Effective stress management helps you to release the grip that stress has over your life, allowing you to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. While we cannot always control the stress that comes our way in our lives, we can control how we handle it and respond to it. It is not always possible to avoid a stressful situation or to avoid the issue, but you can make an effort to lessen the amount of stress that you are feeling.
While nobody can escape all the stress, you can try to deal with stress in a healthier manner that increases your chances of recovery. Whether you had a rough day at work, or are feeling stressed out by how much you have to do, these strategies can provide some immediate relief from your stress. In the privacy of your own home, there are a number of stress-relieving strategies that can help you to quickly unwind.
There is not much that you can do to prevent stress, but there are plenty of things that you can do to handle it more effectively, like learning to relax, getting regular exercise, and implementing good time-management techniques. There are simple things you can do to modify the common life problems that can trigger stress, or that cause stress to become an issue. Instead of getting stressed about a lot of things in your life, focus on what you can control, like how you choose to respond to problems. Assess if it is possible for you to change the situations causing your stress, maybe by taking off some responsibilities, relaxing your standards, or asking for help.
If you are feeling stressed, whether it is from work or something more personal, the first step toward feeling better is identifying the cause. While it might feel like you cannot do anything about the pressures of work and home, there are steps you can take to reduce stress and take back control. Stress causes all sorts of negative physical and emotional consequences, but there is a growing body of research into simple stress-management techniques that may prevent or lessen negative side effects, and may help to improve our quality of life and our overall well-being. Whether you are going for an interview at work, or feeling overloaded with the behaviors your kids are acting out at the playground, it is important to have a few stress-reducing tools that you can use to help lower stress now.
Some tips may be effective immediately, but if your stress levels seem to not be improving, then more focus and/or changes in lifestyle might be needed. Being more aware of stresss effects can help an individual handle stress more effectively and better deal with it.
When you are continually reacting to stressful situations without making adjustments to counteract the effects, you are going to experience stress, and this may be threatening your health and wellbeing. You might feel threatened or frustrated in such situations, and your body might trigger the stress response. Some people may experience multiple stressors consecutively or simultaneously, and it does not cause an extreme stress response.
You may also experience stress when you are worried about things such as your job, money, relationships, or a friend or family member that is sick or experiencing crisis. When you are feeling stressed, this may interfere with coping with the myriad demands in life, or even impact all you do. Sometimes, we may feel particularly stressed about an unfortunate interaction we had with someone, overwork, or daily nuisances such as getting stuck in traffic. Mental health conditions such as depression, or an increasing sense of frustration, unfairness, and anxiety, may cause some people to experience stress more easily than others.
Increased levels of stress may, if not addressed soon enough, result in burnout or more serious mental health problems. Repeated instances of acute stress for a long time may become chronic and damaging. Chronic stress may become a part of a persons identity, making them permanently susceptible to stress effects no matter what scenarios they are faced with. Because individuals react to stressful circumstances in different ways, one scenario that a person may find bearable may be the source of chronic stress for another.
What is stressful to one person might be less so to another, and virtually any event could potentially trigger stress. The short answer is stress is the unpleasant feeling of being under pressure, and it can be experienced either physically, emotionally, or as a general sense of anxiety or irritation. You may see stress as something that is doing damage to your body (and it may), or it may be something that is giving you strength and energy to push through hardship. Acute stress can be extremely painful, but it passes quickly and usually responds well to coping techniques such as breathing deeply or engaging in vigorous physical activity.
Exercise does not make stress go away, but it does decrease some of the emotional intensity that you are feeling, clearing up your thoughts, and allowing you to tackle problems in a more peaceful way.
Meditation and mindfulness takes practice, but can have a major impact on your overall stress levels. Cognitive-behavioral therapies (this is the kind of therapy that works by helping you to realize how your thoughts and actions can impact how you feel) and Mindfulness-based approaches are known for helping reduce stress.
When stress is frequent and intense, it puts strain on your body and makes you function less well. How your body reacts to stress and responds can be good when it is short-term (like helping you to weave through that huge pothole on the highway, or finishing that last-minute paper), but prolonged stress takes its toll on your body and your mind. Add in the fact that we have trouble making good decisions when we are feeling overwhelmed by stress at that exact moment, and the results can seem overwhelming.
By leaning in to our stress a little, trying to get a better understanding of where it is coming from and how we can manage it effectively, we can avoid some negative consequences down the road. Here, we want to get started, giving you a primer on what stress is, what are the signs of stress, simple steps that you can take when feeling stressed, and providing actionable tips for preventing stress, in order to demonstrate why we are excited to work toward a less stressed country.