One of the first steps to managing stress is becoming aware of your stressors and how your distress manifests for you. The first step to managing stress is to discover the root causes of your stress, as the methods for managing stress are not effective if they do not deal with the root causes.
One key to taking effective action is helping teens to learn about what is causing stress in the first place. This is why learning techniques for managing stress is so crucial for teens health and happiness, both in the short term and long term. This fundamental understanding of the biology of stress provides the foundation to effectively coach our teens in managing stress.
Recognizing individual cues to your bodys stress response, and learning how to react to these cues in new ways, can help you build emotional, intellectual, and physical strengths that make up resilience, and can help you deal with stressors that come your way. A licensed counselor or other health care provider can help you look for ways to decrease your stress symptoms. Talk with a health professional if stress is impacting your wellbeing, if you do not feel like you are in control of the stress you are experiencing, or if stress has caused you to participate in or increase your substance use.
You may be able to find ways to manage stress by noticing when you are feeling stressed, taking time to unwind, exercising and eating healthily, and talking with friends and family. In fact, including an exercise routine, which may include yoga or meditation for some, may be really important when feeling stressed. For instance, taking deep breaths, stretching, going for walks, writing down thoughts, and taking some quiet time to concentrate may all contribute to relaxation and decrease tension. In addition to taking a proactive approach and having a positive attitude, you can decrease the stress in your life by carving out some “me” time.
Effective stress management helps you break the stranglehold that stress has over your life, so that you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. Stress management offers a number of strategies for dealing with the stresses and challenges (adversities) in your life in a more positive way. You can prevent or decrease stress by planning in advance, deciding what tasks you must tackle first, and setting yourself up to handle stressful events. Whether it is your personal life or professional, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
Excessive stress from constant challenges may put you over the edge of how well you can cope. When stress is frequent and intense, it strains your body, making you incapable of functioning. A person may be stressed for a variety of reasons, such as financial problems, the illness of a loved one, retirement, or an emotionally damaging event, such as a spouses death or being fired from a job. Feeling dissatisfied with how much time you spend working and ignoring other aspects of life due to work may increase your vulnerability to stress.
We mentioned earlier that moderate amounts of stress may help us function better under difficult circumstances,34 but excessive or long-term stress may cause physical problems. Stress may keep you more alert and can help you perform better in some situations.2 However, stress has only been found beneficial when it is brief. Increased levels of stress may, if not addressed soon enough, cause burnout or more serious mental health problems. Chronic stress may cause health problems, including serious conditions like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and depression.
While major stressors, such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, are easier to pinpoint, identifying chronic stress sources can be harder. In the first three parts of this series, we defined what stress is, distinguished good stress from bad (stress), and looked at stressor events that can potentially cause individuals stress.
Here, we want to begin, giving you a primer on what stress is, what are the signs of stress, simple steps that can be taken when feeling stressed, and providing practical tips for preventing stress, in order to demonstrate why we are excited to work toward a less stressed nation. Now, as we come full circle through the process of managing stress, I really hope that you learned a little bit more about stress and how you can manage stress effectively. While it might feel like you cannot do anything about the pressures you experience in your job and at home, there are steps that you can take to alleviate stress and take back control.
You can adjust to stressful situations and restore a sense of control by changing your expectations and attitudes. Instead of getting stressed about the many things in your life, focus on those things that you can control, like how you choose to respond to problems. Once you understand the source of your stress–relationship, kids, work load, health issues–you can sometimes lessen or avoid stress.
Stress is a normal part of life, but if it is not going away or getting worse, you might need help, either through telling friends and family or seeking professional help. April is National Stress Awareness Month – it is a great time to reflect on how this common condition can impact your life. The actions we take to feel better may be helping us to become stronger, or harming our health, happiness, and even relationships.
Nutrition is important because stress depletes some vitamins, like A, B-complex, C, and E. Maintaining good nutrition helps your body feel better, as does your mind, allowing for better coping with stress.
Reminding yourself of stresss evolutionary value may enhance your productivity and paradoxically decrease stress feelings, as you are not adding stress over stress to stress caused by the initial trigger. The purpose in identifying the different changes to our behaviors is to enable us to become more self-aware–aware of our individual triggers and/or when we are experiencing stress effects, so we can take action in a more positive way. Of course, having a friend nearby to rely on when feeling stressed is not always realistic, but building and maintaining a close-knit network of friends can increase your resilience to the stresses of life.