Emotional Health: Stress Management
How to Prevent, Reduce, and or Cope with Stress in life
Many often feel there is nothing much that they can do about stress. Your bills will not stop coming, your family and responsibilities will remain demanding, and no more hours will be added or reduced in your day. Nevertheless, you have more command over your day to day stress than you may imagine.
Stress management in emotional health involves taking control: of your emotions, thoughts, lifestyle, and the manner in which you handle your problems in life. There are a number of steps one can take amid pressure as measures to regain control no matter how much your life may seem stressful.
People respond to stress quite differently therefore, there is no single standard solution to stress management. In case you feel like your life stress is way out of control and you feel you have run out options, it is never too late. You can still take measures towards managing your life stress. Stress management measure will teach you key emotional health steps you can employ towards coping with stress. These stress management measures will help you reduce harmful effects of stress, and prevent your life stress from growing out of your control in future.
No matter how week you may feel amid stress in life, you still have command over your emotions, thoughts, lifestyle, and how you handle your problems. Stress management as one of the emotional health measures involve changing your stressful situation, changing your reaction, taking good care of yourself and creating time for relaxation and rest. The first step involves recognizing true source of your life stress.
What are the key sources of your life stress?
Identifying sources of stress is easy following major events in life such as moving home, losing loved one, or changing jobs among other life events, but pinpointing everyday sources of life stress may be harder than thought. It is easy to overlook your own feelings, behaviors and thoughts contributing to the high levels of stress in your life.
To identify your exact sources of life stress, you need to closely monitor your habits, excuses and attitude .Until the time you accept responsibility for your role in maintaining or creating your stress, the level of your stress will get beyond control with time.
How do you cope with your life stress?
Think about how you currently cope with or manage stress that comes along your life. Are your day to day coping strategies unproductive or productive, unhealthy or healthy? Unfortunately, majority cope with life stress in a manner that compounds their problem.
Unhealthy strategies of coping up with stress
The following unhealthy strategies for copying up with stress may temporarily work in reducing stress, but they are on record to cause more damage than good with time:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Bingeing on comfort or junk food
- Zoning out in front of your computer or Television for hours.
- Sleeping too much
- Withdrawing from family, friends, and activities
- Taking your stress out on others by lashing out, physical violence, or angry violence
- Filling up throughout the day in an attempt to evade facing problems
- Using drugs or pills to relax
Healthier ways of managing stress
In case you are struggling with managing stress and your copying methods are not helping reinstate your greater physical and emotional health, it is time you find healthier ways of managing your stress. No single stress managing method works in every situation or for everyone. It is therefore advisable that you experiment with different strategies and techniques. You need to focus on only those strategies that make you feel in control and calm. Some of these strategies include:
- Get moving
Physical activities will play a vital role in preventing and reducing and preventing effects of stress in your life. However, you need not to play professional football, spend hours in gym or be an athlete to feel the benefits. A light form of any physical activity is enough to help you relieve life stress and burn away tension, frustration and anger. Exercise will help you releases endorphin hormones that are vital in boosting your mood making you feel good. Daily exercise will also help in distracting your daily worries.
While maximum benefit of stress management can be achieved within the first 30 minutes of exercise, you can begin from light exercise activities and build up gradually on your fitness level. Even a collection of small activities are enough to add up the rest of the day and help take control over your stress. The following are some of the steps you require to help yourself moving or copying with stress:
- Play some music you love and dance around
- Cycle or walk around your homestead
- Take your dog out for a short walk
- Play any activity-based game with your child
- Use stairs at work or home rather than boarding an elevator
- Engage yourself with your exercise partner and walkout as you encourage each other
Managing stress through regular exercise
Once you are physically active and fit, try incorporating regular exercise within your daily itinerary. Rhythmic and continuous activities that involve moving both your legs and arms are very effective at relieving or managing stress. Running, dancing, swimming aerobics, tai chi, walking, and cycling are good choices to pick on.
You need to pick an activity that you enjoy most, so that you are likely to maintain or stick with it. You need to put more focus on physical and body sensations you experience while doing exercise instead of focusing on your thoughts. When you are done with exercising, you will realize that it is much easier to deploy other techniques of managing stress, including engaging socially and reaching out to friends.
- Engage socially
Reaching out friends socially is the most effective, quickest way of reining in stress. While engaging your friends socially, you need to avoid overreacting to external or internal events you feel are threatening. Nothing is more calming and comforting than communicating with friends you feel safe with and understand you. Reach out to as many friends and family members as possible regularly connect with them in person. These people you engage do not have to fix up your stress; they simply need to be keen and good listeners.
- Avoid unnecessary stress
Much as stress is seen to be a response that automatically emanates from nervous system, certain stress may arise at predictable events or time. For example family gatherings, a meeting at work place with your boss among others. You are advised to change either your reaction or the situation when handling such stressors. It is advisable that you engage the four A’s (avoid, alter, adapt or accept) when deciding on which option to employ in any of the given scenarios.
- Alter the situation
In case you cannot avoid your stressful situation, try altering it. This may involve changing the manner in which operate and communicate in your day to day life.
Express your feelings openly instead of piling and bottling them up. Communicate your concerns and be more assertive in a respectful and open way if you feel something or someone is bothering you. Always be on the forefront to compromise. Be willing change your behavior if you expect someone to do the same.
- Accept things you cannot change
You will realize that many stress sources are unavoidable. You cannot change or prevent stressors, such as national recession, a serious illness or death of your loved ones. The best way of coping with stress in such cases is accepting things as they occur. Accepting may look hard, but it is easier in long run rather than railing against situations that you cannot change.
Never try to control things that are uncontrollable. In life, many things are way beyond our control especially other people’s behavior. Focus on things you have control over rather than wasting your efforts on things you have no control over.
Always learn to forgive as you expect to be forgiven. Accept the fact that we all make mistakes and we live in an imperfect world. Let go of your resentments and anger. Free yourself from any negative energy by moving one and unconditionally forgiving.
- Make time for relaxation and fun
Beyond a take, positive attitude and charge approach, you can greatly minimize your life stress by nurturing yourself. In case you make time for relaxation and fun regularly in your life, you are in a better position to handle stressors that come across your life.
Never get caught up in life bustle and hustle so much that you forget taking care of your personal needs. Nurturing yourself is not a luxury but a necessity. You therefore, need to aside your relaxation time within your daily schedule.
Create your own leisure time and do something that you enjoy most in life whether it is playing piano, cycling or stargazing
Always keep a sense of humor by laughing at yourself. Laughing helps in fighting stress greatly in your body.
- Adopt healthy lifestyle
There is a vast range of healthy lifestyle you need to adopt in addition to performing regular exercise that can help boost your stress resistance.
Take a healthy diet always. A well-nourished body is in a better position to cope up with stress, therefore be watchful on your diet. Start your day with heavy breakfast, and keep up your energy and mind clear with a nutritious, balanced meals throughout your day.
Get sufficient sleep. Enough sleep fuels up your body and mind. Feeling tired due to insufficient sleep may increase your stress by making you think irrationally.