It is not easy to decipher how not to get stressed, as stress is a part of life. Stress is the wearing down of our mental and physical being as we continue to find reassuring ways to cope with the constant change in our environment.
People often think of stress as being related to work, household chores, illness and trying to beat rush hour traffic – which is not wrong – but it is something more. There are a number of stress triggers, but stress is the body’s internal reaction to fight or flight in the presence of adversity.
In simple biological terms, stress is the state of heightened arousal necessary for the human body to defend itself against clear and present danger. Whenever we feel anxious, angry, tired, scared, happy, excited, sad or fearful, we are suffering from stress.
From small challenges to big problems, stress is an acceptable and unavoidable pressure of human life. Stress is normal until we are unable to control and cope with the overwhelming effect that stress becomes a problem.
Three out of four American adults suffer from stress, or about 77% of the population. Stress is caused by anything from the economy, work, home, children, illnesses, etc.
Types of stress
In order to learn how not to get stressed, one must understand the types of stress and how it is fostered in life. The causes of stress (stressors) are varied and multiple, but I group them into two sectors.
These are external triggers that affect your immediate ability to maintain concentration or composure. They are:
- Physical environment – confined spaces, light, noise, heat, heat, brightness and even darkness
- Organizational – rules, regulations, deadlines, office gossip, work pressure, etc.
- Social interaction: bullying, bossiness, inconsideration, harassment, aggressiveness (general human behavior towards you)
- Life crises: death, relocation, new baby, marriage, job loss, divorce, etc.
- Everyday problems: delayed bus, lost car or house keys, mechanical breakdown, etc.
Internal stress factors
These are stress factors that emanate from our thoughts, our mindset and our attitude. For example:
- Your lifestyle – not getting enough sleep, having a busy schedule, consuming caffeine or alcohol.
- Negative thoughts – pessimism, self-criticism, overthinking, feeling inadequate.
- Mental traps – being overly personal about issues, unrealistic expectations, exaggerated or rigid mindset, etc.
- Personality traits – workaholic, OCD, perfectionist, etc.
These factors contribute greatly to mental and physical stress that leads to fear, anger, unforgiveness and depression.
Stress and You
Considering stress as an ailment of modernity and technology is misinformed. Yes, our fast-paced lives and lifestyles are stressful, exhausting and under relentless pressure. But we have actually created these triggers on our own. This is due to a desire for intense competitiveness and to keep up with our peers. Stress is different for each individual, even if they are in the same situation.
For example, a couple going through a bitter divorce will see the man having fun while the woman suffers bouts of emotional ups and downs. What is distressing to you may be nothing to another.
Take this example: a man works effectively in the comfort of his home, but finds teamwork or office work stressful and overwhelming.
It is necessary to know that most of the stresses we experience are self-generated and self-induced. How we perceive (life) – whether a situation is threatening, sad or happy – depends on how we see ourselves. The ability to recognize the stress we create is the first step in preventing it.
Symptoms of stress
Excessive, prolonged and denial of the existence of stress in our lives is detrimental and affects our wholeness and, if unresolved, results in a sense of fear, anger, frustration and depression.
Stress contributes to simple illnesses such as headaches, skin diseases, ulcers, insomnia and digestive problems. In severe cases, stress can lead to suicidal thoughts and death. Below are the symptoms of stress grouped into four categories.
- Change in sleep pattern for no obvious reason
- Unstable digestive system leading to diarrhea and inability to keep food down
- Low sexual libido
- Headaches and body aches
- Dizziness, unnecessary sweating and fainting sensations
- Palpitations, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or absence of heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory lapses
- Fear/panic attack
- Behavioral symptoms
- Eating and appetite disturbance
- Increased smoking and alcohol use
- Restlessness, restlessness, and nail biting
- Easily irritated
- Anger, rage, easy crying
- Deterioration of hygiene habits and appearance
The main stress triggers are lack of financial stability, job security, family responsibility, personal relationship, health problems and safety. Now that we have managed to classify stress, it is time to recognize the stress you are suffering from and choose a simple technique to manage it.
Remember that stress can be managed, allowing you to live a full life.
10 stress management techniques
The most common stress management techniques are eating right, exercise, yoga and meditation. However, some types of stress go beyond these four techniques, so we will try to list as many as possible to help you overcome that stressful situation.
These are a set of simple but effective techniques to help people identify, understand and effectively deal with the stress in their lives to minimize its impact.
Changing your perspective
how many times have you replayed in your head a negative situation and outcome that never happens? We are all human and, as crazy as it sounds, negativity is more appealing and creative than positive things. However, stress is linked to negativity and our inability to break free from it.
