We hear so much about stress nowadays, how too much can be damaging to our mental and physical health. What is the importance of stress management and how do we do it?
So what is stress?
This is from the official NHS website
- Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It’s very common and can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life.
- But too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem.
Stress tends to be the crutch of humanity. While animals use stress to their advantage to escape serious life threatening situations, we humans no longer do so. We tend to either freeze, leaving us vulnerable to danger or we run away.
Did you know that stress used to be like a sort of spider sense for us, an intuitive sense allowing us to foresee dangerous situations, telling us that we needed to either fight or flee with our lives? In cave men times it was a vital tool but we no longer require stress as a tool in order to fight for our survival.
Nowadays we are taught that our survivability is already conferred to us, and instead we should concentrate on our passions and hobbies. Although this sounds good at first, this has caused us to become fragile, unwilling to be able to deal with emotions such as stress and fear.
So, despite the fact that stress is meant to help us pull through hard to deal with situations, nowadays stress seems to be nothing more than a bothersome anchor that’s holding us down. Sure, there are plenty of people that can still use stress to their advantage, but alas, too much stress can break anyone, regardless of how powerful they may be mentally or physically. This is why we’ve decided to create this short article for you in which we basically describe how you can prevent stress, deal with it and make sure that you manage it properly by the end of the day. So, without further ado, let’s start with the basics:
Meditation over Medication
Pills can do a lot of good things, but they shouldn’t be used to deal with stress problems unless it becomes so severe there is no choice. Stress isn’t a disease although it can damage the body if endured over long periods of time. It’s a signal pointing out that we’re in over our heads. This basically means that we need to use mind calming techniques such as meditation in order to help us through any stressful situation.
Yoga can help a lot. Spend your time concentrating on the movements and your breathing instead of working on things that you can’t do anything about. Meditating for an hour a day would be fantastic but most people don’t have that much time to spare, even 20 minutes will give you a clearer mind and help your stress levels to lower.
Smile more, cry less
This might be hard to do at first, but it’ll be worth it on the long run. Sure, it might look a bit fake at first, but that doesn’t really matter when it can improve your mental state over a relatively short period of time.
This is a sort of a “fake it until you make it” type of an ordeal, but if you do remind yourself to keep a positive mindset at all times then you should be able to avoid any stress build-up over the course of the day. In order to help you maintain that happiness level up and that stress level down you can also use media to your advantage.
Turn off that depressing news station and instead how about you turn to some childish cartoons? Listen to happy-go-lucky music for once, try some Swing music from the 50s and relax. Life is good; there is no reason to pollute your mind with negativity and stress.
Help those around you
Your mental state is usually affected by what you see around you. If you see some homeless people begging at the side of the road and then you hear that your girlfriend/boyfriend has had to deal with a lot of stress that day then you’ll most likely become quite stressed as a result of that too. In order to avoid this from happening you need to make sure that you help those around you. The more people you help improve their lifestyles the better since you’ll also feel better as a result of that.
So, why not call your mother or father? Ask them how they are, tell them that you love them, that you miss them, tell them that you should get together more, buy them flowers or whatever might make them happy, etc. Call your siblings and have a chat, its good to reconnect with the people who know you best.
Remember to always respect others as mistreating those around you will cause you to look back more, which will in turn make you more stressed.
Be grateful for your family and friends, gratitude is a powerful habit.
Improve don’t disapprove
Instead of complaining about how you look or how you act, you need to make sure that you’re always improving yourself with every mistake. Mistakes made are just lessons to be learnt. It’s a stepping stone to propel yourself higher, to becoming a better version of yourself as a whole.
Stop comparing yourself to others and criticising yourself. You have your positives and they have theirs, you have your high points and so do they, and at the end of the day we all know what being overstressed feels like and not one of us likes it. So, instead of overreacting to every issue you come across, how about you analyse it carefully and move forward with a new strategy in order to avoid those circumstances from ever repeating in the first place.
Treat yourself the way you prefer to be treated
When’s the last time that you decided that you needed a break? When’s the last time that you pampered yourself and enjoyed time alone. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress then the answer to that is probably “not for a long time now”.
That’s one of the reasons as to why we are so stressed most of the time. We all need a break every now and then, and that’s a fact. We deserve a break just as much as everyone else does, which is why this is so important for our mental state.
So, why not go and walk along a beach or go to a beauty spot to just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature around you. Pick up a book, take your dog out for a walk, go jogging, go to the local park, any and all those things if they make you feel happy and relaxed.
We are all different and what one finds relaxing and de stressing another doesn’t. So if a day of watching films or box sets floats your boat, do that.
It’s not good for our physical or mental health to be in a constant state of stress.
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