Stress is a part of our day to day living. In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced world we are all victims of stress. Even children are not spared from it.
The stress you experience is not necessarily harmful. Mild forms of stress can act as a motivator and energizer. However, if your stress levels are too high, medical and social problems can result.
Causes of Stress
Biological- These include lack of fitness, poor diet, genetic disorders resulting in chemical imbalances in the body, pregnancy, puberty, menopause, aging, etc.
Social- Pressure to conform to social or employment patterns, death of spouse, moving residence, changing jobs, marriage, conflict in relationships, lack of support, high pressure job, etc.
Psycho dynamic- Subconscious thoughts and feelings arising out of childhood experiences, inner conflicts, etc.
How does one know that one is suffering from stress? If you feel irritable and moody, are unable to concentrate, startle easily, cry for no apparent reason, experience speech difficulties, nervous ticks, indigestion and headaches, chances are that you are suffering from stress.
It is important to recognize the signs of stress early and learn to deal with it.
Tips for Handling Stress
- Become aware of your own reactions to situations.Avoid events that stress you out. If you cannot do so, learn to control your own feelings and emotions. Remember, events by themselves are not stressful, it is the way that we perceive them that make them stressful.
- Focus on your good qualities and achievements. Be proud of what you are and what you have achieved.
- Have a positive approach towards life. Do not be a pessimist and imagine worst case scenario for every situation.
- Avoid unnecessary competition. Be content with what you have rather than hankering after that bigger car, bigger house and more money that your neibhour has.
- Develop a hobby. It could be learning a new craft, playing a musical instrument, dancing, painting, etc. These are excellent stress busters.
- Relax and have fun. Do not take life too seriously. Work hard but party harder.
- Exercise regularly. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called Endorphins. These Endorphins trigger positive feelings in your body thus making you feel good. So exercising eases your stress levels and gives you a sense of command over your body and your life.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Stress shrinks your adrenal glands, and a healthy diet helps to maintain good adrenal function. A healthy diet can keep you fit, fresh and in good mood. However, if you eat unhealthy food, it may upset your digestive system, lead to headache , irritation and ultimately stress.
- Discuss your problems with trustworthy friends. Keeping things bottled up builds stress. So it is a good idea to talk things out with someone you trust. Talking about problems also helps in finding solutions for the same.
- Practice time management. Most of the time stress is caused because we have so much to do and not enough time to do it. If you manage your time well you will be able to accomplish a lot without getting stressed.
- Practice meditation and deep breathing techniques. Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it calm and inner peace and resulting in physical and emotional well being.
- Listen to music. Music instantly helps calm you down. Studies have shown that listening to music has a soothing effect on your nerves.
- Set aside daily family time. Spending quality time with your loved ones is also an excellent stress buster. Ensure that the family has at least one sit-down meal together where they can all unwind.
Practice these simple rules and live a stress free life!