A job that doesn’t pay you enough. Relatives, family who won’t give you a break and now the traffic jam makes you have anxiety. Managing stress is a health goal. Some people already know it. Others do not. Our daily lives have not been made better by the eternal ding on our mobile gadgets. Notifications about everything and calls and meetings and have you had lunch by the way?
While stress is an automatic response to changes in one’s environment from the nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times and for reasons we are well aware of, it is prudent to consider how best we can manage stressful moments.
So how should we deal with stress?
The following are essential tips to help us deal with things that we cannot control that end up stressing us:
1. Exercise regularly.
The importance of bodily exercise cannot be overstated. More to its advantage is the role that exercise plays to a healthy mind and body. Exercise helps in reducing muscle and mental tension that accumulates to cause stress. Yoga, running, weight lifting and jogging are some of the commonest exercises that help in releasing the tension and consequently reducing stress.
2. Identify your stressors.
Identifying what makes you feel stressed is crucial. Are the stressors predictable and readily known to you? Are they external stressors or like environment, major life changes, a stressful job? Or are they internal stressors like uncertainty, illness or fears?
Being able to recognize what causes you stress is the initial step towards solving it. Eventually, you will be in a position to muster how to manage it. Stress is a fact of life. And that’s OK. You can find ways to handle it.
3. Cultivating a positive, winning attitude.
In the era where competition to stand out is so stiff and rife, it is important to pause and identify oneself. It is important to be clear cut on things that you can do and those that you cannot. Cultivating a winning attitude that will allow you to admit things that are out of your control is important. You do not have to press yourself to acquire a house because others have done it so. Thus, appreciating your abilities, strengths, and weaknesses are the key to avoiding stress.
4. Ensure to eat a healthy diet.
According to American Psychological Association, Eating a diet full of processed and convenience food, refined carbohydrates, and sugary snacks can worsen symptoms of stress, while a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help you better cope with life’s ups and downs.
5. Ensure that you have a social support network.
In an era where having, authentic friends with a physical presence in one’s life have been replaced with Instagram and Facebook friends, it is almost impossible to have a group of people some can convey their problems to, sadly. As such, it is hard to have an outlet for your emotions or to express self when you get into stressful situations. A network of people- whether family members, close friends, workmates, or schoolmates to whom one can express themselves when in difficult situations is important in coping with stress. This is because one cannot solve all their problems entirely by themselves and sharing experiences helping in easing tension while at the same time finding diverse solutions to problems.
6. Seek medical attention from professionals
Psychologists or other mental health professional trained in stress management techniques can help you find out healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life.
7. Avoid people who or situations that stress you out.
As an individual, you are the only one who can tell when, where and with who you are comfortable. It is important to mark your boundaries and stay away from stressors.
8. Finally, speak up.
Well, this might be hard for some of us. But you should not let stress or tension build up within you. Instead, learn to open up about things that cause you to stress to your support network. That way, it will not be left upon you to battle with stress.