Hans Selye, a recognized expert in the field, has defined stress as the nonspecific response of the body to stresses. Without stress, life would be dull and boring. Stress adds flavor, challenge and opportunity to life. However, too much stress can seriously affect our physically and mentally wellbeing. A major challenge in our current life dominated by stress is how to make the stress a friend and not an enemy.
During a stressful situation, the body signals the release of stress hormones. These chemicals trigger a series of responses that increase the body’s energy levels: the level of blood glucose is high, the pulse becomes faster and blood pressure rises. The blood supply to the extremities is diverted to help the body adapt to given situations. Stress always accompanies us. It derives from the emotional activity, and the physical activity. It’s unique and tailored to each person.
The most important thing is to learn how your body reacts to these requests. When stress becomes prolonged or particularly frustrating, it can be harmful, causing distress or bad stress. Recognizing the early signs of distress and then doing something about them can make an important difference in terms of quality of life and can influence life expectancy.
Tips for dealing with stress
– Try physical activity. When you are sad or angry release the tension by exercising. Running, walking, tennis or working in the garden are some of the activities you can try. Exercise will relieve the feeling of restraint, you will relax and it will turn frowns into smiles. Remember, your body and mind work together!
– Share your stress. It helps to talk to someone about your concerns and worries. A counselor, a teacher, a friend or family member can help you see your problem in a different light. If you feel your problem is serious, you might seek professional help from a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker.
– Know your limits. If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, do not fight the situation. Learn to accept the situation until such time that you can change it.
– Take care of yourself. You are special, rest and eat enough. If you are irritable and tense from lack of sleep or if you are not eating correctly, you will have a less ability to cope with stressful situations. If stress repeatedly keeps you from sleeping, you should seek medical help.
– Make time for fun, so plan your time for work and for fun. Having fun can be just as important for you as working. Take a break from your daily routine, just to relax and have fun.
– Participate in various social activities. A way through which you can remove boredom, sadness or loneliness is to get involved in different activities. Sitting alone can be very frustrating. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get involved. Help yourself by helping others. Get involved in the world around you and you will find that people will be attracted to you. You are about to make new friends and enjoy new activities.
– Plan your assignments. Taking care of everything at once can seem overwhelming and as a result you will not accomplish anything. Instead, make a list of what you have to do and do them one by one, checking them off as they’re completed.
– Do you really need to be always right? Other people get you upset especially when they do things like there are not supposed to? Try cooperation instead of confrontation. It’s better than continuous fighting. Little compromise on both sides can reduce tension and will make you feel more comfortable.
– It is normal to cry. A healthy crying can be an effective method to reduce anxiety and prevent a headache or other physical consequence. Take a deep breath.
– Create your own personal environment. You can’t leave anytime you want, but you can dream the “impossible dream”. A quiet country scene painted mentally or on canvas, can take you out of the turmoil of a stressful situation. Change the scene by reading a good book or playing beautiful music to create a sense of peace and tranquility.
– Avoid taking stress medication without asking a specialist. Although you can use drugs to temporarily relieve stress, they cannot remove the conditions that caused the stress in the first place. Drugs can cause addiction and cause more stress rather than remove it.
The best strategy for avoiding stress is to learn how to relax. Unfortunately, many people try to relax at the same rate in which they live their life. For a while, forget your worries about productivity and success. Find activities that you enjoy doing and are good for your body and your mind. Forget the desire to always win and focus on relaxation, joy and health. Be good to yourself.