Stress Management: What Is Stress? + 5 Tips for How to Reduce Stress and How to Relax
What is Stress?
Stress is a response produced by your body when you are subjected to various types of demand, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. Contrary to what most people believe, stress isn't always a bad thing. Excessive positive emotions can result in stress as well. When something that takes place or is about to take place in the environment is producing stress in a person's body, it results in the release of certain chemicals into your bloodstream.
On the positive side, these chemicals can be utilized to produce more energy or added strength. This is helpful when the cause of your stress is something physical. But when you are dealing with emotional stress, it can cause a negative effect on your body since there is no outlet for releasing that extra boost of energy and strength. Therefore, stress results in various types of emotional or physical responses because each individual's body responds differently to the stimulus. We use stress management to better understand how to control our emotions and respond positively.
Types and Causes of Stress
Whether you admit it or not, stress is a part of everyday life. It impacts people at school, at the office, or just about anywhere you are forced to deal with people and the environment. Hence, the type of stress is closely associated with its cause. And because your physical body is closely connected to your emotional and mental state, you will notice some connection to their effects when you begin to experience stress. This is also the reason why it is important to combat the cause of stress and practice stress management since it affects several vital aspects of your body in order to function.
Here are some of the most common sources of stress that must be dealt with on an everyday basis:
There are times when you constantly worry about certain events without having enough control to determine its outcome. Internal stress is also one of those kinds of stress that needs to be addressed quickly. Most of the source of stress is rooted in the person's mind, which makes it difficult to manage and would entail more work to get rid of. Oftentimes, people suffering from internal stress subconsciously put themselves in stressful situations or feel stressed out about things that aren't stressful to begin with.
This type of stress deals with the danger, mostly physical, that an individual is subjected to. It can be prompted by an attack made by either human or animal that could potentially hurt you in the process. Therefore, your body releases this burst of energy that you need to utilize to respond quickly about the situation at hand whether to confront it or escape from it.
This type of stress is your body's way of responding to changes or activities in your environment that could produce stress, such as extreme levels of noise or pressure from work. As compared to the other types of stress already mentioned above, this one is a lot easier to deal with. The best way to get started combating this stress type is to determine the source. Once you have identified the source of environmental stress, find a way to avoid them.
Stress Due To Work and Fatigue
Another common type of stress and probably the most prevalent. This one though does not happen in an instant, but rather builds up over time. When you are spending too much time working or forced to deal with an excessive amount of work, then it can take its toll on your body. To deal with work stress, you need to make sure you have enough rest and relaxation in between so your body can recover from the tremendous amount of work. There are relaxation methods that you can apply in order to find relief from stress.
Want to learn more techniques to manage stress? Check out my FREE Stress-Relief Toolkit!
The Basics Of Stress Management
Stress has always been a part of our daily routine; problems at work or issues with your business, or even some conflicts between your friends and family members -- stress always rears its ugly head to make our life difficult. If left unchecked, stress will result in wrong decisions due to our confused state of mind. In fact, being unsuccessful is also attributed to stress -- which involves a person's fear and anxiety taking over their rational thinking.
Stress Management aims to help an individual cope with stress. This involves techniques and strategies to help a person to physically, mentally, and emotionally cope with their individual problems.
Stress Management 101: What is Stress Management?
Stress management involves methods and strategies in which a person can directly take control of their problems before they take its toll on their bodies. In most cases, a person who is under the grip of stress is often plagued with physical ailments, emotional problems, or even mental and behavioral changes that can affect your lifestyle.
There are different techniques and tricks that a person can use to deal with their own stress and problems. Even if one method of stress management worked for some, there is no guarantee that it will have the same effect on you. In truth, the application of stress management depends on our mindset on how we view stress and our capability to deal with it.
How to Reduce Stress
Stress has always been a part of our lives. In this hectic time, people lead increasingly stressful lives. A little stress can be good; it keeps you sharp and ready to move forward, and is sometimes vital for achieving optimum performance. However, medical research has determined that prolonged stress is very bad for the body, and can block the body's natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. Over 90% of disease is caused by stress. Stress is both a physical and psychological response. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.
