There are several common causes of stress. Among the biggest ones are work related stress, relationship issues, and financial problems.
When there is too much stress, it will lead to anxiety. If measures are not taken to reduce the stress level, it will lead to health problems.
Among the effects of stress on health are high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Mental health issues like depression and losing focus or concentration are also possible. Obesity, acceleration of the aging process and a weakened immune system are also related to stress.
Here are a few symptoms and signs of stress
1. Having trouble sleeping or not getting a good night sleep.
2. Job burnout.
3. Emotional eating. It’s when you experience changes in eating patterns. You either eat too much or too little.
4. Recurrent ailments and afflictions like backaches, tension headaches, chest pains and other physical pain.
5. Fatigue, lethargic and exhaustion even with sufficient rest.
6. Increased impatience, irritability and agitation.
7. Emotional issues like anger, sadness, feeling isolated and forlorn.
9. Increased addiction to toxic and unhealthy substances like alcohol and nicotine.
9 Tips to Deal with Stress.
1. Recognize the Triggers.
Be aware of the trigger each time you notice that you are beginning to feel tensed. It is also helpful if you record the triggers in your diary or journal so that you can notice and avoid them in the future.
Writing also helps you notice your reactions. You can then monitor and check your progress.
2. Accept It or Act Upon It.
If what is stressing you hasn’t happened yet and it is within your control, take a positive action to change your focus. It will stop you from feeling anxious and becoming numb.
If it is something that has passed such as a mistake that you have made, accept and admit that you cannot change anything about it. The past is gone and no matter how you think about it, you cannot undo it.
Focus on the present and use it as a feedback and a reminder not to repeat the mistake.
Ask yourself if the issue that’s making you stressful is yours. Could it actually belong to someone else? If it is, look at it at a different viewpoint.
Do not allow other people’s problems and their needs to take control over your life.
3. Exercise or Be Physically Active.
Doing regular exercise is one of the best and natural ways to manage stress. Walking, gardening, kick boxing, Pilates and yoga are among the activities that can help release your physical and emotional strains. This is because when you exercise, you release neurochemicals in your brain that help relieve pain and produce happy feelings.
4. Manage Your Time and Set Priorities.
Trying to get a work life balance is sometimes a daunting task. It isn’t easy to adjust between work and family especially when both are demanding. It can make you feel so overwhelmed.
One of the ways to manage stress in your life is to draw a line between how much time you spend on each activity.
In order to get more done from your job, break down your task and learn to delegate. You could also learn better ways to do your work so that you can get more done in less time. Keep in mind that long hours do not equal better productivity.
Your family and close friends form your inner circle. Make time for them. Your kids need you more when they are growing. Your presence will provide them with the love and security that they need most to ensure that they grow and develop sufficient esteem.
Your spouse and your close friends are the people who will provide the support and encouragement especially when you are down and out. And you in turn support them by being there. Keep your relationships with these people in constant contact and pay attention to them.
5. Change How You View Things.
Some problems are unavoidable and mistakes happen, even disastrous ones. Without a positive mental attitude and looking at the situation from another perspective, you are most likely to feel stressed.
Learn to accept that things happen and they happen for a reason. If you have made a mistake, learn from it and move on. If it is something beyond your control, have faith that it is for your own good, which you may not understand or see it yet. Look forward for better things in the future.
Practice saying positive self-talk. Use affirmations and create images of what you want to happen in your life.
Anticipating a better future changes your focus. It will change your state of mind and your well being.
Remember that your reaction to events and people is the reason behind your stress and not the events themselves. It takes a conscious decision to change your thinking and interpretations.
6. Release and Let Go.
Put aside a little bit of time everyday to meditate, relax and recharge your body and mind. When your mind is quiet and your body is relaxed, you are able to become aware of your suppressed emotions such as guilt.
Becoming aware allows you to listen to what your body and mind is telling you.
During this moment of inner silence and peace you can let go of the things that are bothering you. Letting go allows your body to overcome the tension and contraction.
When your mind is relaxed, your ability to solve problems increases. This is a good time to affirm positive statements and create new mental images.
The simplest relaxation technique is deep breathing. Inhale deeply from your stomach through your nose, hold your breath for a while and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Do it several times and it will make you feel relaxed and calm.
Make it a point to take breaks at work or at home in between your busy schedule to consciously breathe.
A tool that can help you release negative related emotion is EFT or emotional freedom technique. Here is a video on clearing stress with Brad Yates. Try it. You may discover that it is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to manage stress.
Other tools that have proven to help people deal with stress are self-hypnosis, relaxation music with subliminal messages, and guided meditation.
7. Laugh More Often.
Humor heals pain and lightens up your days that may seem so dreadful. You can amuse yourself by watching comedy movies, listening to jokes or just laugh as you notice the idiosyncrasies that are happening around you.
8. Eat Foods that May Help Reduce Stress.
Certain foods will raise your stress level. So eat foods that can help you reduce it. Some examples of foods that you can include in your diet are blueberries, sushi, fish and almonds.
9. Take Herbal Remedies or Health Supplements.
Herbal extract or herbal supplement and essential oils may help as natural remedies for stress. Examples are lemon balm, pasion flower, valerian root, skullcap, hop, ginseng, St John’s wort, rhodiola rosea, bergamot, lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus. Vitamin C, inositol, the B vitamins and magnesium are also beneficial for your nervous system.
Start today to manage your stress level before it increases and becomes more difficult to deal with