Stress: Coping With Everyday Problems
Everyone has stress. It is a normal part of life. You can feel stress in your body when you have too much to do or when you havent slept well. You can also feel stress when you worry about things like your job, money, relationships, or a friend or family member who is ill or in crisis. In response to these strains your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to you muscles. This response is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation. However, when you are constantly reacting to stressful situations without making adjustments to counter the effects, you will feel stress which can threaten your health and well-being.
According to the APAs Stress in America study, nearly 70% of Americans experience physical and mental symptoms of stress, but only 37% think they are doing very well at managing stress.
Be Clear On Requirements
A factor known to contribute to job burnout is unclear requirements for employees. If you dont know exactly what is expected of you, or if the requirements for your role keep changing with little notice, you might become extremely stressed.
If you find yourself never knowing if what you are doing is enough, it may help to have a talk with your supervisor. You can take the time to go over expectations and discuss strategies for meeting them. This can relieve stress for both of you!
Get Enough Sleepbut Not Too Much
The thought of hiding away under the covers sounds pretty great when there’s so much to deal with beyond your bedroom door, but sleeping too much isn’t the answer. Research shows that the more you sleep, the more tired you actually feel. Plus, studies that have shown an association between chronic oversleeping and diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and even higher rates of death . Adding health problems to your already heavy load is only going to exacerbate your stress levels. That said, too little sleep can make stress worse, too. “When you are tired and depleted, things look worse and less manageable than when you’re rested,” Smith says. The sweet spot to aim for, per the National Sleep Foundation, is between seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night.
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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
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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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.”
Mental And Emotional Signs Of Stress:
Finally, stress can show up in your emotions or in your internal world. This can look like feeling very emotional and having your emotions change wildly with little notice, or feeling disconnected from everything around you. There are several techniques that can help you manage the negative effects stress has on your thoughts and feelings, heres one:
Carrie Wilkens, PhD
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Pay Attention To Your Eating
Like alcohol or drugs, food often becomes a crutch when coping with difficult times. Soothing your pain with high-calorie, high-sugar, or high-fat comfort foods feels good at first, but it can quickly spiral out of control when your mind and body begin to associate negative emotions with eating. At the first sign of stress, anger, or sadness you’ll instinctively reach for food rather than dealing with the feelings at hand. Overeating can also make you feel bloated and sluggishand that’s not going to do your mental health any favors, Smith says. Instead, he says, focusing the bulk of your diet on “reasonable portions of healthy food” can help you stay clear-headed so you can better tackle the stressors ahead. And, Smith adds, if you happen to have some junk food in the mix, it’s OKjust as long as it’s not your go-to when you feel frazzled.
Managing Stress In Daily Life
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.
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Be Realistic And Practical
Remember whats happened cannot be undone. Theres no use crying over spilt milk.
At times getting too emotional aggravates the situation. If youre facing a permanent loss and nothing can be done about it, make yourself understand the fact.
Try to assess the situation intelligently. Think of other logical options to resolve the problem or conflict. Set realistic goals, have priorities and be focused.
Change your perspective. You can only do all that if you remain cool and your mind is calm, so go back to point #1 and learn to be calm.
This way of coping with stress seems to be like a Zen approach, but you too can do it.
Watch Out For Unhealthy Responses To Stress
You probably have your own ways of dealing with stressful times. Some may be healthy, such as calling a friend, cooking a comforting dinner, or curling up in bed earlier than usual. Others may not be as harmless. All too often, people self-medicate or turn to other unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to relieve pressure they feel. They may do so in a variety of ways. For example:
- Watching endless hours of TV
- Withdrawing from friends or partners or, conversely jumping into a frenzied social life to avoid facing problems
- Overeating or weight gain
- Lashing out at others in emotionally or physically violent outbursts
- Taking up smoking or smoking more than usual
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs that promise some form or relief, such as sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or anti-anxiety pills
- Taking illegal or unsafe drugs
Becoming aware of how you typically handle stress can help you make healthy choices. If you normally reach for a sugary snack, for example, you might instead call a friend. Choosing to connect rather than consume can relieve your stress. Studies suggest that emphasizing social ties can provide definite health benefits with no calories!
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Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, at home, and on the road. Sometimes we can feel especially stressed because of a bad interaction with someone, too much work, or everyday hassles like getting stuck in traffic.
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best mentally, physically and emotionally. But no ones life is completely stress-free. Its important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it.
1. Positive Self-Talk
Negative to Positive
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To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. Its a great practice to teach kids, too!
2. Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
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Ways To Cope With Stress
Of course, some stresses are natural. Like physical stress which is produced by the body as a warning or coping mechanism. And then there is the fight-or-flight response.
