Stress can come from relationships, work, school or home related tasks. When the demands placed on us become more than we can handle we become stressed. Stress can be beneficial when it forces us to stretch ourselves beyond our limits. It is here that we move from our comfort zones. However, when stress is beyond our natural abilities, it can cause several health illnesses.
When stress causes us to be constantly anxious, lose sleep, have insomnia then it becomes detrimental to our health. It is vital that we find healthy ways to handle stress instead of turning to something like heroin addiction.
Take time off work to relax
While we work to pay off our bills, it is recommended to take some time off work to have fun and relax. Many may consider this time as a luxury or wastage, but it gives you time to recharge. People who take time off work are more productive and creative. To make this work, schedule some time every week for fun activities. Do what you enjoy. It could be watching your favorite movie on Netflix or listening to some favorite tunes. During this time shut off any work-related issues and focus on the moment.
Identify your stressors
You cannot treat something if you are not aware of the source. Stress management helps us to identify our stressors. Some of the major stressors are identifiable like losing your job, divorce, losing a loved one, having a sick child, or debt. But, there some stressors that need you to take a more in-depth look into your life to identify them. Your stressors will continue to have control over your life unless you can identify them and take responsibility. For example, if you are always stressed over work, could it be that you take on more work than you can handle. By keeping a journal, you can keep a tap on all the emotions and thought taking place inside your brain.
Learn to say “No.”
One of the significant causes of stress is taking more work than you can handle. We often do this in an attempt to please others. It could be at work or at home. To avoid stress in the future, you need to learn how to say no. People may be hurt, but with time they tend to be more understanding. The stressor could also be a person, and it is wise to know your limits and avoid relationships that are too demanding. Take control of what you are doing. If social media makes you anxious, then learn to turn off your phone and taking a break from it. Try to find a balance between work, family, and friends. While this can be a challenge at the beginning, it is possible. To make a to-do list of all the things you need to be accomplished during the week; include leisure time and any other social activities. Working all the time often leads to burnout, and you become less productive.
Express your feelings
Bottled up feelings cause more harm than good. Learn to express your emotions by being assertive. There is a thin line between been assertive and aggressive. When you’re aggressive, you only look at things from your perspective while ignoring the rights of others. Assertiveness, on the other hand, lets you express yourself while at the same time taking into consideration the feelings of others. Assertiveness enables you to communicate in a clear and concise way while leaving room for dialogue. Resentment boils up when we do not express our emotions. Assertiveness results in a win-win situation for both parties because it provides room for compromise.
Exercise is not only good for your health, but it is a known stress reducer. When we talk of exercise, many people think of working out in the gym, but exercise can include taking a 20-minute walk, dancing or swimming. You can also practice martial arts and kickboxing as these help you vent out negative emotions. Exercise helps to release endorphins, which are good for promoting good moods. The benefits of exercising can be felt after a workout.
Some stressors cannot be changed, and one needs to accept that they are a part of life. These can include things like the death of a loved one or loss of a job. The only way you can change this stressor is to accept them as part of life. While this can be difficult in the beginning with time you come to accept things that are beyond your control. Meditation is one way through which you can look at things from different perspectives. During this time you can focus on the positives; if you have lost a loved one, it could be good if you focused on the happy moments that you shared. Since we live in an imperfect world, it is equally important to forgive those people who have hurt you. Forgiving people enables you to free yourself from all the negative energy and is the first step to moving on.
Social support network
It is vital that you find people who you trust and who you can share your feelings with when things are not going your way. These friends become a part of your support system. You can call, text or send them an email every time you feel stressed. The person you share with your feelings should be someone you trust and who will not go telling everyone what is going on in your life. There are instances where the stressor is someone close to you. It would be ideal to take a break from that person for some time.
Stress is part of life it is how we cope with it that can cause us more problems. If you take to drugs as a coping mechanism, then you add more problems to the existing ones. The first thing you need to do is to identify your stressors. You can try journaling to identify some of your negative emotions. Once you have identified your stressor, find constructive ways to control it. If it is work related, try finding a balance between work and your social life.