Stress can crumble your spirit, and you may not even be aware of it. Let me explain how.Several months ago, I met a girl at my friend’s birthday party.She was distracted, talked incessantly and clearly was struggling with a number of stress-related issues. Party was over, and we went our separate ways. We met up again six months later. The girl was a completely different person. Gracious, funny and interested in others, she radiated peace and serenity. So what happened? She told that now she can handle stress more effectively. So the massage is that Stress can change your personality, not for the better. And stress can decrease your quality of life. But choice is always yours stress or no stress.
Stress is anything that affects our well-being. It makes you feel like there are too many pressures and demands on you and results into worry.In stress you may also feel angry, frustrated, scared, or afraid — which manifests in the form of different aches. To fix these issues we need to know how to manage stress. Before going in the detail of stress management I would like to mention paradigm change that will lead you swiftly to implement stress management strategies.The main thing in this regard is perception of a situation. Focus on what you can learn rather than what is distressing you put you in charge.
To manage stress effectively first identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuse. Is it apart of your personality, are you blaming your stress on other people or outside events. Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control. For this start maintain a stress journal.It can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. The important points to note down are:
• Spot and note the cause of you stress. • Note your feelings; emotional and physical • Write your reaction • What you did to make it ease.
These steps will help you to ponder upon your stress coping strategies.Whether your coping strategies are healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people by default use a problem to solve a problem that compounds the original problem. These coping strategies are quick fixes mostly- temporary relief but long term damage. Smoking, using pills or drugs, Bing eating or underrating, procrastination, Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities, Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems etc. If you are using anyone of these strategies to combat stress replace them with following techniques to manage stress healthy.
Evade unnecessary stress
Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.Here healthy judgment plays an important role, which to avoid which to address. Many people face stress because they accept added responsibilities because they don’t know how to say no. Learn the art to “say no”- assertiveness. Redefine your boundaries with the people who are adding unhealthy stress. Take control of your life and be responsible for your behaviors. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
Alter the situation
There are some stressors which should be faced and dealt with rather go into unhealthy avoidance. Figure out such situations and change the way you communicate and operate them in your daily life. Assertiveness will play a great role here. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
Accept the things you can’t change
If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. It’s the most important point and requires a lot of skills. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective.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.Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments.Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.
Value relaxation and leisure
Beside all these things you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come. 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 a luxury.Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, go for a walk with friend, listen music, spend time with friends and family, playing the piano, or a long drive whatever gives you refreshes you.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health. Exercise regularly, Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat.The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
Breathing techniques is the best way to relieve stress. You can use them while at work, sat in front of a computer or commuting. They are very simple to use and can be learned in a short space of time. Breathing is something that you can start to do now. 1. Place your hand on your stomach. 2. Breathe in and try to feel your stomach moving out. 3. Hold your breathe and keep your attention on your stomach. 4. Breathe out and allow your stomach to deflate and relax. 5. Keep this rhythm going for as long as it takes to de-stress.