How to Manage Stress?
Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on an individual’s life is insufficient for reducing its harmful effects. Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. There are two choices in this regard either change the source of stress or change your reaction to it. What is the path for doing so?
- Become Aware of Stressors and Emotional and Physical Reactions
- Recognizing What Can Be Changed
- Reduce Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Stress
- Learning to Moderate Our Physical Reactions to Stress
- Build Our Physical Reserves
- Maintaining Our Emotional Reserves
Become Aware of Stressors and Emotional and Physical Reactions
Firstly we should recognize the cause of distress. Ignoring these causes is not a solution. Listing out all the events that cause distress is important.
What does an individual tell himself/ herself about the meaning of these events? Determining how the body responds to stress. Does the individual become nervous or physically upset? If so, in what specific ways?
Recognizing What Can Be Changed
Is it possible to change the stressors, by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can their intensity be reduced? Is it possible to shorten an individual’s exposure to stress? Can one devote the time and energy necessary to make a change (for example, goal setting, time management techniques may be used)?
Reduce Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Stress
The stress reaction is triggered by our perception of danger: physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are we viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a disaster? Are we trying to please everyone?
Are we overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do we feel you must always prevail in every situation? Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers us is a solution for reducing stress, internally.
Learning to Moderate Our Physical Reactions to Stress
Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Electronic biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension; heart rate, and blood pressure.
Medications, when needed and prescribed by a doctor can help in moderating the physical reactions. However, these alone cannot do the job. Learning to moderate these reactions on our own is a desirable solution in the long run.
Build Our Physical Reserves
Exercising for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week (moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging). Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is a must. Maintaining the ideal weight is essential.
Avoiding nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants can be a great help in reducing stress. Mixing leisure with work and taking breaks from routine work can relax and reduce stress in a person. Getting adequate sleep is of utmost importance.
Maintaining Our Emotional Reserves
Developing some mutually supportive friendships ends stable relationships that help in sharing bottled-up emotions and reduce stress.
Pursuing realistic goals which are meaningful, rather than goals that others have set for us, can help in reducing stress. Expecting some frustrations, failures, and sorrows as a part of life can make us gear up mentally in handling stressful situations rather than succumb to them.