Yoga For Stress Management
Yoga is one of the oldest stress management techniques in the world, and for a good reason too. Yoga provides many different health benefits to those who regularly hit the mat.
Reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and reduced anxiety are but a few of the benefits that youll receive if you use yoga as a stress management technique.
Yoga might seem daunting, especially if youve never done it before, but you can always join a beginners class, or try out a tutorial on YouTube. Give it a try, and see if it works for you!
How To Solve Problems
Once you have identified the problems that are leading to stress in your life, this structured problem-solving exercise can help you to find solutions.
This technique has been adapted from Beyond Blue.
Up Your Avoidance Of Caffeine Alcohol And Nicotine
We previously said that it was a good idea not to have too much caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as a way to avoid stress. If you are already feeling stressed, this becomes even more important. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it.
Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is therefore not ultimately helpful.
Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated. This will enable your body to cope better with stress.
You should also aim to avoid or reduce your intake of refined sugars – they are contained in many manufactured foods and can cause energy crashes which may lead you to feel tired and irritable.
There is more about this in our page What are Carbohydrates?.
You May Like: How To Deal With Stress During Pregnancy
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to;adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Stress For Cats
What Happens When You Are Stressed
Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.
Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.
But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.
How Stress Affects The Body
Common symptoms of stress include:
- A fast heartbeat.
- An upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea.
Over time, stress can affect your:
- Immune system. Constant stress can make you more likely to get sick more often. And if you have a chronic illness such as AIDS, stress can make your symptoms worse.
- Heart. Stress is linked to high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat , blood clots, and hardening of the arteries . It’s also linked to coronary artery disease, heart attack, and heart failure.
- Muscles. Constant tension from stress can lead to neck, shoulder, and low back pain. Stress may make rheumatoid arthritis worse.
- Stomach. If you have stomach problems, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or irritable bowel syndrome, stress can make your symptoms worse.
- Reproductive organs. Stress is linked to low fertility, erection problems, problems during pregnancy, and painful menstrual periods.
- Lungs. Stress can make symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worse.
- Skin. Skin problems such as acne and psoriasis are made worse by stress.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Are Stressed
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 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 provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
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;.
Specialist mental health services
The Underlying Cause Of Project Management Stress
One major factor that contributes to the stress and confusion of managing multiple projects at once is context switching.
Context switching is what happens when an employee shifts from thinking about or working on one task to another. The sudden change in context such as a new projects objectives, deadlines, or requirements temporarily disorients the employee until theyve adjusted to their new context and can concentrate.;
While multitasking often makes employees feel more productive, we know that the constant context switching that multitasking requires can actually damage productivity by up to 40%. It also leads to more errors and overall worse quality outputs.
Without a reliable, centralized system that can house all of an employees projects, they are left spinning from one project to the next.;
For employees to succeed in a high-intensity and fast-moving workplace, they need the ability to instantly and clearly see their tasks, deadlines, progress, updates, and comments from teammates so they are always up-to-date and never need to scramble for information. With greater clarity into the details for each project, it will be far easier to manage multiple projects at the same time.;
Also Check: How To Release Stress And Anxiety
What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
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.
You May Like: How To Deal With Marriage Stress
Effects Of Stress On Depression
Stress can make you feel less able to maintain positive habits or coping strategies, which are important to managing depression. This can make symptoms of depression feel more intense. Interrupting a healthy routine can result in negative coping strategies, such as drinking or withdrawing from social relationships. These actions can result in further stress, which can then make depression symptoms worse.
Create A Wellness Toolbox
A wellness toolbox is a set of tools that you can use to help soothe yourself when you are feeling;down. The tools you find most helpful might not work for someone else so its important to carefully consider what things can help you feel your best. Cuddling your pet, listening to your favorite music, taking a warm bath, or reading a good book are just a few tools you might find helpful. Create a list of the activities you might try when youre feeling bad. Choose an activity to try when youre having a particularly rough time.