But mostly its the mental stress that disturbs us due to problems in interpersonal relations, in work-related or other situations. And you can control that by being aware of the choices you make.
Here are a few simple ways to cope with stress by making the right choices:
Satisfy Your Need For Physical Touch
Were nourished by meeting face to face, making eye contact, and physical touch, but right now it exposes us to the coronavirus. As time passes, the lack of touch can be stressful, especially for those who rely on its physical and psychological benefits. The touch from another human slows down the heart, helps us regulate our emotional experience, and enhances serotonin, the natural antidepressant in our system.“The need for touch is very much like the need for food. You may satiate yourself for today, but tomorrow the need will return says, Rinatta Paries, Certified Relationship Specialist with the American Psychotherapy Association. So what do we do when we have to be 6 feet apart and are mandated to self-isolate? Consider trying a few of Rinattas suggestions to keep your craving for touch well nourished.
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How To Answer How Do You Handle Stress
To answer this question successfully, you’ll want to provide specific examples of how you’ve handled stress well in the past. You might also provide examples of times when pressure actually made you work more productively.
Be careful how you respond. If you say you get stressed when you’re given multiple projects, and you know the job will require you to juggle many assignments at once, youll look like you’re not a good fit for the position.
Consider mentioning how a little stress can be a helpful motivator for you. Try to provide an example of a time when the stress of a difficult project helped you be a more creative and productive worker.
Understanding The Danger Of Stress Levels
If you read through the symptoms of stress, youll probably get a good idea of why you dont want to let it linger in your life. It can cause all kinds of symptoms in both your physical health and mental health. However, those symptoms can also lead to even more serious problems.
Stress has been linked to problems such as eating disorders, depression, diabetes, and heart problems. Unfortunately, you dont have control over the fact that sometimes youre going to be faced with challenges in life. However, you can learn stress management techniques that can help you cope with it in a healthier way.
How to cope with stress
The following strategies can help you cope as you experience stress in life. While these can be helpful when youre in the midst of lifes challenges, they can also be helpful for dealing with the small everyday stresses that you may experience.
Learn to meditate
Many people find that meditation is an effective form of stress management. While some people connect meditation with certain types of religion, it can also be used in a completely non-religious way. It is commonly used to help with stress and anxiety.
Focus on self-care
This can include things such as getting enough sleep at night or staying properly nourished. High levels of stress can cause things such as insomnia and changes in appetite. You may not feel hungry, which can make it easy to skip meals. Or, you may struggle to fall asleep so it feels easier to just try to stay awake.
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Practical Ways To Handle Stress
Stress is inevitable. It walks in and out of our lives on a regular basis. And it can easily walk all over us unless we take action. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize and cope with stress. Here are 10 ideas for handling stress without causing more strain and hassle.
1. Figure out where the stress is coming from.
Oftentimes, when were stressed, it seems like a big mess with stressors appearing from every angle. We start to feel like were playing a game of dodge ball, ducking and darting so we dont get smacked by a barrage of balls. We take a defensive position, and not a good one at that.
Instead of feeling like youre flailing day to day, identify what youre actually stressed about. Is it a specific project at work, an upcoming exam, a dispute with your boss, a heap of laundry, a fight with your family?
2. Consider what you can controland work on that.
While you cant control what your boss does, what your in-laws say or the sour state of the economy, you can control how you react, how you accomplish work, how you spend your time and what you spend your money on.
The worst thing for stress is trying to take control over uncontrollable things. Because when you inevitably fail since its beyond your control you only get more stressed out and feel helpless. So after youve thought through whats stressing you out, identify the stressors that you can control, and determine the best ways to take action.
What Are Some Common Coping Strategies
Some common coping mechanisms may challenge you to:
- Lower your expectations.
- Ask others to help or assist you.
- Take responsibility for the situation.
- Engage in problem solving.
- Maintain emotional composure or, alternatively, expressing distressing emotions.
- Challenge previously held beliefs that are no longer adaptive.
- Directly attempt to change the source of stress.
- Distance yourself from the source of stress.
- View the problem through a religious perspective.
Experts agree that coping is a process rather than an event. You may alternate between several of the above coping strategies in order to cope with a stressful event.
People differ in particular styles of coping or prefer to use certain coping strategies over others. These differences in coping styles usually reflect differences in personality. Rigidity in coping is less likely to help than is flexibility in coping being able to fit the most appropriate coping strategy to the demands of different situations.
However, some situations that require coping are likely to elicit similar coping responses from most people. For example, work-related stressors are more likely to elicit problem-solving strategies. Stressors that are perceived to be changeable are more likely to elicit problem-solving strategies while stressors perceived to be unchangeable are more likely to elicit social support seeking and emotion-focused strategies.
- Get enough good quality sleep.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
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