How to Manage Stress ?

What is Stress?

What are the causes of Stress?

There are two types of stress – short-term and long-term. Below are a few long-term stresses that impact our mental and physical health.

  1. Committing more than you can handle – sometimes we commit to responsibilities more than we can handle. Things start getting chaotic, the pressure starts building and there is tension and anxiety. There would be a sense of urgency from all sides to deliver and this will cause stress.
  2. Personal Challenges – There may be times when family or loved ones going through difficult situations and you are part of it. There may be a few things you can do to handle or control the situation, but a few things would be out of your control. This kind of situation would create tension and stress. You try to come out of such a situation, but you don’t have control over a lot of things. You feel helpless here.
  3. Natural Disasters – There may be a situation where a large group of people are getting affected and you may be part of it, like covid like situations. Millions of people across the globe were impacted due to that and there was a lot of uncertainty about how and when things get normal.
  4. Job Loss – There may be a situation of mass layoff happening in your org, though you may not be part of that, it would create a panic situation where everyone feels unsafe. This gives stress and a sense of uncertainty about the future.
  5. Losing a loved one or the fear of losing – this is when some of your family members or loved ones are not keeping well and there is fear of losing them. Also, the demise of some loved ones may cause stress. This is something out of control but the emotional attachment makes us feel stressed and helpless.
  6. Financial Losses – This situation may occur especially in business where there is a lot of uncertainty and risk. Some external situations may impact the business and you may lose. Again, there is a situation that is out of your control and you feel tension and uncertainty.

There may be other situations that may cause stress in the short term like preparing for a big exam, moving to a new place among unknown people, completing some tasks in a shorter timeline, or having some heated argument or debate with someone.

Stress Management
Photo on Unsplash by Christian Erfurt

What are the impacts of Stress?

Stress is a situation where a person is in tension and under pressure for a long time. This situation is not good for physical and mental health. Long-term stress will cause various health issues like headaches, fatigue, heart issues, restlessness, lack of motivation, sadness, and depression. Long-term stress may result in angry outbursts, irritation, and getting attracted to some kind of addiction like smoking, alcohol, or drugs. These would have further implications which would be difficult to handle.

How to manage stress better?

Some levels of stress may give you alertness and make you ready to handle the situation. It becomes a problem when it continues and makes you challenged for a long time. This is when we need to take some actions to overcome the stress. Our response to the situation would decide how soon we come out of the situation and the situation would be eased. Action is the key to handling stress. Here are some ways that can help in managing stress better.

  1. Yoga and Meditation –  Yoga and meditation will help you to have a healthy body and mind. Regular practice of yoga and meditation would give calmness and the ability to think clearly in stressful situations.
  2. Write a Journal – Writing is like pouring out yourself on a blank piece of paper. I felt this many times that after writing I feel very light. It would clear the clutter from the mind, give clarity of thoughts, and help in thinking better.
  3. Spend time with Family and friends – Humans are social animals. We need people surround us to make us feel better. Family and friends give a sense of assurance that you are not alone. Someone is there with you, standing along with you in difficult situations. You get the confidence to handle and face difficult situations.
  4. Healthy Lifestyle – It is important to have a healthy lifestyle for good physical and mental health. Have a good routine, eat on time, have enough sleep, eat healthy food, and exercise regularly. This will help in having a positive attitude toward things and when difficult situations happen, you are ready to face them.
  5. Ask for Help – We can do a lot of things but not everything. We all need others to help in completing a lot of tasks. So when in a difficult situation, ask for help. Approach the right people and take their help to come out of difficult situations. Same time, help others also when someone asks for your help. The more you give, the more you get in return. So take and offer help to others also when they are having a difficult time.

We all go through stressful situations. These situations are there to test our patience and teach us something. It all depends on how we handle the situation and what actions we take to overcome the situation. It is important to keep ourselves calm and composed in stressed situations and respond accordingly.