Stress is the discrepancy between the demands placed on an individual and his or her abilities and motivations to satisfy those demands.
Stress can be perceived as either positive or negative; positive when the scenario presents an opportunity for an individual to increase their skill and performance to reach a goal, and negative when a person experiences problem with their personal, social, physical, and organizational well-being.
A stressor is the source of stress. Stress can be caused by several different factors.
Sources of Stress
- An array of environmental factors (e.g., elevated sound levels, over-illumination, overcrowding)
- A multitude of small stressors (e.g., traffic, lost keys, quality and quantity of physical activity)
- Stress at work (e.g., high job demand vs low job control, repeated or sustained exertions, forceful exertions, extreme postures)
- Stressor associated with the general population (e.g., societal and family demands)
Consequences of Stress
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Deterioration of immune function
- Problems getting enough rest
- Challenge focusing
- Uncontrollable desires for food
- Lack of willpower
- Cigarette usage increases
Effects of Stress
- A rise in blood pressure occurs.
- Breathing increases in pace
- A system’s metabolism gets slower.
- A rise in the heart rate (pulse) occurs
- The immune system is compromised.
- Muscles contraction which causes stress
- Prolonged lack of sleep (heightened state of alertness).
Everybody has their own way to relax, which means that everyone is different. Having control of our ideas, emotions, schedule, and approach to challenges are all methods of de-stressing. Many healthy stress coping methods exist, but some unhealthy ones exist as well.
Using unhealthy coping strategies to manage stress
These coping mechanisms may help alleviate stress for the moment, but in the long run they do greater damage:
- An inability to regulate one’s drinking
- Eating too much or too little
- Pulling an all-nighter
- Pulling away from those people, families, and hobbies
- Using prescription medications to de-stress
- Being an insomniac
- To prevent facing problems, fill every minute of every day.
- Blaming others for one’s stress (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
- Understanding healthy methods for stress reduction
Roadmap to Manage Stress – POSITIVELY
When it comes to stress management, it is important to see if our current methods are helping or hindering our emotional and physical well-being. We are all capable of finding numerous healthy means to manage and cope with stress, but it requires a change. It is our choice whether to change the situation or to adjust our response. When you’re trying to decide which option to pick, thinking of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept, can be very useful.
Every person’s response to stress is unique, which means that no “one-size-fits-all” solution is applicable. Not everyone or in every situation will benefit from a single strategy, so experimentation with different techniques and strategies is essential. Focus on our ability to control our emotions and sense of well-being.
Redirect the course of events
- To Avoid stress, eliminate the source
- make a change to the stressor
A different reaction is required
- Be able to handle stressful situations
- Bear the burden
- Relax by doing the following:
When stressed, avoid unnecessary worry.
- You cannot always avoid stress, and avoidance is not healthy when dealing with something that must be addressed. While it is possible you will be surprised by the number of stressors in your life, it is worth considering if you want to eliminate any of them.
- To learn how to say “no,” first learn how to say “yes.” Have realistic expectations and follow them.
- Limit the amount of time you spend with someone who consistently causes stress in your life and can’t resolve the problem.
- If traffic makes you tense, travel by a different route that takes a longer time to get to, but does not have as much traffic. Doing your grocery shopping online will save you the trouble of going to the market.
- If you react strongly to religion or politics, avoid mentioning them in conversation.
- rationalize and declutter your to-do list Identify your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks and analyze the result. Divide your tasks into the “secondary” and the “primary.”
- Rather than try to avoid a stressful situation, alter it if possible. Determine what changes you can make to prevent a similar issue from occurring in the future. You will have to change the way you communicate and operate every day in order to practice the strategy.
- If something or someone is bothering you, talk about it openly and respectfully.
- If you want to see a change in someone’s behavior, don’t be reluctant to change your own.
- Have the courage to speak up. Handle problems head-on, and aim to preempt and prevent future occurrences.
- Take better care of your time. It is possible to alter the amount of stress you are under if you plan ahead and avoid overextending yourself.
Change yourself if you cannot change the stressor. One’s attitude and expectations affect one’s ability to adapt in stressful situations.
- When you find yourself dealing with a stressful situation, turn it around and think of it from a more positive perspective.
- See the big picture; take into consideration how overwhelming the stressful situation is. Consider whether it is important in the long run.
- When it comes to expectations, perfectionism is an avoidance of unnecessary stress. By demanding perfection, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
- When stress gets you down, pause to appreciate all the aspects of your life that you are grateful for, such as your personal strengths and attributes.
- Once you know how to adjust your attitude, you can set yourself up for emotional and physical well-being. Whenever you find yourself doubting your abilities, your body reacts as if it were experiencing a physical stress. When you are able to identify positive things about yourself, you will feel good, whereas the inverse is also true. The words “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must” must be eliminated from your writing. These are unmistakable indications of self-deprecating beliefs.
- Having accepted the things you cannot change, move on to the next thing.
- People must deal with stress, even if they don’t want to. Even though you cannot prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession, you can minimize the effect that they have on you. Accepting that stressful things occur is the best way to deal with them. While acceptance may be difficult, it is better in the long run to accept your circumstances and go with the flow.
- Avoid attempting to control things you cannot control, like other people’s behavior. Instead of worrying about things you can’t control, concentrate on things you can manage, such as how you respond to problems.
- When one is during a challenging situation, looking on the bright side can lead to personal growth.
- Share your feelings- Make an appointment with a therapist or call a friend you can trust for advice.
- Do not hold grudges. Given the fact that the world is imperfect, it is best to face reality and accept that people do make mistakes. Anger and resentment will only burden you, so let them go. Free yourself from the energy of resentment by forgiving and focusing on something else.
- Having fun and relaxing should be a regular part of your life.
- You can reduce stress in your life by taking care of yourself. You’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably arrive if you regularly carve out time for fun and relaxation.
- Don’t let the daily pace of life become overwhelming, and don’t neglect your own personal well-being. It is a necessity, not a luxury, to care for yourself.
- Schedule relaxing time in your schedule, as other obligations may intrude. You’ve reached the point in your life where you no longer have anything to lose, so use this time to recharge your batteries.
- Increase your social interactions—focus on meeting and hanging out with nice people who improve your life.
- Do something you enjoy each day: sing Rabindra sangeet or meditate while looking at the stars.
- Keep your sense of humor- Everyone must be able to laugh at themselves in order to retain their sense of humor.
- It is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to strengthen your physical health and increase your resistance to stress.
- Exercise regularly, for both physical and mental health.
- It is beneficial to eat a healthy diet that is well-nourished. In that way, your body is better prepared to handle stress.
- Caffeine and sugar are the primary causes of moodiness.
- If you use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, you will get relief for the moment, but you are avoiding other stressors in the process.
- Getting enough sleep is critical to both your physical and mental well-being.
Stress is something we all experience in different ways, and what’s important is how we react to it. In some of us, what happens to us, such as breaking a bone or getting a promotion, is what concerns us. For others, the things that happen are less significant than the events themselves. Our thoughts are far more important than the actual situation we are in. In order to relax, we must have a positive attitude and take care of ourselves, without focusing on the past.