Stress as we know it is a feeling we all have, everyday. So is all stress bad? Or is it okay to have stress? Do we know what stress is?
Stress is primarily a physical response. So when our body gets all this mixed stimulus from our environment and those make us feel attacked, we start reacting to those in our won ways. Our body is chemically tuned to go to “fight or flight” mode under stressful and difficult situation. Hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and nor epinephrine are released in those situations, which allows us to fight or flight the stress evoking situations. These hormones initiate a lot of reactions in our body from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion. So if you are wondering why you always end up having indigestion when under stress, it is simply because your body doesn’t feel necessary to digest.
What then actually causes stress? Stress is all that is coming from your internal and external environment. External Factor including your physical environment which include your job, relationships, home, challenges and difficulties of daily life. Internal factors on the other hand determine your body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress inducing factors. So your internal factors depend on your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being and the amount of sleep and rest you give your body.
Now that we have some idea about stress with its causes and effects, let’s get to know how we can reduce, manage and deal better with life when stressed. It is important to know that stress, how common it may sound, has varied effects on each individual. Thus the management also needs to be unique for everyone and it is most likely that the managing technique your friend uses might not be effective for you.
The types of stress that you might come across are:-
Acute stress– Acute stress is the type of stress that throws you off-balance momentarily. This is the type of stress that comes on quickly and often unexpectedly and doesn’t last too long, but requires a response and shakes you up a bit, like an argument with someone in your life, or an exam for which you don’t feel adequately prepared.
Your body’s stress response is triggered with acute stress, but you can reverse it with quick relaxation techniques, and then go back to your day feeling less stressed again. These stress relievers can help you to relax and more quickly recover from acute stress.
- Breathing Exercise
- Cognitive Reframing
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Chronic Stress– Chronic stress is the type of stress that tends to occur on a regular basis2. This type of stress may leave you feeling drained, and can lead to burnout if it’s not effectively managed. This is because, when the stress response is chronically triggered and the body is not brought back to a relaxed state before the next wave of stress hits, the body can stay triggered indefinitely. Chronic stress can lead to a host of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, depression, and a variety of other conditions. This is why it is important to effectively manage chronic stress. Managing this type of stress often requires a combination approach, with some short-term stress relievers (like those for acute stress), and some long-term stress relief habits that relieve overall stress. (Different emotion-focused coping techniques and solution-focused coping techniques are important as well.)
- Maintaining a Healthy Diet
- Cultivate Supportive Relationships
- Regular Meditation
- Pursuing a Hobby
Emotional Stress-The pain of emotional stress can hit harder than some other types of stress. For example, the stress that comes from a conflicted relationship tends to bring a greater physical reaction and a stronger sense of distress than the stress that comes from being busy at work. Therefore, it is important to be able to manage emotional stress in effective ways. Strategies that help you to process, diffuse, and build resilience toward emotional stress can all work well, and different approaches can work in different situations. Here are some ways to manage emotional stress.
- Writing a journal and noting down the emotions
- Talking to a trusted one
- Practicing mindfulness that can help you calm down the present emotions
- Consult a Therapist if necessary
Burnout-Burnout is the result of the prolonged chronic stress of situations that leave people feeling a lack of control in their lives. Certain conditions of a job can create a greater risk of burnout, including not only a high level of demands, but also unclear expectations, lack of recognition for achievements, and a high level of risk of negative consequences when mistakes are made. Once you reach a state of burnout, it is difficult to maintain motivation to work and accomplish what you need to accomplish, and you can feel chronically overwhelmed. In addition to the strategies that work well for chronic stress and emotional stress, the following strategies can help you to come back from a state of burnout—or prevent it entirely.
- Take some time off
- Get more humour in life
- Try to find fun at work
- Try and utilize the time out of work for rejuvenating self
It is true that some simple daily management techniques can make a huge difference in your life and can help you deal better with stress. But sometimes it can be hard to cope with stress on a regular basis and when none of the daily management works it is recommendable to go a therapist. Some therapies that work best for stress are :-
- CBT– Cognitive Behavioural Therapy– Therapy which helps you understands your thought patterns, recognise your trigger points and identify positive actions you can take.
- MBSR- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction– – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction based stress reduction (MBSR), which combines mindfulness, meditation and yoga with a particular focus on reducing stress.
To sum up the knowledge, stress needs to be managed when it is hampering the regular activity which falls under DISTRESS. We also encounter EU STRESS which is the positive stress and that on the contrary, helps us to work and stay motivated. So getting stressed is not always a negative feeling. It may be neutral or even positive. So the next time you stress about your stress, use the simple techniques and give stress a chance to heal itself.
You can also get in touch with Mindyog ( Call: 090733 72300 )