Friday, May 20, 2022

How Can We Manage Stress

Practice Awareness To Manage Stress

How to Manage Stress – Study Tips – Student Mental Health

We need to be aware of our thoughts and associated feelings. It is our thoughts that help us to identify our stressors. For example, a person might feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or irritable. The intensity of the feelings associated with ones thoughts and words show ones level of stress. Annoyed has less intensity than anger.

Our thoughts and words state that we need to notice the tension in our body and our breathing. We notice any symptoms we experience such as sweaty palms, headaches, or heart pumping. How long we hold these thoughts and feelings reflect the level of stress we experience. How long it takes us to change our state to function do also. Our awareness of our thoughts and symptoms let us know when to act to manage stress. It shows us what thoughts we need to choose to manage our stress.

Manage Problemsto Be In Charge

If we can manage or solve a problem, we are more likely to confront it rather than avoid it. Of course, it is important to know what the real problem is.

When we notice how our thoughts affect our emotions, we know what words to choose to manage our emotions. When we know we can manage our emotions, not become angry, lose our temper, cry, etc., we are in control. We are confident.

Choosing our thoughts can help us to adapt to a situation. Suppose a person has planned a day outdoors on vacation. It rains. He decides to play games with others who want to play games rather than complain about the rain.

If we want to be in control of our stress, and thus our life, each of us needs to take control of our thoughts. When we do, we can choose thoughts that lead us to make the decision to take the needed action. Each of us has the power to choose. And we can choose our thoughts. Then, does stress become a choice?

For Self-Help Tips or Quotes:

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Accept The Things You Can’t Change

Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.

“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.

“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”

Recommended Reading: Does Stress Cause Anxiety Attacks

Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It

Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.

The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.

Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.

StepChange

StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.

Mind Infoline

Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .

Rethink Advice and Information Service

Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .

Samaritans

Specialist mental health services

Tips For Developing An Exercise Routine

Tips for Reducing Stress at Work

An exercise routine doesn’t develop overnight. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Get an activity tracker: Logging at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can help improve your mood.
  • Start slow: You don’t have to do 30 minutes of exercise all at once five to 10 minutes at a time makes a difference.
  • Go outside: Getting away from a screen and into the fresh air can help reduce stress.
  • Buddy up: Having a friend to exercise with can be motivating and hold both of you accountableâplus it’s more fun.

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Ways To Manage Stress More Effectively

We experience potential stressors throughout our lives. Situations that can create stress are unavoidable. What we can control is how we manage stress. Psychological stress can best be defined as emotional strain or tension in response to a particular event, behavior, place or person. While it isnt always easy to find effective ways to manage the daily stressors we face it is important to try to find healthy ways to deal with stress. When we cannot manage stress, we often feel its damaging impact through anger, depression and a multitude of health problems.

Here are some facts about how stress impacts our lives:

  • Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents and suicide.
  • Almost 90 percent of all visits to primary health care providers are due to stress-related problems.
  • Nearly one-half of all adults suffer adverse effects from stress.
  • It is estimated that 1 million Americans miss work due to stress-related complaints.
  • Workplace violence has been attributed to stress. Homicide is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury.

Some physical consequences of chronic stress:

Not all stress is bad, however, and stressful challenges are necessary to become stronger both physically and mentally. The positive effects of learning how to manage stress can include:

  • Increased energy and motivation
  • A feeling of excitement and a sense of purpose and challenge

Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress

You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28

Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.

Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33

Read Also: How To Stop Stressing So Much

Learn To Recognise The Signs That You Are Becoming Stressed

There are a wide range of possible signs and symptoms that may be associated with stress. These include headaches, stomach upsets and indigestion, and sleep problems. Many people also find they become very emotional and have trouble regulating their emotions.

Unfortunately, most of these signs are fairly non-specific: that is, they may be associated with many different illnesses and conditions. It can therefore be hard to identify when your symptoms are the result of stress. You should always consult a doctor if these symptoms last any length of time.

It is a good idea to learn to recognise the signs that you are becoming stressed, so that you can take action early on.

There is more about this in our page on What is Stress?

Here Are Some Stress Relievers:

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  • Count to 10 before you speak or react.
  • Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit.
  • Go for a walk, even if its just to the restroom and back. It can give you a chance to think things through.
  • Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
  • If its not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow. This works especially well for stressful emails and social media trolls.
  • Walk away from the situation for a while, and handle it later once things have calmed down.
  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time.
  • Turn on some chill music or an inspirational podcast to help you deal with road rage.
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    Talk It Out With A Friend

    When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.

    Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.

    Identify Your Personal Stress Triggers

    We all have particular situations or people that make us more stressed. Some of these are easily identifiable and may be avoidable. However, sometimes stress may build up over time, and result from a pattern of incidents or events, rather than a single trigger.

    It may therefore be helpful to use a tool like our quiz Whats Stressing You Out? or keep a stress diary for a few weeks to help you identify what makes you stressed.

