Practical Tips to Beat Stress
Stress is a response to real and imagined events that alter the normal functioning of the body.
Stress arises when a situation is perceived as stressful. Stress is often associated with situations that you find difficult to handle. How you view things also affects your stress level. If you have very high expectations, chances are that you will experience more than your fair share of stress.
Stress, either quick or constant, can induce risky disorders. Immediate disorders such as dizzy spells, anxiety attacks, tension, sleeplessness, nervousness and muscle cramps can all result in chronic health problems. Stress reactions vary tremendously in their severity from mild uneasiness to extreme terror and panic. They may also affect our immunity, cardiovascular and nervous systems and lead individuals to habitual addictions, which are inter-linked with stress.
Some changes in attitude to help you cope with stress
Stop trying to be a superwoman or a superman. You cannot be perfect and you cannot do it all. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help when you are overwhelmed and busy.
Go easy when it comes to criticism. Avoid expecting too much from others or yourself. Effective coping with stress is about being happy with what you have.
Share your feelings. Talking to a friend or loved one after having a stressful day is a great way of coping with emotional stress. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.
Coping with stress is also about being flexible and living a balanced life. Neither let others impose their points of view on you nor reject them altogether. Try to be patient instead of judgmental, listen to others and think it over before making a decision.
Some practical strategies to help you cope with stress
Get organized – Coping with stress is all about planning. You can plan to fail or plan to succeed. Organize time for work, family, hobbies, spiritual time, time with friends and time alone, time for exercise and time for relaxation.
Visualize the best outcome – Coping with stress is about knowing how to deal with a stressful situation before it occurs. Rehearse how you are going to handle it. Picture yourself being successful in coping with stress.
Take a break – It is a good idea to do fun things such as watching a movie or playing a video game or going for a drive etc. for a while every day. Developing an active hobby like gardening or drawing or playing music etc is also an excellent stress buster.
Don’t Postpone Actions – One of the best strategies for coping with stress is not to put off actions until tomorrow if you can do it today. Situations become more difficult when you defer. Do your least favorite chores first, followed by rewards.
Be realistic – Set realistic goals. Emphasize quality over quantity. Work at a leisurely pace, taking breaks often.
Sleep, eat, and exercise – Coping with stress is all about treating your body properly. Eat food that nourishes you, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
So here’s an A – Z of Stress Management:
- Always take time for yourself, at least 30 minutes per day.
- Be aware of your own stress meter: Know when to step back and cool down.
- Concentrate on controlling your own situation, without controlling everybody else.
- Daily exercise will burn off the stress chemicals.
- Eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies, bread, and water; give your body the best for it to perform at its best.
- Forgive others, don’t hold grudges and be tolerant — not everyone is as capable as you.
- Gain perspective on things, how important is the issue?
- Hugs, kisses, and laughter: Have fun and don’t be afraid to share your feelings with others.
- Identify stressors and plan to deal with them better next time.
- Judge your own performance realistically; don’t set goals out of your own reach.
- Keep a positive attitude, your outlook will influence outcomes and the way others treat you.
- Limit alcohol, drugs and other stimulants, they affect your perception and behaviour.
- Manage money well, seek advice and save at least 10 percent of what you earn.
- No is a word you need to learn to use without feeling guilty.
- Outdoor activities by yourself, or with friends and family, can be a great way to relax.
- Play your favourite music rather than watching television.
- Quit smoking: It is stressing your body daily, not to mention killing you too.
- Relationships: Nurture and enjoy them, learn to listen more and talk less.
- Sleep well, with a firm mattress and a supportive pillow; don’t overheat yourself and allow plenty of ventilation.
- Treat yourself once a week with a massage, dinner out, the movies: Moderation is the key.
- Understand things from the other person’s point of view.
- Verify information from the source before exploding.
- Worry less: it really does not get things completed better or quicker.
- Express: Talk your feelings out with people you love and trust.
- Yearly goal setting: Plan what you want to achieve based on your priorities in your career, relationships, etc.
- Zest for life: Each day is a gift, smile and be thankful that you are a part of the bigger picture.
Believe in yourself. All situations can be made into win-win situations if you relax and stay focused with a positive attitude. If you think you can… you can!
Don’t try to be perfect. It’s important to aim high and try reach for the stars. But keep things in balance. If you think that “anything less than perfect means I’ve failed” then you are creating mountains of unnecessary stress for yourself. Focus on doing your best but recognize that none of us can be perfect all of the time.
Take steps to overcome problems. Stay practical. Whenever faced with a roadblock, if you find yourself running out of ideas to fix the problem look around. There might be someone you know who can help you through.
Don’t keep things bottled up. Confiding in someone you trust and who will be supportive is a great way of alleviating stress and worry.
Keep things in perspective. Life is full of challenges. No one challenge is so big that it blocks our road to success. Don’t make it one!