How to Beat Stress?
In the previous blog, we discussed stress and its various causes and symptoms. This post will explore some proven strategies for managing stress effectively. Stress management is all about discovering healthy ways to deal with the hassles of life. It's not about eliminating stress but rather learning how to respond to stress in a way that decreases its harmful effects on our well-being. So, if you're struggling to cope with stress, keep reading to learn some practical techniques to manage stress. Let's get started!
The first step to effectively deal with stress is to recognize the causes of stress in your life. Stress can arise from various sources, including work, relationships, finances, health, systemic issues in the country one resides in, and other life events. Take the time to ponder over situations that trigger your stress response. This can be done by maintaining a journal or merely by taking mental notes.
Once you have identified the sources of your stress, you can begin to address them. This may require modifying your lifestyle, such as reducing your workload, enhancing your time management skills, or finding ways to improve your relationships. It may also involve seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who can help you develop coping strategies and learn how to manage your stress more effectively. Additionally, it is important to acknowledge when you are under pressure and learn how to control your response to it.
Several techniques can be employed to manage stress. Some individuals find that deep breathing or meditation helps them relax and clear their minds, while others find relief in exercise or other forms of physical activity. Some also find comfort in writing or talking about their experiences. It's essential to find what works best for you and make it a regular part of your routine.
Healthy Ways To Cope with Stress
Finding healthy coping mechanisms is crucial because stress can cause physical changes that even in non-life-threatening situations, can be harmful if they last for a long time. Here are some pointers for constructive coping techniques:
i) Regular exercise is an excellent stress-reduction strategy. This is due to the release of a mood-enhancing hormone called endorphin which helps us relax physically and psychologically. Being in a good mood helps us in looking at things in a positive light which may not be possible when we are highly stressed out.
ii) Vitamin and mineral-rich foods should also be consumed because they can boost mood and energy. Bringing changes in your diet can be very beneficial to reduce stress levels. Dehydration puts our body in stress mode too, so make sure you drink enough water in a day.
iii) Stress management techniques like mindfulness and meditation can be helpful.
iv) Stress levels can be decreased by setting achievable, realistic goals that don't lead to exhaustion or disappointment.
v) Music holds a soothing effect that can be used to create a stress-free environment. You can improve your mood and reduce stress by making a playlist of your favorite songs or by finding soothing music. Another fun way to reduce stress is through dancing; move your body and let go of the edgy emotions. Boost the volume and have fun!
vi) Spending time in nature can enhance your mood. Walk through the park, hike, or relax by the ocean. Nature has a way of reducing stress and uplifting the spirit.
vii) Gratitude exercises can support you in changing your attention from unfavorable to favorable thoughts. Spend some time every day thinking about all the things you are thankful for. This can bring about change in your stress levels and enhance your outlook on life too.
viii) Speaking with a dependable friend or relative can help lower stress levels and give one a feeling of support and belonging. Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if you are feeling stressed or overburdened. To manage stress and deal with challenging emotions, a therapist or counselor can give you useful tools and techniques.
ix) Writing can be a great stress reliever. Writing down your thoughts and feelings, whether through poetry, creative writing, or journaling, can assist you in processing them and letting go of unfavorable feelings.
x) Finding what works for you and sticking with it are the most crucial steps. Don't give up if results take time to manifest because stress management is an ongoing process that calls for perseverance. You'll eventually learn the methods that suit you the best.
We hope this beginner’s guide to understanding stress has given you a better idea of why it is so necessary to identify and manage your stress levels. Recognizing the signs of stress can be difficult, but once you know how, it can make all the difference. Remember to take breaks between long work periods to give yourself the rest you deserve to grow mentally and physically fit!
Written by: Navya Singh (BA Psychology, FY, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)
Proofread & edited by: Rubal Prajapati (Counseling Psychologist and Ph.D. Scholar at Bharathiar University)