Many sicknesses are related to stress. In the olden days, sicknesses like high blood pressure and heart attack are only for the aged but, in recent time, even people between the age range of 30-40 suffer these diseases. Most times, doctors attribute stubborn malaria to stress. According to a medical practitioner, stress sometimes comes with malaria symptoms. Therefore, proper management of stress will help you live healthy.
You may be thinking that there is no solution to stress unless man dies; after all, the bills will always come. There will never be more than 24 hours in a day. Work and family responsibilities will always be there.
Though stress abound but it can be reduced, prevented, or coped with. In this way, you can be on top of stress in your life and thus prevent illness or even untimely death; that is stress management. Stress management involves changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself and making time for rest and relaxation.
The first-step to solving a problem is finding out the root cause. The first step to handling stress is to recognize the true source of stress in your life. You can easily identify sources of stress following a major life event such as changing jobs, moving home or losing a loved one, but pinpointing the sources of everyday stress can be more complicated. It is all too easy to overlook your own thoughts, feelings and behaviour that contribute to your stress levels. You may know that you are constantly worried about work deadlines but maybe, it is your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands that is causing the stress. That is to say that some people up stress for themselves by procrastination attitude.
Don’t over look or ignore stress when they are already there by saying things like: “it is temporary” as in, ‘I just have a million things in my hand now; it is part of my office or home work or part of your life, things are always like this for me’; it is not my fault; they always pile up things” e.t.c. Whatever the excuse may be, remember, your health is vital. People do suddenly slump, sometimes not because they have long been sick but because stress has eaten up their system.
So many people resort to unhealthy ways of coping with stress like: smoking, drinking too much, use of pills or drugs to relax, too much sleeping, procrastination, staying for hours in front of the television or computer, withdrawal from friends, family e.t.c. All these may seem to help but they may only reduce the stress temporarily.
Below are ways of preventing, reducing or coping with stress; one or more combination of these strategies will help give a lasting solution.
Engage In Physical Activities (Exercise)
There is a saying that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Some people think they have over-grown exercises, but they got it all wrong. Use exercises to beat stress off your life.
Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress but you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily worries.
While the maximum benefit comes from exercising for 30 minutes or more, you can start gradually to build up your fitness level. Short, 10-minute bursts of activity that elevate your heart beats and make you break out into a swear can help to relieve stress and give you more energy and optimism. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are a few easy ways.
- Put on some music and dance around
- Take your dog for a walk
- Walk or cycle to the provision store
- Use the stairs at home or work, rather than an elevator
- Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
- Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you workout
- Play ping pong or an activity-based video game with your kids.
Once you’re in the habit of being physically active, try to incorporate regular exercise into your daily schedule. Activities that are continuous and rhythmic-and require moving both your arms and legs-are specially effective at relieving stress. Walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, and aerobic classes are good choices.
Pick an activity you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it. Instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts while you exercise, make a conscious effort to focus on your body and the physical, (and sometimes emotional) sensations you experience as you’re moving. Adding this mindfulness element to your exercise routine will help you Focus on coordinating your breathing, with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Getting out of your head and paying attention to how your body feels is also the surest way to avoid picking up an injury. Reach out and build relationships.
break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress. Focus on coordinating your breathing, with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Getting out of your head and paying attention to how your body feels is also the surest way to avoid picking up an injury. Reach out and build relationships.
- Engage In Social Activities and Have Fun
- Reach out to a colleague at work
- Help someone else by volunteering
- Have lunch or coffee with a friend
- Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly
- Accompany someone to the movies or a concert
- Call or email an old friend
- Go for a walk with a workout buddy
- Schedule a weekly dinner date
- Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club
- Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach
- Social Activities
- Go for a walk
- Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea
- Spend time in nature
- Play with a pet
- Call a good friend
- Work in your garden
- Play a competitive game of tennis or racquetball
- Get a massage
- Write in your journal
- Curl up with a good book
- Take a long bath
- Listen to music
- Light scented candles
- Watch a comedy
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not luxury.
Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing playing the piano, or working on your bike.
Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.
Social engagement is the quickest, most efficient way to rein in stress and avoid overreacting to internal or external events that you perceive as threatening. There is nothing more calming to your nervous system than communicating with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. This experience of safety-as perceived by your nervous system-results from nonverbal cues that you hear, see and feel.
human being who makes you feel safe and understood. This experience of safety-as perceived by your nervous system-results from nonverbal cues that you hear, see and feel.
The inner car, face, heart, and stomach are wired together in the brain, so socially interacting with another person face-to-face making eye contact, listening in an attentive way, talking can quickly calm you down and put the brakes on defensive stress responses like “fight-or-fight”. It can also release hormones that reduce stress, even if you’re unable to alter the stressful situation itself. Of course, it’s not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to life’s stressors. On the flip side, the more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.
Reach out to family and friends and connect regularly in person. The people you talk to don’t have to be able to fix your stress, they just need to be good listeners. Opening up is not a sign of weakness and it won’t make you a burden to others,. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your bond. And remember, it’s never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
Be Assertive And Avoid The Stressor
Learn how to say “no”-know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress. Distinguish between the “should” and the ‘musts’ and, when possible, say ‘no’ to taking on too much.
Avoid people who stress you out-if someone consistently causes stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with that person, or end the relationship.
Take control of your environment-if the evening news makes you anxious, turn off the TV. If traffic makes you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic, jam look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no , focus your time and energy elsewhere.
Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough”.ve energy by forgiving and moving on.