Stress Management Techniques for a Stress-Free Life

It’s difficult to figure out how to avoid stress because it’s a part of life. As we continue to find calming ways to cope with the constant change in our surroundings, stress wears on our mental and physical being.

People often associate stress with the job, household duties, sicknesses, and attempting to beat rush hour traffic, which is true, but it is also true. Stress is the body’s inherent reaction to fight or flee in the face of adversity, and it is triggered by a variety of events.

Stress is the state of enhanced arousal required for the human body to defend itself against a clear and present danger, in simple biological words. We are under stress if we are nervous, angry, fatigued, frightened, happy, enthusiastic, sad, or afraid.

Stress is a normal and inescapable part of human life, from minor problems to serious issues. Stress is normal until we are unable to manage and cope with its overwhelming effects, at which point it becomes a problem.

  • Stress affects three out of every four adults in the United States or roughly 77 percent of the population.[1] Anything from the economy, work, home front, kids, and illness can cause stress.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Types of Stress
    • External Stressors
    • Internal Stressors
  2. Stress and You
  3. Symptoms of Stress
    • Mental Symptoms
    • Behavioral Symptoms
    • Emotional Symptoms
  4. 10 Stress Management Techniques
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Types of Stress

In learning how not to stress, you must understand the types of stress and how you encourage it in your life. The causes of stress (stressors) are varied and multiple, but I am grouping them into two sectors.

Related: SELF-CARE GOALS FOR THE 6 DOMAINS OF SELF-CARE

External Stressors

These are external factors that have an immediate impact on your capacity to remain focused or composed. They are as follows:

  • Condensed spaces, light, noise, heat, brightness, and even blackness are all factors in the physical environment.
  • Organizational – rules, regulations, deadlines, office gossip, work-related pressures, and so on
  • Bullying, bossiness, disdain, harassment, and aggressiveness in social interactions (general human behavior towards you)
  • Death, relocation, new baby, marriage, job loss, divorce, and other life crises
  • Daily annoyances — missing the bus, misplacing your car/house keys, mechanical failure, and so on

Internal Stressors

These are stressors that arise from our mindset, attitude, and thoughts. Consider the following scenario:

  • Your way of life – lack of sleep, hectic schedules, caffeine or alcohol
  • Pessimism, self-criticism, overthinking, and feelings of incapacity are all examples of negative thoughts.
  • Mind traps include taking matters too personally, having unreasonable expectations, having exaggerated or rigid thinking, and so on.
  • Workaholic, OCD, perfectionist, and other personality qualities

These factors play a significant role in mental and physical stress, which can result in fear, wrath, unforgiveness, and despair.

2. Stress and You

It’s misleading to think of stress as a disease of modernity and technology. Yes, our fast-paced lives and way of life are stressful, taxing, and always demanding. We, on the other hand, have created these triggers on our own.

This is related to a drive to compete fiercely and to keep up with our colleagues. Even if they are in the same scenario, each person experiences stress differently.

A couple going through a tumultuous divorce, for example, will observe the male having a good time while the lady goes through emotional ups and downs. What you find distressing may be little to someone else.

Consider the following scenario: a man works efficiently at home but finds working in a team or office difficult and burdensome.

It’s important to understand that the majority of the tensions we face are self-created and produced. How we see ourselves determines how we see (life)—whether a circumstance is dangerous, sad, or pleasant. Recognizing the stresses we cause is the first step toward stress prevention.

3. Symptoms of Stress

Excessive, protracted, and denial of the presence of stress in our life is harmful and affects our entire being—leaving us feeling fearful, angry, frustrated, and depressed if left unresolved.

Simple conditions such as headaches, skin disorders, ulcers, sleeplessness, and digestive issues are all exacerbated by stress.

Stress can lead to suicidal thoughts and death in extreme circumstances. The following is a list of stress symptoms divided into four groups. 

Physical Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Change in sleep pattern without any obvious reason
  • Unstable digestive system resulting in diarrhea and inability to hold down food
  • Low sexual libido
  • Headaches and body pain
  • Dizziness, unnecessary sweating, and feeling faint
  • Palpitations, breathlessness, quickened heartbeats, or missed heartbeats

Mental Symptoms

  • Inability to focus
  • Memory lapses
  • Indecisiveness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Fear/panic attack

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating disorder and appetite
  • Increase smoking and alcohol intake
  • Restlessness, fidgeting, and nail-biting

Emotional Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Easily irritated
  • Anger, rage, cry easily
  • Deterioration in hygiene habit and appearance

Financial instability, job security, family obligation, personal relationships, health concerns, and safety are the most common sources of stress.

Now that we’ve successfully classified stress, it’s time to identify which one you’re dealing with and choose a simple method for dealing with it.
Remember that stress can be managed and you can live a happy life.

4. 10 Stress Management Techniques

Eating correctly, exercising, yoga, and meditation are the most prevalent stress management approaches. However, some stress is outside the scope of these four tactics, so we’ll try to mention as many as we can to assist you to get through it. 
A series of basic but effective approaches for identifying, understanding, and successfully dealing with stress in one’s life in order to reduce its impact.

1. Change the Perspective

How many times have you imagined a horrible circumstance with a poor outcome that never occurs? We are all human, and as strange as it may sound, negativity is more intriguing and creative than positivity.

