Sress - How to manage stress?

Stress has become a part of our busy every day  life.  Dealing with stress or managing stress well is important to our mental, emotional and psychological health.  Stress is pressure exerted from external sources that has a bearing on the internal aspects of your life.  Stress is a personalised way of how you react to overload of pressure in life.  Stress by itself is not bad. Stress or pressure can produce some fine results if it is well within a limit.

 Stress symptoms

stress - handle it now

Stress can cause physical problems like headaches, back aches, digestive problems, heart problems, skin allergies, disturbance in sleep, can also psychological problems like depression, anxiety, restlessness and it can bring your immunity down to a large extent.  The amount of damage stress can cause is the reason why we need to learn how to control or handle stress effectively.  Every person’s threshold of handling stress is very different from the other.  Some people thrive in stressful situations, while others just bend and break even with a little stress.  You need to be able to cope with stress in healthy way in order to be able to function at your optimal level. 

Tips for coping with stress 

Deal with your emotions Ignoring them or pushing it down only aggravates the problem. Find ways and means of expressing yourself.  If you cannot find a trust worthy person to speak to, learn to journal or write about your problem.  This makes you look at it from a different perspective, throws a better light on the issue and gives you a better understanding of your problem and throws up different solutions. 

To deal with your emotions effectively you need to know when you need to let go, ignore or just laugh it off.  Personalising the comments and opinions of others, especially those who are highly critical could land you in a great deal of stress.  You need to accept critical comments as suggestions for self improvement. If you can take it in a positive way, most of the stress that you face can be avoided. 

Listen to your body – You need to learn to listen to what your body is telling you. If your breathing is fast, you are palpitating or sweating you need to understand that your body is on high alert.  You need to calm down, take slow breaths, hold it for a while and relax as you exhale. This calms down your body, if you learn to do it properly. 

Assess how much you can handle – Very often people are unable to say ‘no’ and have too much on their plates which becomes a source of stress.  You need to be realistic and take up only what you can handle. Learning to be assertive and learning to say ‘no’ would help.  Be realistic about how much can do and what you can achieve.

Take charge over your life – Your level of confidence and self worth shows how much control you have over your life.  Your attitude towards challenges determines your control over stressful factors in your life. When you are confident you feel that you can handle the situationwith ease.

Prioritize – Tackle those tasks that are high on your list of priority.  Plan and organise your life around these.  Prepare yourself accordingly so that you know how much you have to achieve within a time period.  Lack of proper planning and prioritizing can cause much stress as you are trying to deal with too many things at a time.

Plan to handle your tasks  Planned activity is more organized and is better directed than unplanned activity. When you have contingency plans in place you do not feel so stressed out, you just move forward because you have already anticipated the road block in the first place.

Find support – When you have a strong network of people who are supportive and helpful, half your problems are solved.  Having mentors help you face stress at work much more easily because they can share with you their personal experiences and no one is free from stress. 

Be prepared for the worst – Being realistic in your preparation brings down your stress level to a large extent.  You need to be realistic about timeframes, performance levels and your ability.  Being prepared for major life changes can to a large extent reduce anxiety and stress. 

Think positive – Make sure that you think positive.  Negative thinking cuts down your energy levels and your ability to perform.  Negative talk and pessimism becomes a dampener on your performance.  Avoid all of these and learn to think and speak positively. 

Learn to give – It is very important that we do not focus on ourselves all the time.  When we make time to give and help others we find a great deal of satisfaction and an outlet for our emotions.  We also learn to understand that there are people who are much less privileged than us. 

Develop hobbies and use your creativity – Hobbies provide an outlet for your creative ability.  This gives you a sense of satisfaction and pride about what you can do.  When you feel good about your achievements, you start feeling good about yourself and feel more confident about handling stressful situations. 

Take care of your emotional health - It will be a good thing to invest in your emotional health.  We spend so much money on our physical health but hardly pay attention to what our feelings and mind are saying to us.  Take time to meditate, exercise and relax every day.  This could be a great stress leveller. 

Learn to relax – Take time off to relax and rest.   You need to program it into your activities.  Your body and mind need rest.  You can learn to relax between a hard schedule by taking a walk or just closing your eyes and meditating on positive things.

When you handle stress effectively, you will find yourself more relaxed, able to enjoy what you do and you would be in a better frame of mind to handle the stressors in your life.  Handling stress is all about being in control.  Effective stress management can boost your productivity levels, enhance relationships and make you open to learning new things.  It will be worth your time learning how to handle stress instead of constantly being in a  fight or flight mode.