Stress is such a powerful and harmful force that it is vital that you learn effective stress management techniques to live a successful, happy, and healthy life. We must remember that we will always come across inevitable factors that cause pressure and anxiety on us. What we do not know is that it is not really the problems that are difficult to deal with, but our attitude towards them. So basically, the cause of stress is your attitude toward these things. What, then, is an effective way to deal with stressors?
5 Tips - How To Reduce Stress
1. Identify what makes you stressful and uneasy. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.
2. Calm down. Even just a three-minutes break can do you good. Wash your face, breath slowly and deeply, and notice if there is tension in any part of your body and release it. You can also listen to relaxing music, or call a friend. Releasing your inner feelings to a friend is a healthy option.
3. It will pass and it will be over before you know it. Remind yourself that the stressful event will end sooner or later and can make you see the positive sides of things. At the same time, calm down your emotions and think of what is the best thing to do rather than take your energy away from what needs to be done.
4. Know yourself. Ask yourself: What triggers your anxiety? If for example it is your job, then maybe itís time for you to reconsider whether it would be best to find a less stressful job. You can also make your job more tolerable by allowing yourself to get that needed vacation or leave. Never tire yourself of thinking what canít be changed immediately, like a new memorandum assigning you to a new work schedule that you donít prefer. In due time, things will get better as you adjust to your work.
5. Learn to use your relaxation response. Just as we all have within us the stress response, we also have an opposite response, which is the relaxation response. A person should elicit that on a regular basis. The relaxation response involves two steps. Repetition, the repetition can be a word, a sound, an expression, or a repetitive movement. The second step is to ignore other thoughts that come to your mind while you're doing the repetition, and come back to the repetition.
The technique should be used once or twice a day for about 15 minutes. Sit quietly and choose a suitable repetition, like a prayer, the sound Om, or the word love, or calm. Or you can do a repetitive exercise, for instance yoga, jogging, or Reiki. Additional repetitive activities are knitting or handicraft. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and better able to handle the stressors. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice and relax your mind, the easier it gets.
The true causes of stress are not the problems or negative experiences that you encounter in your life; but your attitude toward them. So, the trick is to change your attitude and to develop a relaxed state, because you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time. It is important to understand that what we focus on, we energize.
The more you continue to think about the factors that cause your stress, the more energy you give it. So it is vital to let go and focus on relaxation instead. Consequently, you're less likely to be upset by a stressor, and thus less likely to have its harmful effect occur. Eventually, it is your choice. You could either continue to react in the same stressful way, or you could choose to improve your life by changing your attitude and becoming relaxed. Thereís no other way around it.
How to Relax
Experts would agree that stress always starts with problems that crop up in our life from time to time. Small problems are easy to deal with, but when they start piling up on you that they become stressful. In truth, stress takes root in our minds and may become a problem when we let it control our way of thinking.
It is very important for an individual to relax and be mindful when gripped by stress. There are plenty of relaxation methods you can use to achieve a calm state of mind. Meditation is a great way to focus your thoughts on a more productive subject than wallowing in your problems that will eventually result in self-pity and depression. Practicing meditation daily will help a person develop a method of looking into a problem in a detached state -- which is to say that your emotions will not be affecting your decision and you can proceed to fixing it without worries of making a mistake.
Breathing exercises are also very useful if you want your mind to achieve a relaxed state. Proper intake and distribution of oxygen throughout your body can help keep our mind clear and focused. Also breathing exercises serve as a prologue to meditation.
Ask The Help Of A Professional
If you are having problems dealing with stress on your own, then it's a fine time to look for a professional to help you out. You can have an expert on stress take a look at your condition and help you cope with it. In most cases, these experts will help you face your fears and worries head-on and help you find a solution to cope with the problem to remove stress from your system.
Want to learn more techniques to manage stress? Check out my FREE Stress-Relief Toolkit!