Whether it is a hectic work schedule or dealing with a failing relationship, we all have felt stressful at one point or another in our lives.
Stress is our physiological and psychological response to something that is perceived as threatening in the environment. It serves a survival function. It is because of stress that we run away from a lion or slow down our car’s speed at an intersection.
While stress in moderate amounts can be good, it is when it starts affecting daily life that things become problematic.
Symptoms of Stress
According to WebMD, the reaction that occurs when in a stressful situation is called ‘Fight or Flight’. Here are some physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of stress:
- Low levels of energy
- Increased heart rate
- Nervousness and shaking
- Constant headaches
- Being moody and getting easily frustrated
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling worthless and depressed
- Having difficulty in relaxing
- Avoiding others
- Increased tendency to procrastinate
- Changes in appetite – eating too much or too little
- Showing signs of nervousness, such as nail biting and fidgeting
Stress Management – Why Is It Important
As mentioned above, stress can have a huge impact on your life including your emotional and physical wellbeing. It can hamper your ability to think clearly and enjoy life to its fullest.
Living a stressful life means putting your happiness and wellbeing at risk. It is very important that you learn to cope with it. Stress management is about taking control of your life. It is about garnering the energy to deal with what life throws at you and finding ways to have a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Some Healthy Stress Coping Tips
When it comes to stress management, one-size-fits-all approach does not seem to work. Here are some tips that can help you cope with stress in a better way:
· Identify the Sources of Stress
Surely, the first step in dealing with stress would be to identify the root cause of it. Identifying major stressors, such as changing job or going through a divorce is easy. However, figuring out sources of chronic stress can be quite difficult.
It is very easy to ignore how your everyday thoughts, feelings and behaviors can be contributing towards stress.
For instance, you might be stressed out about the next presentation that you have to deliver. However, the problem might not be hectic demands from work, but your own tendency to procrastinate and prepare at the last moment.
It takes incredible self-awareness to figure out the true source of stress. However, once you do that, it can help great deal in managing it.
· Get Insight into Your Coping Strategies and Replace Unhealthy Ones with Healthy Ones
Once you start learning more about your stress, you become aware of how you are dealing with it. Some of the unhealthy ways in which you might be dealing with stress can include smoking, drugs, alcohol, sleeping too much, eating too much, procrastinating, and so on.
If you think you are dealing with stress in unproductive ways, you might need to change your approach. Some of the healthy approaches to dealing with stress can include meditation, exercise, reading, and going out in nature among many others.
· Engage in Some Form of Physical Activity
When feeling all stressed out, you do not feel like engaging in any physical activity. However, doing that would be an incredible approach.
Engaging in physical activity does not mean that you spend hours in the gym. Walking or mild exercise will do the trick. What these activities do is that they release endorphins that make you feel good. Moreover, they can also serve as distractions from the daily hassles of life.
Here are some other tips to help you get up and moving:
- If you do not feel like going out, put on some of your favorite music and start dancing.
- If you have a dog, take him out for a walk.
- Find an exercise partner and join a gym.
- If you are going to the grocery store, walk or cycle instead of going in a car.
· Find Ways to Connect With Others
Connecting with another human being at a deeper level can be a calming experience. With someone to talk to about stuff, you feel comfortable and get perspective of another person.
Face-to-face interaction also releases hormones that can help you feel better. The people you connect with can be anybody from friends to family members. Also, it’s not necessary that they know the solution; good listening skills will do just fine.
Having a supportive network of people who care about you can be great for your overall wellbeing.
· Engage in Fun Activities
In the midst of all the hassles of daily life, it can become very difficult to engage in some ‘me-time’. Taking time out for fun activities can be a great stress-reliever.
At least once in a week, take some time out for yourself and have fun. From playing a piano to going shopping, there are many activities that you will find enjoyable.
· Keep a Stress Journal
Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can give insights on your stressful situation. As you keep writing every day, you will realize that there are patterns and themes.
It will help you see the situation from a new light. What’s more, you will figure out some useful strategies for dealing with stress more productively.
· Focus on Maintaining an Overall Healthy Lifestyle
Stress management does not just mean dealing with the stressor; it also involves adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure you prepare a healthy daily diet plan and follow it. Also, engage in mindful eating – that is, being aware of what you are eating and how that is making you feel.
Get rid of caffeine and sugar from your daily diet. Also, avoid eating too many chocolates and snacks.
Finally, make sure that you are getting enough sleep.
Comfort Zone Trap is a website dedicated to the psychological and physical wellbeing of people. From stress coping strategies to self improvement techniques, our website contains a wealth of useful resources for people looking to change their lives for the better.