Changing your perspective is not as simple as ABC. However, you can start by analyzing the feeling, eliminating all the exaggerated parts, picking out the truth (be honest here) and discarding the rest. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Now, take the truth and work on it from a positive angle. You will immediately feel less stressed, disoriented and angry. It will take you some time, but never judge an issue from an exaggerated point of view.
Create a journal
A shared problem is half solved. While we can’t all go around telling our problems to others, one effective way to share and solve them is to write a journal. There is nothing difficult about journaling: just write down the events of the day and how they have made you feel.
Stress takes away our clarity, concentration and awareness of our immediate surroundings. Well, journaling gives us all that back. When you write down your feelings, you can identify, understand and cope with them better than if you replay them in your head. It allows you to separate your feelings, accurately define the emotion and connect with your inner aura for greater clarity.
Stress detracts from peace and stability in your life. Buddhists, Hindus and Taoists hold breathing in high regard, believing it to be a system for reintroducing peace into a troubled soul.
Conscious breathing is a breath that comes from the pit of the stomach. It is a deep, consistent breath that relieves stress and calms you.
Mindful breathing can be done in any way in two simple steps:
- Inhale air gently to fill the lungs and stomach while slowly counting to 3 or 5 through the nose.
- Hold the breath for a second or two and exhale gradually while counting from 1 to 5
Repeat this as many times as possible until you feel your energy returning. As you exhale, imagine that you are expelling stress and tension.
Positive, guided daydreaming
We all daydream; some are good and some blow our imaginations. By using guided imagery and thoughts, you can prevent a stressful situation from escalating.
For example, you’ve just had a heated argument with your spouse on the phone and you’re at work. Two things can happen: your mood can be in the doldrums for the whole day, or you can identify the stress and calmly dissipate it with happier images-dreaming.
Close your eyes and imagine a happy memory. Use good thoughts to counteract the negative ones and build your confidence from deep within. Also, forgive the situation and yourself, otherwise you will keep replaying the thought in your mind.
Go back to your to-do list
If you can’t complete the tasks, let it go. Remember that trying to take on more than you can handle is slowly killing you. Even Superman takes a break from time to time, so you should too.
Reducing or prioritizing your workload could be the solution to constant headaches, back and shoulder pain. If you’re a mom, learn to delegate tasks to your kids or allocate some work time for yourself.
Yoga is an Indian form of meditation that combines simple postures, deep breathing and relaxation techniques to ward off stress and stressors. Yoga is an effective technique for relieving stress because it addresses the physical, emotional and mental organs where stress creeps in. The immediate benefits of yoga are felt immediately, but the long-term impact is also beautiful.
To get started, you can follow simple online yoga programs or sign up for a class that helps you master the postures at your own pace. Yoga allows for easy breathing, improves clarity of thought and mind, relaxes the body and mental health. However, if yoga twists are not for you, then you will enjoy the following technique.
Add exercise to your routine
Our body is like a car engine, if you don’t maintain it, it will crash when you need it most. Regular exercise builds a strong body, no doubt. However, it also builds a strong mind to deal with the stress that affects us daily. You don’t need to do HIIT or any strenuous exercise, choose something simple and for 7 to 15 minutes each day.
Joining a gym or community fitness center is exceptional, but you can choose to walk, run, jog, swim or go dancing. The idea is to keep your body moving for fun. Also, if you’re the outdoorsy type, indulge your passion and watch the stress melt away.
Massage and detox therapy
When your insides are not clean, it can lead to stress. Similarly, fatigue and overwork can double the effect of stress and lead to illness and mental breakdowns.
There are many reasons to go for a massage, and stress is one of them. Massage is an ideal tool for maintaining physical and emotional health. While detoxification is a way to relieve stress from your internal organs, both will make you feel light and relaxed.
Soak in the power of positive affirmations
The power of positive affirmations has been shown to increase positive emotion, compassion and trust in the speaker. How we treat ourselves determines the outcome. If you start your day with negativity, you are likely to attract negativity and problems to yourself.
However, if you take the time to affirm positive thoughts in your life, you will succeed. Affirmations are more than mere words; they are meant to awaken the optimistic and bold part of your being.
So, when you feel negative emotions building up or images flash before your eyes, take a moment and remind yourself of your capabilities and believe it too. What you perceive is who you are.
Get enough sleep
Let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to sleep 8 hours as recommended, but you can sleep well instead. Many people sleep 8 hours or more, but are restless while sleeping and wake up feeling exhausted, depleted and stressed.
Sleep is a fundamental way for the body to recover for the day’s activities. However, your sleeping condition must be prioritized for a restful sleep. To do this, make sure your mattress is comfortable and your bedroom is the right temperature.
If you can’t get 8 hours at night, try to nap in the afternoons and take care of your diet before bedtime. Finally, create a sleep routine. You don’t need to do this “at all costs,” but you should gradually improve your sleep.