins you produce (a feel-good hormone) and curb the release of cortisol (a stress hormone). As a result, you reduce stress and balance your mind and body.
Visualize yourself on a beach, or on the mountains, or with your family and friends enjoying a comforting meal. These positive images will make you feel happy, relaxed. This will tell your brain that you are feeling better.
Meditation. Practicing meditation is a great way to manage stress, When you meditate, your mind and body will relax and you’ll get into a calmer and more stable state of mind. By staying in the moment, you can filter your thoughts, observe them and get rid of negativity. As a result, your stress would reduce. If you want to try meditating, but don’t know how to start, you can read up on how to meditate at home and how to get started with guided meditation.
Exercise regularly. A great way to cope with stress is physical activity. Exercising frequently can boost your mood and refresh you while being good for your health. When you exercise, your body releases more endorphins into your system and you feel great. It also serves as a great distraction to your stress, be it workplace stress, exam stress or any other stressors you may have.
Do something fun. A great way to relax after a stressful or tiring day is leisure time. In order to take some time to relax, you can watch some TV, go for a drive, play the guitar, read a book or do anything that gives you happiness and satisfaction. This is the time that’s reserved just for you and none of your responsibilities or duties can intrude into this time. It’s a great way to recharge the batteries and ensure your stress doesn’t tip over.
Maintain a proper diet. Always remember to eat well and sleep enough everyday. It’s extremely important for your health and for reducing stress. Eating healthy food gives your body a better chance of coping with stress. Eat meals on time and don’t skip meals, for that will stress you out even more. Make a mindful attempt at correcting it if you’ve been unable to eat on time. Start your day off right by eating a proper breakfast, so that allows you to be properly energized and tackle the day. Drinking plenty of water is also equally important, and this is a good way of combating stress.
Get your share of sleep. Getting proper sleep is integral to beating stress. Sleep recharges your mind and body, and helps set the tone for your day. The lesser you sleep, the more tired you will feel and that will lead to more stress. Get enough sleep every night and just switch off. There are various ways to sleep better for instance, meditation for sleep is an effective method. If you’re unable to sleep, you could reflect your food habits that create more restful sleep.
Breathing exercises for instant relief. If there is a sudden onset of stress due to traffic, a stressful meeting or a fight with someone, and you’re unable to manage it with the above points, a very simple stress management technique is breathing exercises. You could try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It offers quick stress relief and is simple. Get comfortable and inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts and exhale for 8 counts. It is quick, it manages stress instantly and it will balance your mind and body effectively.
The key to stress management and relief is to practice the above skills regularly for a happy and healthy life, not just for when stress boils over.
If you’re unable to overcome and manage your stress for a prolonged period, we recommend seeking professional help.