Ways To Reduce Stress
No matter how far you run, stress is inescapable. Its either triggered on by yourself, created by someone else around you or a build up from a series of events in one such as a job, money, health, or relationships. We all know by now that stress is contagious, affecting ones sense of peace and raising higher tensions unwantedly. Although we ought to not let stress affect us it is inevitable most times.
Its the way of life, we put up with situations we do not necessarily want to be involved in, deal with different scenarios and characters that we either connect with or are simply indifferent to. However, its not so much about finding a means to never encounter stress its all in the art as to how well we can manage our minds and anticipate our reaction to how exposure to stress impacts us. Remember, stress does NOT define us, its how we choose to cope with it that does.
If you want to see change then dont simply focus on the goal of being stress-free as its just a momentary change that will just kick fire the next time around. For better and long-lasting results focus instead on the habits you apply and what you can control. When you stop looking at finding ways to avoid stress completely, and seek means for how to control it thats where you can really start living your life to the full.
Another plus side is to get those rays in, exposure to Vitamin D decreases levels of anxiety and stress.
A) See around you. What is in sight? What are three objects you can spot?
Tip : Reframe The Way You Look At Work
Whether you have a job that leaves you rushed off your feet or one that is monotonous and unfulfilling, the most effective way to combat job burnout is to quit and find a job you love instead. Of course, for many of us changing job or career is far from being a practical solution, were grateful just to have work that pays the bills. Whatever your situation, though, there are still steps you can take to improve your state of mind.
Try to find some value in your work. Even in some mundane jobs, you can often focus on how your role helps others, for example, or provides a much-needed product or service. Focus on aspects of the job that you do enjoy, even if its just chatting with your coworkers at lunch. Changing your attitude towards your job can help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
Find balance in your life. If you hate your job, look for meaning and satisfaction elsewhere in your life: in your family, friends, hobbies, or voluntary work. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you joy.
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.
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How Stress Affects The Body
The human body responds to events that provoke stress by activating the nervous system and specific hormones.
These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. The physical changes prepare you to react quickly to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. This response improves your ability to perform well under pressure.
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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Who Is This Stress Quiz For
Answer the quiz questions below to see if you or a loved one may be suffering from too much stress.
The questions below relate to life experiences common among people who are enduring a significant amounts of stress. Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.
How Can Your Doctor Test Your Stress Level
There is no standardized test to formally diagnose stress because stress is subjectivewhat feels very stressful for one person may not cause high levels of stress for another. Only the person experiencing stress can determine how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
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Emotional Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
- Sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
- Loss of motivation.
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
Health Realization/innate Health Model
The health realization/innate health model of stress is also founded on the idea that stress does not necessarily follow the presence of a potential stressor. Instead of focusing on the individual’s appraisal of so-called stressors in relation to his or her own coping skills , the health realization model focuses on the nature of thought, stating that it is ultimately a person’s thought processes that determine the response to potentially stressful external circumstances. In this model, stress results from appraising oneself and one’s circumstances through a mental filter of insecurity and negativity, whereas a feeling of well-being results from approaching the world with a “quiet mind”.
This model proposes that helping stressed individuals understand the nature of thoughtespecially providing them with the ability to recognize when they are in the grip of insecure thinking, disengage from it, and access natural positive feelingswill reduce their stress.
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Stress Prevention And Resilience
Although many techniques have traditionally been developed to deal with the consequences of stress, considerable research has also been conducted on the prevention of stress, a subject closely related to psychological resilience-building. A number of self-help approaches to stress-prevention and resilience-building have been developed, drawing mainly on the theory and practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
In today’s modern world, many people are able to find the right way of relieving stress for themselves. Whether seeking help, or on their own, oftentimes the solution is simpler than believed. Taking time to go on a walk, practicing breathing, drawing, and other forms of recreational and leisure activities are seen to be helpful. Other practices are also available, and depending on the individual, will prove to be beneficial for example, acupuncture.
