Coping Concept & strategies to deal with Stress

May 7, 2015, 2:18 am

Stress and ways to handle it
Have you ever been so stressed that you felt unwell, could not concentrate on anything and suffered mental depression? These things occur when stress takes a toll on you.
To understand how to deal with stress, we have to understand the meaning of stress, different types of stress and techniques for stress management.
Stress – Meaning
Stress is the way, in which your body responds to demand. It is caused by both positive and negative experiences. When you are stressed by the activities in your surroundings, chemicals are released into blood. As a result, your strength and energy increases, which is good if you are in any kind of danger. However, if you are stressed due to an emotional upheaval and there is no way to let out the extra energy triggered by the chemicals, it is adverse for your body and mind.
Stress – Types
There are three kinds of stress. They are acute stress, episodic stress and chronic stress.
Stress – Symptoms
The following are some symptoms of stress.
• Stammering
• Frequent headaches, chest pain and backache
• Muscle spasms
• Sweating and blushing
• Dry mouth
• Rashes
• Constipation
• Frequent urination
• Excessive anger
• Reduced appetite
• Sleep disorders
• Forgetfulness and confusion
• Feeling lonely and hopeless
• Feeling no interest to look good
• Less efficiency
• Quick speech
• Isolation
• Substance abuse
• Shopping without any necessity
Stress – Sources
There are four main sources of stress. They are social, environmental, cognitive-emotional and physiological.
# Social
These are psychological stressors that become active when there is demand of skills and time. Speaking in public, interviews, conflict with colleagues, work presentations, financial issues, etc are social sources.
# Environmental
Physical stressors that affect five senses of the body like, noise, pollution, weather, traffic, etc are environmental sources.
# Cognitive-emotional
Cognitive-emotional stress is caused by thoughts. Your brain conducts an assessment of stress and mobilizes the defense mechanism of the body. The functioning of the stress assessment mechanism decides whether you remain relaxed or stressed.
# Physiological
These are physical stressors created at different phases of life, such as adolescence, menopause, lack of nutrition, lack of sleep, aging, etc. Headache, depression, stomach problems and muscle tension are also part of physiological stressors.
Stress Management – Tips
Negative stress is managed by different techniques. You should follow the way that suits you the best.
# Speak out
If you are stressed, you should express it. Keeping feelings suppressed increases stress. You should share your feelings, so that someone close to you can help you find out a solution out of the problem. It may sound embarrassing, but it is better to seek help as soon as the problem takes place in order to avoid more serious problems later on. You can also write down the issues you are facing. This helps in looking at the problem in a new way and you can clarify it yourself without getting stressed.
# Take deep breath
Stress leads to rapid breathing which results in increased anxiety. You should breath slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Make sure that the inhaling is deep, so that the lower abdomen lifts and falls as you breathe.
# Give importance to comfort
Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. If you are sitting in a place that is making you uncomfortable, you should shift to a more appropriate and cozy place.
# Allow yourself a break
When you realize that you are stressed, take a break. You can take a walk. It is always not possible to leave the stressful environment physically. At such times, you can take resort to imagination. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place that makes you happy. Explore the smell, taste and sound that you prefer.
# Look after yourself
You should have a healthy diet. This helps to lead a happy life. A healthy life means a happy mind and an active body. It is better to avoid excessive sugar and caffeine intake. A healthy body leads to a happy mind.
# Practice physical exercise
Physical activity checks the impact of stress. Therefore, whenever you are stressed, engage in some physical activity. If you like doing a physical activity, make time for it every day. Spending time with little children and gardening are also considered good stress busters.
# Plan and manage time
You should make a schedule which you can follow and which helps you prioritize activities. When you plan the schedule, you should also keep in account the distractions you might face. The schedule should have a section where you devote time for stress reduction. If you try to achieve everything at a go, you may end up losing everything. You should do one thing at a time and check out the task already completed. Try to complete the most important work first. If there is a stressful work, finish it off at the beginning, so that you have less stress for the rest of the day.
# Stay happy
Laughter is good for health. Research says that while frowning involves forty three muscles, smiling involves only seventeen. Inculcate sense of humor and do not get angry when someone jokes about you. You should, in fact nurture the habit of making fun at yourself. You should share funny incidents with friends and colleagues.
# Do not confront when people do not comply
It is not necessary that people will always listen to you and abide by your instructions. Your colleagues or friends may have other opinions. Getting angry and stressed at such times is not useful. You should learn to compromise and cooperate. This leads to lower stress level.
# Stay within your limits
If you are stressed about something, try to realize if you can solve the situation. If you cannot, there is no need to think about it. If you can solve it, do what you can and leave it. There is no need to get stressed about what else you should have done. If you alter the situation, do not feel bad. In life, there are many things that you cannot control. Therefore, there is no use worrying about it, unless you can really do anything worthwhile.
# Search for positive things in your surrounding
It is easy to notice negative things around you. Try to notice six positive things. It might be difficult at first or might appear very small. However, looking out for good things constantly adds up to the good things in your life. Positive things lead to positive ideas. Your perspective changes and you feel energized.
# Cry if you have to
Crying is a natural reaction. If there is anything that hurts you, cry. It releases stress and checks nervous disorder. It can also prevent headache or other physical disorders related to stress.
Stress is experienced by everyone at one point of time or another. While some stress types are useful, most of them are harmful. You have to keep in mind that all circumstances are not under your control. Smoking and drinking alcohol is not a solution to come out of stressful situations. Coping with stress becomes significant when it starts taking a toll on mental or physical health. You should make use of Life Skills that make you strong enough to handle stress.

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