Stress is natural. Each and every one of us has to encounter stress at one point or the other. The need to meet deadlines, complete difficult tasks, and decision fatigue are a few to name which add weight to the baggage of stress anybody is carrying.
Stress is inevitable. All you can do is to learn to manage it properly. As Lou Holtz has very amply said, “It’s not the load that breaks you down it’s the way you carry it”. In order to take charge of your life and your happiness stress management is essential.
Being a stay at home mom of three kids one of which is a special needs child, I myself know very well the day to day stressful situations. When I was working full time work related stress also added to my baggage of stress.
Implications of Stress
We all know that stress is root cause of many emotional, mental and physical health issues. Stress produces the hormone cortisol and exposure to this hormone for a longer time causes many diseases.
Stress not only pushes you subtly towards ill health, it also keeps you unsatisfied and unhappy.
Self Help Techniques for Stress Management
Through trial and error I have found out that there are some small steps which you can take to keep stress in check. These are my tried and tested tips and they have never disappointed me so far.
For a human body to function properly some of its basic needs should be fulfilled. A person who doesn’t eat or sleep well is at higher risk to stress.
In order to get rid of stress you must eat and sleep well and drink good amount of water. Similarly giving yourself something which you really enjoy is also very much helpful to keep yourself satisfied. When your basic human needs are fulfilled then you will be better equipped to handle stress.
Meditation has many benefits and stress reduction is one of them. Even five to ten minutes of meditation instantly calms you down and you feel some stress relief.
The simplest form of meditation is enough to get a shot of calmness. Just sit down comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes. Keep your focus on your breath. You will observe different thoughts appearing in your mind. You are required not to actively think a thought and keep your focus on your breath. Thoughts will disappear one after the other and at the end of your session you will be much relaxed.
If you want to take one piece of wisdom from stress management it would be, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose on thought over another”. This piece of wisdom is by famous American philosopher and psychologist William James. Your meditation session will show you exactly that it’s you who has the power to choose your thoughts. You just need to put your efforts to choose well.
3. Keep Healthy Routines
To have healthy routines not only help you in being productive but they are also very handy in busting stress.
Waking up early, keeping a schedule and minimizing time wasters like TV and social media help a lot in stress management.
4. Talk it Out
Talking about your stressful situation with a trusted friend or spouse helps a lot in getting rid of the stress. When you talk about your problem not only you take out your stressful thoughts but it also helps you to think clearly.
5. Cry it Out if You Need to
At times in stressful conditions there is so much emotional overload that you feel like crying. In such situations crying out your problem help a lot in taking away the burden from your mind. As a result you feel much better and relaxed.
It is scientifically proven that exercise helps in combating stress. Exercise produces, endorphins, the feel good hormones. These hormones help you stay happy and get rid of stress. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to do such type of exercise any exercise like walking and running is enough to do the trick.
Writing acts as a therapy. Similar to meditation writing also declutter your mind and gives you much needed clarity. It helps in reducing stress.
Whenever you feel stressed and overwhelmed just take out a pen and paper and write down your thoughts in your mind at that time. When your thoughts are transferred to the piece of paper you are very much relieved from stress.
8. Take a Dose of Humor
Laughing also helps in countering stress. Watching a light program preferably a comedy show of your choice can also help you a lot in shedding off the burden of stress.
9. Positive Body Language
Body language is a reflection of your mood and your confidence and vice versa. As they say fake it until you make it, implying a better body posture and a smile how fake it may be help you actually feel a bit better.
10. Give Yourself Positive Pep Talk
There is a strong mind and body connection. If your mind tell your body it can do something, it will do it, and if you tell your body that it won’t do something your body won’t do it. Take advantage of this strong mind body connection and give yourself some pep talk during stressful conditions.
Affirming sentences like “I can do it. I can handle this” helps a lot in managing stress and better equip you to handle any situation.
11. Deep Breathing
When a human body is calm and relaxed it breathes slowly and deeply. On the other hand as it gets stressed out its heart rate increases, breathing becomes fast and shallow and blood pressure might also increase.
Deep breathing helps in reducing stress and as result heart rate and blood pressure is also lowered.
Whenever you feel stressed, try breathing slowly and deeply. Take air in through your nose and fill your lungs so that your belly is pushed out with air filled lungs. Wait a few seconds and exhale through your mouth. Take at least 8-10 deep breaths and you will feel much better.
If the aforementioned steps do not help you and you still feel burdened by stress I will suggest taking professional help.
Each and every one of us has chance to encounter stress in one way or the other. Stress is the root cause of various emotional, mental and physical health issues.
Stress management can help you to take control of any stressful condition. Simple self-help techniques like ample self-care, following healthy routines, keeping an outlet for your emotions like writing and talking out your feelings, deep breathing and exercise help a lot in better management of stress.