Allow For Flexible Hours And Remote Working
You hired your employees because you have confidence in their ability to do their jobs well and in a timely mannerso let them prove it. Your office shouldnt feel like a cell, but rather a place that facilitates getting a job done. Let your employees know that their job is defined by the quality and timeliness of their work, not when they punch the clock.
Allow your employees to work remotely, and give flexibility for start and end times. This freedom is great for office morale, and the policy shows employees that you trust them enough not to babysit.
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Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
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Build Strong Positive Relationships With People Who Make You Feel Goodand Avoid Those Who Dont
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.
Highly Effective Tips For Relieving 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.
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How Can You Help Yourself
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.37 It is therefore important that we manage our stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and minds.
What Are Practical Ways To Reduce The Impact Of Stress
Life is often stressful, but there are things you can do to become more resilient and cope with lifes ups and downs.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can relieve tension, relax the mind and reduce anxiety.
- Time management: Developing regular routines and planning ahead can reduce the chaos that can lead to stress.
- Spend time with family or friends: Being with people you find uplifting, resolving personal conflicts, and talking about your feelings can help.
- Look after your health: Maintain a healthy diet, ensure you get enough sleep and avoid using drugs and alcohol to cope.
- Do things you enjoy.
- Change your thinking: Sometimes stress is more about our perceptions or attitudes to a situation than the situation itself. Unrealistic expectations of yourself or others can lead to stress. If you have a tendency to negative thinking, it can help to write down these thoughts, try to come up with a more realistic view and focus on the positive.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy : This involves working with a therapist to change your thinking patterns.
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What Is The Interviewer Really Looking For
When they ask you how do you handle stress and pressure? what the interviewer really wants to know is what you would do in potentially stressful work situations and the impact that may have on how you perform in the role. They want to see that you know yourself and that you are prepared for there to be some stressful situations in the future.
What Happens Next After My Stress Test
Cardiologists combine the information provided by a stress test with a patients medical history and symptoms to make decisions about the need for further testing or management.
Not every abnormal stress test requires additional testing. Some patients simply need to modify their risk factors, says Dr. Rocco. However, if the abnormality occurs at a low level of exercise, affects a large segment of heart muscle, or the pattern suggests multivessel disease, we will often proceed with cardiac catheterization.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
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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.
This will make it easier to take action to address your stress levels.
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.
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Stress And Physical Illness
When we feel under stress, our body kicks into high gear to deal with the threat. Our heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure all go up. The longer we feel stressed, the greater the demand on our body.The more often we are placed under stress, the more often we have to use energy to cope. There is growing evidence that stress may contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease , high blood pressure, proneness to infection and chronic fatigue.Whatever the cause, physical diseases need appropriate medical management before any attempt is made at stress management. Discuss with your doctor how stress management may be used to support treatment of your physical symptoms.
Embrace The Adrenaline And Treat It As Positive
Fortunately, there is evidence that some level of stress is actually helpful, and can improve performanceprovided you believe that this is the case.
Elite athletes, for example, often believe that adrenaline, one of the main stress hormones, is helpful in improving performance. It is, after all, the flight or fight hormone, so you can harness it to help you to fight. Changing your mindset to embrace adrenaline can be a good start to changing how you view stress, especially if you have taken steps to reduce and avoid it more generally.
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At the Benson-Henry Institute, Dossett teaches her patients evidenced-based mind-body skills to reduce anxiety, ranging from mindfulness meditation , yoga, and breathing. Getting social support is also crucial theres nothing like calling a sympathetic friend who can talk you down off the ledge, Dosset says.
Even squeezing a stress ball or playing with your childs fidget spinner can make you feel good, reduce anxiety, or at least momentarily distract you from what stresses you.
When were feeling stressed out, its natural to want to withdraw from life, but a more beneficial way of dealing with it is to use coping skills and tools that work for you, says Gupta, whether that’s problem-solving or focusing on your breathing. Once you have these skills under your belt, youll be able to pull through the next stressful situation more easily.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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