A stress response is the human body’s defense mechanism against danger. We experience certain situations in our daily lives when either we try to avoid them or we fight them, fight or flight, which is called the stress response.
Our body goes into physical and mental changes during a stress response. Our heart rate increases, muscles get tensed, and respiration rate increases. When there is a survival challenge a person is able to perform so well that can not be possible in ordinary situations.
You are driving a car on a highway, suddenly you see an electric wire fall on the road from a distance. Your stress response informs you to take proper precautions to keep you safe from danger.
You press the brake, stop the vehicle safely on the roadside and wait until the road is clear. Activated stress response in such situations is normal, necessary, and a lifesaver. Some individuals become stressed in quite safe situations and this is the starting point of a problem.
A stress response is needed for safety but this blessing becomes a curse for some sensitive souls.
Those who are stressed easily feel chest pain, nausea, headache, tiredness, anger, helplessness, less confidence, and difficulty focusing on their work.
If you feel stressed you can manage your stress with help of a few techniques.
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Identify those people in your circle who are trustable and good listeners. When you are stressed talk to them and ask for help. When you are successful in coping with your stress help others as they did when you were stressed. Your strong emotional support will help you fight your challenges and you will manage your stress effectively.
Do what you enjoy doing
Do what gives you peace of mind and satisfaction. You become peaceful and calm by spending time with nature, walking, and enjoying the greenery around you. Gardening is a very good hobby, you spend time with plants, and watch them grow, and it relaxes your body and brain. A healthy body and relaxed brain are needed to live a stress-free life.
Caffeine increases stress, do not consume caffeinated items if you are stressed.
Say No to heavy meals.
Few & frequently is your key to healthy eating. Eat less and after breaks without loading your stomach too much at a time. Consume fruits and vegetables more often, one serving at a time. Have plenty of water. Water intake is necessary for keeping fluid balance intact in the body.
Use your time effectively
Stress and insufficient time management are directly proportional to each other. Those who failed to utilize their time effectively are more stressed. They feel they have lots of things to do and they lack time to enjoy their lives.
Good sleep is needed to maintain a healthy body and brain. If you are stressed you will feel difficulty sleeping. When you are not able to sleep well you feel stressed so both are interlinked. For a nice calm sleep maintain a bedtime that is the same every day. Do not sleep late on weekends and get troubled sleeping well on weekdays. Milk intake before sleeping can be helpful. Do not sleep in the daytime.
Don’t have that much tea, or coffee in day time which interrupts your sleep cycle. Try to do some physical activity during the daytime, it will help you to sound asleep. When you are having trouble sleeping you look at the clock again and again and it increases your stress of not sleeping well. Don’t keep the clock near you or in front of your bed. If you are not asleep after an hour of going to bed, start reading some books and try to sleep after some time again.
Work and family life balance
If your stress is related to your work then better establish a work and family life balance. Set your priorities, and do not overburden yourself. Start your daily routine a little bit earlier. When you start late you start with the stress of being late. When you start before the time you are relaxed and more productive during the day.
Take breaks at work
Take short breaks after completing a task. Give yourself an incentive when you complete a task. You can have your healthy snack during break time, it will provide fuel for your brain also. Try to go away from your workplace during your break time. If you have some green area or park near your office, you can have your lunch break there. It will increase your productivity.
Set realistic deadlines
If you are having difficulty completing some tasks you can ask for help. If you set some deadlines for your tasks, it will increase your sense of responsibility. If you miss deadlines frequently it will give you stress so set realistic deadlines. Feeling the pressure of deadlines is okay but getting stressed and feeling that your work is out of control because of your incompetency is not okay.
Practice good housekeeping
If you are spending your precious time searching for lost items, your table is not organized and your workstation is full of clutter then it can cause stress. Tidy up, organized, and keep things in their place. It will be a relief for your mind and you will feel relaxed in neat & clean surroundings.
Limit chitchat time
More time spent in useless chitchat, more tasks incomplete, and eventually more stress. Keep your conversation brief. Keep an eye on the clock while attending a phone call.
Keep a notebook handy
Keep notes of important tasks, appointments, meetings, etc. When you forget some important piece of information and miss something you get stressed. Write down your important upcoming tasks and deadlines.
Attitude of gratitude
Sometimes life is unfair but be grateful for all the good things in your life. Remember those who did something good to you and try to return the favor. If someone is a good memory for you, try to become a good memory for someone. Also, try to stay happy.
Be aware of your strengths
When you are stressed, you forget what qualities you have. You have successfully faced difficult situations and you will do the same in the future. Be confident and face challenges enthusiastically.
Be kind to others
Kindness is that quality that will open the door to self-satisfaction. If someone in your social network is sick, help them with cooking or doing house chores. Donate blood if someone is in need. Donate food items to your nearby food bank. Organize your wardrobe and donate clothes that you don’t wear.
Practice these simple techniques for stress management and keep yourself relaxed. Someone said “I always try to go the extra mile at work, but my boss always finds me and brings me back”, so enjoy your work and meet deadlines without going the extra mile. It will be more stress management friendly.