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Stress is an overwhelming part and parcel of our lives. Here are 8 simple ways to manage your stress, so that you can live happy, and breathe easy!
The general belief that stress is a threat to our complete well-being still exists. Many of us, including me, have perceived stress as a danger. In fact, haven’t we tasted stress as kids, in the form of studies and exams? It’s true that even a small child can be stressed! As a kid, I often had this weird thought that if we could add some extra hours to the day, then we could certainly deal with all the extra work.
We deal with stress in various forms – managing a demanding job, catering to the needs of family, parental commitments, commitments towards marriage, and dealing with our changing roles. Not all of us are able to adapt and deal with the stress that these changing roles bring upon us.
The saddening part of the whole thing is that our health is jeopardized, and that’s the whole point of discussing this topic. I’ve personally known people who’ve been affected by stress. It’s taken a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Despite this, I’ve decided to look at stress in a favourable manner. There is a positive side to stress, and it can be managed. This article lists simple steps that can be taken to manage it. Steps that can easily be applied to our daily lives.
Dealing with negative people is not easy, and we’ve all encountered them – in our families and in our place of work. Interacting with negative people leaves us feeling drained. We cannot control people’s behaviour towards us. However, we can learn to control our own reactions. Controlling our reactions is within our power and we can take pride in our attitudes. It may not be possible to eliminate negative people from our lives, but we can disengage or limit the time spent with them. Here’s an article that tells you how to deal with negativity and criticism : Rise and Shine : How to deal with criticism.
Friendships play a vital role in our mental health. Having friends who are supportive does wonders to our mental health, as they form a strong support system. They help us put things in perspective. They are a shoulder to cry on when we can’t discuss certain things with our own families. It’s a good feeling when we have someone to speak to, during sorrowful moments of life. Read this article to know how friendships are worth it : Friendship and Mental Health.
It releases negative feelings, grudges, and anger. Forgiveness releases us from the cycle of anger and bitter feelings. By forgiving, we are doing good to ourselves – as we are releasing the prisoner that has been chained by our bitter emotions. When we forgive, we feel light in spirit, as we get rid of the junk of the past. Here’s an interesting article that describes how forgiveness can change our lives forever – Forgiveness : Letting go of grudges and bitterness.
Relaxation is a break from our fast-paced and monotonous routine. Making a habit to relax everyday soothes our body, mind, and spirit. By practising simple relaxation techniques – like breathing exercises, yoga, or listening to soft music – relaxation becomes our second nature. Relaxation can be achieved by practice; it only requires patience and time. Jessica Carmody teaches us interesting relaxation techniques in this article How to manage stress . Some of the techniques used here are unique and simple.
Mingling with positive people requires less effort, the conversations flow smoothly, and we don’t feel drained out. We don’t need to limit ourselves and our ideas when hanging around positive people. Instead, when we hang around positive people we tend to become more like them. In Spend more time with positive people – Your dreams will thank you for it, Donna Toothaker highlights how hanging around positive people helps us reach our goals.
Our time management does affect the stress we encounter – when we are behind schedule, when we cannot meet project deadlines, the pressure of doing things at the last minute causes a lot of stress. Time management involves planning, prioritizing, and organizing. By doing this, we can focus on the important tasks first and leave the unimportant tasks for the later part of the day. Time management is a skill that can be mastered over a period of time, to eliminate stress.
Learning to say ‘No’ also saves us from the additional burden of doing something we don’t intend to do. Being direct is the best way to go. We can learn more about time management by following a few steps shared here Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity.
It releases endorphins that enhance the mood.
We are quite aware of the health benefits that a regular physical activity can bring to our lives. But how does exercise keep stress at bay? What are the internal mechanisms that take place when we exercise? Physical activity affects certain chemicals in the brain that the brain cells use to communicate with each other, in turn affecting our mood and thinking, says this article on Physical activity and mental health.
Certain varieties of food are nutritious and also help to fight stress. This engaging video – Stress fighting foods for women – enlightens us on the different kinds of food that help us to balance our emotional moods.
Speaking of food, one of the factors that cause stress is preparing multiple dishes before heading to work. The article ‘one-pot meals : less mess, less stress’ could save us from the stress of cooking multiple dishes. For those who’ve come across the term for the first time, it’s a meal that is cooked using minimal number of dishes, mostly one. Author Anne John has shared some interesting and mouth-watering ‘One-Pot Meals’. These recipes are definitely worth a try because they are nutritious as well as time-saving.
Going through all the above articles, the notion that stress is a hazard to health can be changed. Many people consider stress as a negative element of their lives. However, if we perceive stress positively, then our bodies too would respond positively to stress. Stress is not bad in itself. It’s how we manage and think about it that makes all the difference to our lives. If none of the above options work, seeking help from a counselor could be the last resort, to manage stress and lead a happy life.
Pic credit: Image of a stressed woman via Shutterstock.
Diana has worked as an Editor/Writer and Content Manager for various digital platforms and
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