Stress, on the other hand, is linked to negativity and our incapacity to break free from it.
It’s not as easy as ABC to change your perspective. However, you can begin by assessing the emotion, deleting all exaggerated elements, selecting the truth (be truthful here), and discarding the rest. That wasn’t so difficult, was it?
Now, take the truth and apply a good spin on it. You’ll feel less anxious, disoriented, and angry right away. It will take some time, but never judge an issue based on an exaggerated situation.

2. Create a Journal

An issue that is shared is a problem that is half-solved. While we can’t all go about telling everyone about our problems, journaling is a good approach to share and solve problems.

Journaling is simple—all you have to do is write down the happenings of the day and how they made you feel.

Stress robs us of our clarity, attention, and awareness of our immediate surroundings. Journaling, on the other hand, brings them back to you.

You can identify, comprehend, and cope with your sensations better when you write them down rather than reliving them in your thoughts. It enables you to distinguish between your emotions, precisely identify the emotion, and connect with your own aura for more clarity.

3. Mindful Breathing

Stress robs you of calm and security in your life. Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoists hold breathing in high regard, believing it to be a mechanism for restoring serenity to a troubled soul.
Breathing from the pit of your stomach is known as mindful breathing. It’s a series of deep, consistent, and stress-relieving breaths that will help you relax.
In any case, there are two simple steps to mindful breathing:

  • Breathe gently and deeply to fill your lungs and stomach, counting to three or five via your nose.
  • Hold for a second or two before slowly exhaling while counting from 1 to 5.

Rep to this process as many times as necessary until you feel your power returning. Imagine you’re breathing as you exhale.

4. Positive and Guided Daydreaming

We all daydream—some of us do it well, while others let their imaginations run wild. You can prevent a stressful situation from worsening by using guided visuals and ideas.

For example, let’s say you’ve just had a passionate phone conversation with your husband and you’re at work. You can either be depressed all day or detect the stress and calmly eliminate it with happy images—daydreaming.

Imagine a good recollection while you close your eyes. Use positive thoughts to counterbalance negative ones and boost your self-assurance from within. Also, forgive yourself and the scenario, or you’ll keep replaying the concept in your head.

5. Go Back to Your To-Do List

Allow yourself to fail if you are unable to finish the tasks. Remember that trying to cram more into your schedule than you can handle will slowly kill you. Even Superman takes a break once and then, so you should as well. 

The continuous headaches, backaches, and shoulders may be alleviated by reducing or prioritizing your workload. If you’re a mom, figure out how to outsource responsibilities to your children or set aside time to work for yourself. 

6. Yoga It

Yoga is an Indian type of meditation that incorporates simple positions, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques to help people cope with stress.

Yoga is a stress-relieving therapy that addresses the physical, emotional, and mental organs that stress affects. Yoga has immediate advantages, but it also has a long-term impact that is lovely.

To begin started, look up simple yoga programs online or sign up for a class that can help you master the poses at your own pace.

Yoga allows you to breathe more freely, increases mental and emotional clarity, and calms the body and mind. If the twists and turns of yoga do not appeal to you, you may be interested in

7. Add Exercise to Your Routine

Allow yourself to fail if you are unable to finish the tasks. Remember that trying to cram more into your schedule than you can handle will slowly kill you. Even Superman takes a break once and then, so you should as well. 

The continuous headaches, backaches, and shoulders may be alleviated by reducing or prioritizing your workload. If you’re a mom, figure out how to outsource responsibilities to your children or set aside time to work for yourself. 

8. Massage and Detox Therapy

When your insides are dirty, you may experience stress. Similarly, being exhausted or overworked can increase stress levels, resulting in disease and mental breakdown. 

One of the numerous reasons to have a massage is to relieve tension. Massages are an excellent way to keep your physical and emotional wellness in check.

Both will make you feel light and relaxed, while cleansing is a technique to ease tension on your inside organs. 

The power of positive talk has proven to increase positive emotion, compassion, and confidence in the speaker. How we treat ourselves determines the outcome. If you begin the day with negativity, you are likely to attract negativity and problems to yourself.

9. Imbibe in the Power of Positive Affirmations

You will succeed, though, if you take the time to confirm positive concepts in your life. Affirmations are more than just words; they’re designed to awaken the hopeful and courageous side of your personality. 
So, whenever you experience negative emotions or pictures that flash before your eyes, take a moment to remind yourself of your strengths and believe in yourself. What you see is what you become. 

10. Getting Enough Sleep

To be honest, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep is nearly difficult, but you can get a good night’s sleep instead. Many people sleep for eight hours or more yet remain restless during the night, waking up fatigued, depleted, and stressed.

Sleep is an essential part of the body’s recovery from the day’s activity. Your sleeping state, on the other hand, should be prioritized for a restful night’s sleep. To do so, make sure your mattress is cozy and your bedroom is at a reasonable temperature.

If you can’t get 8 hours of sleep at night, take a nap in the afternoons and keep a close eye on your diet before going to bed. Finally, establish a sleep schedule. It does not have to be a “do-or-die” situation, but you should ease into it gradually.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, stress is the baggage you won’t let go of. You’re plunging further into a pit of darkness the more you pour on. 

Now is the time to let go of the extra weight. Begin by using these stress management tactics to avoid being stressed. Do you have one or two stress-relieving techniques that you use regularly? Please feel free to include them in the list. 

Reference:

  1. American Psychological Association: Stress in America™ 2020

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