How to deal with stress the easy way

An article that talks about the meaningless of stress, its causes and ways for its effective management to ensure you get to live a happier, healthier and better life.

How to deal with stress the easy way

STRESS MANAGEMENT

HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS THE EASY WAY

“IT’S NOT THE STRESS THAT KILLS US, IT IS OUR REACTION TO IT”

Do you know the one thing that is common to all human beings? Of course, there are many things that unite us, and yet there are as many things that distinguish us from every other individual, let alone other races and communities. There are a few things that are common to if not all, then to most human beings.

One of those unifying things is STRESS, it is something we all face at some point in time in our lives. So, what exactly do we mean by the term stress?

It is nothing but our response to events that disturb or threaten to disturb our psychological or physical functioning. However, the degree of stress that we might feel depends upon several factors and varies from person to person. Some people are more immune to handling stressful situations and use effective methods of stress management, for them coping with stress is rather easy.

They possess the ability to remain calm and composed even during the most strenuous of situations whereas, there are also those people who can lose their patience and freak out even in the tiniest of circumstances. If faced with a task that is demanding and has a deadline, such people are likely to experience feelings of anxiety and panic which in turn leads to stress.

Stress can be of different kinds and can be the result of numerous causes. It is rather subjective, and the cause of stress is different for different people. I would further like to validate my argument.

Few examples:

Let us take a scenario to get a better understanding of the argument stated by me. There is a young girl who is an employee at a multi-national company, she is quite good at multi-tasking and deals calmly with stressful situations by using effective stress management techniques. She is given a very tough deadline at work but along with this there are several other things that she must tend to, she has a sick mother at home and she also has to study for a course that she is pursuing online. Under such demanding events, she is likely to become stressed and lose focus but being the multitasker that she is and by making efficient use of stress management methods she can pass through it and excel in all the tasks. She does not panic and continues to work on the task at hand while taking care of her mother with the help of a maid and then finds time for studying after she has done the work that was assigned to her. On the other hand, there is another employee of the same age who was faced with similar conditions, she was not as good at stress management as the other girl and hence lost her calm and was unsuccessful in doing any of the things well.

While talking about stress and stress management it is imperative that we talk about the causes behind stress, these causes are scientifically termed as STRESSORS.

What are stressors?

In totally layman’s language stressors can be defined as events or situations in our environment that cause stress.

Now that we know about stressors let us take a closer look at some examples to get a better understanding.

There are various factors that contribute to stress, they vary from person to person. Among the most important of these are major stressful life events such as the death of a loved one or a painful divorce, the frequent minor hassles of everyday life, conditions, and events relating to one’s job or career. The death of a loved one and marital separation or divorce however cause more stress than failure at a job or school. Stress also leads to an illness of many sorts and continued exposure to stress can lead to physical exhaustion or burnout. If stress continues for too long then it adversely affects the health of a person, according to surveys conducted by scientists and psychologists, stress can add to a person’s illness or medical condition.

For example, a detailed study conducted by Cohen and his colleagues in 1998 showed that stress escalates a person’s medical condition. He surveyed people who were experiencing stress of some kind, he further injected a small dose of the common cold virus inside them. After some time, the people who were under stress showed more extreme symptoms of cold than the people who were not under stress. This proved his point.

These stressors can be controlled and managed if not avoided completely, there are many ways of stress management that have proved effective in the past and continue to give results in the present. Strategies for coping with stress differ for different kinds of people, that is optimists and pessimists – some of them are as follows-

For Optimists

  1. Problem-focused coping – Making specific plans for dealing with the source of stress; implementing such plans
  2. Suppressing competing activities – Refraining from other activities until the problem is solved and stress is reduced
  3. Seeking social support – Obtaining the advice of others, talking the problem over with others

For Pessimists

  1. Denial/distancing – Ignoring the problem or source of stress; refusing to believe that exists or is important
  2. Disengaging from the goal – Giving upon reaching the goal that is being blocked by the stressor
  3. Focusing on the expression of feelings – Letting off steam instead of working on the problem directly

Looking at the above-cited examples one can see that the pessimist’s ways of dealing with stress are something that not many hardworking and striving people would like to follow, so here are some more methods of stress management that everyone can follow for a better and easier life.

  1. Re-balance work and home- All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. This is a saying that fits in here. Do not spend too much time at the office, try to find enough time for fun and loved ones to avoid stress.
  2. Do regular exercise- Moving the body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
  3. Eat well and limit alcohol and stimulants- Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative impacts and can make stress worse, in the long run, so avoid using them. Eat nourishment rich food with a good breakfast. Add more organic fruits and vegetables to your diet and drink lots of water.
  4. Connect with supportive people- Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners and share your problems.
  5. Find time to practice your hobby- If you have a particular hobby like dancing, singing, etc. that you absolutely adore, then find time to do them, engaging in such activities brings joy and pleasure which in turn reduces stress.

These are some of the stress reduction and management techniques that I am sure will help people reduce stress or at least manage it well. A few other stress management techniques may be bonding with your pet, doing a lot of yoga and meditation, getting enough sleep, talking to a counselor if need be, etc.

We as humans have enough troubles in our life, but it is what makes us human, according to me only fun and no responsibilities take away the real meaning of life and with responsibilities comes to stress. In this way, stress is a part of life but we must make sure to stop it from becoming a permanent member. It is a fast-growing problem that needs to be checked with the utmost attention.

                         “GIVE YOUR STRESS WINGS AND LET IT FLY AWAY”

Raj Lakshmi Singh

1st year BA

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MakeBetterLife.)