Today most people want to gain control over the ill-effects of stress. They want peace back into their lives. The ultimate goal of stress management is to increase productivity so that you can live a balanced life. Sometimes you try to de-stress yourself by consuming alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Consumption of these products does not relieve stress. Your body remains in a state of stress and gives rise to more problems.
The Reason Behind Stress Generation
Stress arises due to outside forces, your body, and your thoughts. Whenever you move out of your comfort zone, you feel stressed. It generates from within the body in the form of worries, fears, and anxiety.
You get negative reactions from the body. These changes occur at the physical, mental, and emotional levels. Headache, stomach ache, high blood pressure, chest pain, and sleeping disorders are a few symptoms of stress.
Also, when your life does not follow the pattern defined by you, you get stressed. Analyze the reasons that contribute to stress and recondition your mind accordingly.
Before we move to techniques to combat stress, it is necessary to know the types of stress and their effect on your body.
Types of Stress and how do They Affect our Health
Stress is part of life. Your body experiences stress and react to it.
Stress is of two types:
It arises when you receive an opportunity that leads to a positive outcome.
Getting a job promotion with greater responsibilities and challenges is positive stress.
It arises when you are unable to face a difficult situation or complete a task that leads to a negative outcome.
When you are unable to handle the challenges of a new job, you get depressed. You develop a fear of losing your job.
Hence, you must learn to control your stress with a few techniques mentioned below.
Relax Your Mind to Think Clearly
Various methods are available to relax your mind. The most popular is practicing meditation. The purpose of meditation is to block the thinking part of the mind. It stops the mind from focusing on the stress causing issues. It redirects the mind to focus on calming elements. It generates positive energy, which rejuvenates your whole system.
Meditation is practiced in various forms. You can select the form which suits you the best. But, a lot of practice is required to focus on and achieve a level of control.
Make Exercise a Part of Your Daily Routine
Increase your daily physical activity levels. It is an easy, natural, and powerful technique to fight stress. Committing to a regular exercise routine takes time in the beginning. But sparing only 15 minutes per day will reduce stress and uplift your mood.
There are several benefits of exercising like:
- It reduces stress and anxiety. Hormones named endorphins are released whenever we exercise. They travel throughout your body, which boosts energy.
- It also helps you to lose weight.
- It gives you time to reset your mind and soul.
Note: Workout in silence. Leave your mobile phone and headphone at home.
Limit Incoming Noise to Boost Mental Health
These days you cannot take your mind off your phones, tablets, emails, and notifications. These all pull our concentration in a hundred different directions. You have several things happening at the same time. It causes your mind to refocus, again and again, thereby increasing the stress level.
Learn to cut noise and reboot your mental and emotional health. It helps to boost creativity and complete your tasks more efficiently.
Switch off the internet before going to bed. Before sleeping, stop staring at your mobile or laptop screen. Continuous scrolling leads to high-stress levels, which affect sleep.
Read a short story or watch some live TV show, which is not much engaging. Your mind will relax and wind up. Turn off notifications and ask people to call if there is an emergency after a particular time of the day.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Adequate rest rejuvenates your body both at the physical and mental levels.
Lack of sleep also leads to depression and irritability. It further leads to stress.
But do not sleep longer than your body’s requirement.
It will lead to stress as you will not be able to complete your to-do-list and will eventually be less productive.
Maintain a sleep schedule. Your brain will automatically shut down at the same time every night.
To establish a regular sleep pattern, avoid doing exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime because exercising creates endorphins that give us energy.
Take a warm bath with some calming essential oils, like vanilla and lavender. Also, avoid eating large and starchy food close to bedtime as it can cause heartburn.
Learn to say no
Are you a yes person?
Most of you are afraid to say no when people approach you for help and support. It holds not only in personal relationships but also in professional aspects of your life.
Sometimes you jump onto every opportunity or an online course that comes your way. You want to keep yourself ahead in the competition. It affects your performance. If you consistently follow this pattern, your creative energy falls. If you are in this situation, then analyze your workload.
With a heavier workload, your output quality will suffer.
Redefine your schedule. Reduce your workload. Get rid of mundane tasks. Learn to outsource. Learn to prioritize tasks. Try to complete the big task first and easier later.
End Procrastination and be Organized
Delaying your work until the last minute adds to a lot of stress. Never delay tasks with a specific deadline. For example: If you prepare for an exam a day before, you will not be able to remember anything. It will lead to stress.
Maintain a separate to-do list.
Write down tasks in decreasing order of priority. Place the big and important tasks at the top. These need to be completed at the very beginning of the day. Divide the task into small chunks. It will keep you motivated.
Take into consideration the deadlines also.
Put the one with the earliest deadline at the top of your to-do list.
Take regular short breaks of approximately 5 to 10 minutes between the tasks to refresh yourself, such as doing deep breathing exercises, stretching, etc. This helps you to stay focused and also recharges you at regular intervals.
Switch to Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating habit is often ignored as a stress-reducing technique.
Some changes you should make in your eating habits are:
- Reduce caffeine intake either in the form of coffee or caffeinated beverages in a natural way to relieve stress.
- Cut on coffee intake gradually, not at once. You may reach a point where you do not need caffeine at all.
- Avoid a diet full of packaged food items.
- Cut on your carbohydrates and sugar intake, and you feel less sluggish.
- You can cut back on carbs by eliminating sweets, replacing white bread with brown bread, replacing sugary drinks with freshwater, freshly prepared juice or coconut water, etc.
People with high-stress levels sometimes need to be hospitalized. Complete rest and medication are required to normalize the body. It also reduces life expectancies.
So it is necessary to identify and address the causes of stress to approach and overcome them easily.
It requires you to have a personalized clear plan with a practical and proven solution.
Holistic analysis of the reason that causes stress should be done rather than focusing on one action that triggers it.
Make one change at a time and make a consistent effort to reduce your stress level.
Let the change develop into a habit before moving onto another. I hope you find all the techniques listed above useful.
If you have any other stress-relieving technique, please share it below in the comment box.