Also Check: How Can I Be Less Stressed
Make Time For Fun And Relaxation
When youre feeling stressed, one of the first things you may drop from your schedule is leisure time. But living a balanced life with enough time for leisure activities can be an important stress management strategy. Here are some ideas for fun relaxation practices:
- Spend time with your pet if you have one. Interacting with pets can boost oxytocin, which may help put you in a good mood.25
- Spend some time in nature. Spending as little as 10 minutes in nature may help decrease the effects of physical and mental stress.26
- Listen to your favorite music. It may help relax the body and ease stress.27
How To Manage Stress
Now that weve quickly covered what stress is, and why stress management is important, its time to dive into our list of actionable tips thatll help you to manage stress.
Remember, there isnt an exact science to this list its important that you find what works best for you, as everybody is different. Try out as many or as little of the stress management tips from this list and try to settle on a routine that works best for you.
Alright, lets get started.
Read Also: What Does Stress Do To The Human Body
Removing Or Reducing The Causes Of Stress
It is important to identify what makes you stressed, then take steps to avoid it or reduce the feelings of stress.
Everyone is different. What one person finds stressful, another wont. It depends on your personality, cultural background, past experiences, stage of life and what support you have around you.
Some common causes of stress include:
- family or relationship breakdowns
- death of a loved one
- experiencing a traumatic event, including physical or emotional abuse
- losing a job
- having a baby
- money problems
Many things that cause stress can be changed, but others are beyond our control. Work out what you can control and take steps to make a change.
For example, if you are one of the many Australians who is stressed by financial issues, setting up a budget or consulting a financial adviser may help.
If the stressor is work, it may be possible to change your work hours or job duties. If the problem is relationships, take the time to resolve conflicts.
It can help to talk to a friend, doctor or counsellor about removing the causes of stress. Dont be afraid to ask for support.
Develop Techniques That Will Help You To Feel In Control Of Your Life
There is plenty of research that suggests that the single factor that causes most stress is feeling out of control.
One way that you can help yourself to avoid stress is to develop techniques to help you solve problems and make decisions more easily.
For example, one problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.
There is more about this and other techniques in our series of pages on Problem-Solving and Decision-Making.
Read Also: What Can I Give My Cat For Stress
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:
Different Stress Management Techniques & Strategies
These tips are thing we can all benefit from doing more of. The techniques are categorized into three groups:
Explore the below options and find what combination works best for keeping your stress levels under control.
Action-oriented approaches allow you to take action and change the stressful situation.
As Nelson & Hurrell said:
Stress is inevitable, distress is not
1. Be assertive
Clear and effective communication is the key to being assertive. When were assertive, we can ask for what we want or need, and also explain what is bothering us. The key is doing this in a fair and firm manner while still having empathy for others. Once you identify what you need to communicate, you can stand up for yourself and be proactive in altering the stressful situation.
You can read more about how to be assertive here.
2. Reduce the noise
Switching off all the technology, screen time, and constant stimuli can help us slow down. How often do you go offline? It is worth changing, for your own sake.
3. Manage your time
If we let them, our days will consume us. Before we know it, the months have become overwhelmingly busy. When we prioritize and organize our tasks, we create a less stressful and more enjoyable life.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Sharp Chest Pain
High Blood Pressure And Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, stress can have serious long-term health consequences.;
When your stress response activates, your heart rate is higher than normal. This is not a problem if it only lasts a short time. But when your everyday life is characterized by stress, it can put pressure on your heart.
When Do You Need An Experts Help
Dont try to adapt to stress; there are many ways to overcome it.
To learn how to manage nervous tension, you need to take responsibility for your life and focus on your lifestyle.
Try to start with simple stress management activities: walking, taking a shower, screaming, or crying if you feel like doing it . If this doesnt work, you can try relaxation, meditation, or sublimation . First, it wont be easy to resist stress, but the regular use of these practices is sure to produce good results.
If you fail to regain composure in any way, and stress has reached such a level that you dont have enough strength to lead your normal way of life, it’s time to see a doctor. You need expert help if you suffer from insomnia, are overeating or not eating at all for a long time, if you regularly lash out at others, or if youve lost all interest in sex.
In such situations, consulting a doctor is not a sign of weakness, but, conversely, a sign of being ready to handle problems for your sake and the sake of those who care about you.
Also Check: Can Psoriasis Be Triggered By Stress