    This will make it easier to take action to address your stress levels.

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    What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To

    Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.

    We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.

    S To Help Manage Stress More Effectively:

    Simple yet efficient stress management tips
  • Determine what is causing stress in your life. There may be particular situations, people or events that make you feel nervous, anxious or fearful.
  • Keep a diary to record the events or situations that are stressful for you. Record your physical symptoms and emotions.
  • Strengthen your support system and communicate with family and friends. Most people who are able to cope well with stress have strong social support networks with family, friends and even pets.
  • Open up. Learn how to express your thoughts and feelings.
  • Dont be afraid to say nowhen someone asks you to do something. Learn your limits. You cant do it all and you shouldnt feel guilty about it.
  • Learn how to express your feelings appropriately by not insulting or hurting others. Say I feel angry instead of you make me feel angry. This will help maintain and improve the important relationships in your life.
  • Simplify your life. This means restructuring your priorities. Evaluate what activities are most important, and get rid of the ones that arent. You will feel less worn out and more rested. Youll also have more free time to spend with family, friends or even to be by yourself.
  • Recognize that drugs and alcohol are not effective methods to solve problems. If you feel that you are relying on drugs or alcohol to escape from your problems, seek the advice of a mental health counselor or community health service about special programs for stress management.
  • Eliminate caffeine and other stimulants from your diet.
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    Take Action: Get Active

    Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood. So get active:

    • Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity try going for a bike ride or taking a walk
    • Do strengthening activities like push-ups or lifting weights at least 2 days a week

    Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!

    Read more about:

    Tips To Manage Stressful Situations

    It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.

    Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.

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    Tip : Connect To Others

    There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the bodys defensive fight-or-flight response. Its natures natural stress reliever . So make it a point to connect regularlyand in personwith family and friends.

    Keep in mind that the people you talk to dont have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.

    Of course, its not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to lifes stressors.

    Tips for building relationships

    Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress

    4 BEST Ways on How to Manage Stress!

    There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.

    And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .

    So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.

    Also Check: How Can You Tell If You Are Stressed

    How To Better Cope With Stress In The Moment

    Pay attention to these signs. It is important to recognize the physiological signs of stress and address these symptoms in the moment to alleviate the potential harmful effects, Dr. Sieka says.

    The goal of stress management here is to acknowledge the feeling and then dial down those physiological changes and approach the challenge rationally with your mind , explains Melissa Dowd, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the San Franciscobased therapy lead at PlushCare, a virtual health platform.

    If your reaction to stress sticks around even after the trigger is gone , short-term stress can become chronic, Dowd says.

    Stress that is not handled well and continues without relief can lead to chronic stress and contribute to physical concerns, such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and high blood pressure, and mental health problems, such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and substance use, Sieka says.

    Dowd says some people are more prone to chronic stress. This can be due to genetics, life experiences, and unhealthy coping mechanisms, she says.

    Its good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help you de-escalate stressful situations quickly, such as squeezing a stress ball, distracting yourself with fidget spinners, cueing up a mindfulness app, and trying deep-breathing exercises.

    Coping With Stress At Work

    Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.

    Coping with stress at work.

    Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.

    Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

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    Common Sources Of Work Stress

    Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

    • Low salaries
    • Few opportunities for growth or advancement
    • Work that isnt engaging or challenging
    • Lack of social support
    • Not having enough control over job-related decisions
    • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations

    Build Strong Positive Relationships With People Who Make You Feel Goodand Avoid Those Who Dont

    A nice little chart describing ways we can deal with ...

    Research suggests that stress builds up over time, through multiple small interactions with others. By themselves, few single incidents are intrinsically stressful. However, put them together, and the story is very different.

    It is hard to avoid these micro-stressors, because they are too frequent and too pervasive. However, there are ways to address them, and the most important is to focus on your relationships with others. Research suggests that the two most important things you can do are to build strong relationships and connections with people who make you feel good, and avoid those who dont.

    There is more about this in our page on Micro-Stressors.

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    How To Set Yourself Up To Deal With Stress

    Regular self-care practices and behavior modifications can help keep stress from overwhelming you and scale your stress response in proportion to the stressor.

    Its important to understand that when it comes to stress and its impact on health, you may want to think about trying longer-term strategies and changes in lifestyle, says Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant physician and clinical researcher at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

    A healthy lifestyle eating well, getting high-quality sleep, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can buffer you against the wear and tear of stress, says Holly Schiff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist with Jewish Family Services of Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut. These steps don’t eliminate the challenge. But they will ensure your strongest, calmest, most rational self shows up to meet whatever obstacle youre facing.

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    BMC Medical EducationFrontiers in Physiology

    As far as exercise goes, just make sure its something you enjoy. Exercise doesnt have to be intense, and you dont have to join a gym, Dr. Haythe says. I tell my patients to buy a pair of sneakers and start walking for 15 to 20 minutes a day.

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