I need not define stress for you. You must have felt it a million times already. Chances are that you are feeling it right now. You feel it in your bones, your muscles, and even in your mind. But why do we get stressed?
Why Do We Get Stressed?
Stress envelopes you when you feel the pressure to cope with the demands of work, school, or whatever task you are doing. It is normal for you to be stressed once in a while, but it could mutate into a major problem when you do nothing about it. Having too many stressors could dent your mental wellbeing.
What Does Stress Do to You?
If you feel any of these, you are probably stressed.
- You can’t shake off the feeling of worry or anxiety
- Mood swings start popping up constantly
- Not eating properly
- You feel overwhelmed
- Concentrating becomes hard
- Dependence on alcohol or drugs to relax
- Constant body aches or headaches
- Relaxing becomes difficult
- Low sex drive
- Low self-esteem
- You no longer get enough sleep
- Short temper
- And in some cases, hair loss.
The way everyone reacts to stress is different. You may feel a lot of those symptoms while someone else may feel just a few of them. As long as you are human, you may never completely avoid stress. But you can get better at managing it. In fact, you can learn to manage your stress level so much that it feels like you are never stressed.
How to Manage Stress
Here are tips on how to manage your stress level:
1. Identify What is Stressing You
It is necessary to identify your stressor so you can know how best to manage or work around them to reduce your stress level. Your stressors might not be immediately obvious to you.
For instance, you may find that it is your lack of time management discipline that is causing stress for you, rather than a deadline itself. Your stressor could even be something as trivial as how disorganized your room is.
Take a close look around you, identify what stresses you out, and try to work your way around them. And when you encounter a stressor you can’t change, you learn to adapt to it.
2. Steer Clear of Alcohol, Caffeine, and Nicotine
The last thing you need when you are stressed is to drink a stimulant, and that is what those three are.
Alcohol maybe a depressant when you take it in large quantities, but it remains a stimulant when you take it in little quantities. Instead of reducing your stress level, stimulants could heighten it and leave you feeling more restless than before.
You can replace these stimulants with water, fruit juices, or herbal teas. And if you must take any of those stimulants, make sure it is only a little.
2. Exercise Your Body
Stress gets your adrenaline pumping. Adrenaline and cortisol are hormones that the body secretes to keep us from physical harm. You can call them the fight-or-flight hormones.
And when stress happens, your body secretes these hormones in excess. Exercise helps you to break them down and return your body to its normal condition.
It doesn’t have to be heavy weight lifting or something energy-sapping. It could be something as simple as taking a walk. The main idea is to keep your body active.
3. Try to Get Some Sleep
Not getting enough sleep could cause your body to be stressed. If you have been bouncing around for a while with little or no sleep, your body starts to ask for rest by getting stressed.
In some other cases, stress might be the reason you don’t get enough sleep. You don’t have to rely on medication to get some rest. Instead, reduce the amount of demanding work you do if you can.
You can also listen to songs or read a book as you try to sleep. Taking a warm bath before you sleep also helps. Another thing that works is tiring your body out, so get active.
5. Have Fun and Try to Relax
Now is the time to turn to the things you enjoy doing best. Well, unless they are the ones stressing you. If stress plagues you every day, then make sure you do the things you enjoy every day.
Do things that relax you. Hang around with friends, watch some comedy movies, or maybe get your hands on a good book. What matters most is that you keep your mind in a relaxed state.
6. Live Healthily
This is the ultimate stress management tip. You can heighten your resistance to stress by living healthily.
Engage in regular exercises and get yourself to sweat. Eat nourishing foods at the right time and avoid junks. Sleep and do the things you love, and in no time, you would find that you feel a lot more relaxed.