Six Methods to Effectively
Manage Your Stress
Manage Your Stress
How stressed are you? On a scale of one to ten, one being stress-free and ten verging on a complete melt-down, where do you find yourself?
Life is becoming increasingly stressful. The price of food and petrol continues to rise. So too, do your municipal bills. You’ve started to sweat about your car repayments, and your investments aren’t yielding any returns. Maybe you’ve got a family to take care of, and finding a little extra cash at the end of the month to buy new school shoes is a real stretch.
It’s no wonder you’re stressed. But are you coping and, more importantly, how are you coping?
- Do you have a few glasses of red wine or beer to take off the edge nightly?
- Do you lose track of time while aimlessly browsing the Internet on your phone?
- Have you taken to gambling or indulging in drugs?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you could be stressed and you need to learn how to manage your stress before it develops into something more serious.
Your body and mind can only take so much. Chronic stress may lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other illnesses, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Here’s how to identify the signs of stress, take control, and start feeling better.
Use the quick links to jump ahead.
- Step 1: Recognize signs of stress.
- Step 2: Step away.
- Step 3: Take time to breathe.
- Step 4: Focus on something else.
- Step 5: Talk about it.
- Step 6: Sweat it out.
If you struggle with negative emotions, find yourself lashing out or withdrawing from friends, or being drawn to alcohol or other substances to cope, find one of our Doctors to talk to here or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you.
Step 1: Recognize signs of stress.
If you want to deal with your stress effectively, you need to recognize signs that you are stressed.
Stress responses differ from person to person. They may be evident in some, and appear to be vague in others. They may also overlap with other medical or mental conditions. but common symptoms include:
- Feeling drained, short-fused, demotivated, emotionally exhausted, lacking energy
- Struggling to concentrate
- A change in sleep or eating patterns
- Experiencing random dizziness and general restlessness
- Unexplained physical pains or other physical signs of general nervousness include tense muscles, tremors, nausea, and diarrhoea
- Frequently getting colds and infections
- Wanting to withdraw from social activities, friends, and family
- A low libido.
If you identify with many of the above-listed symptoms, it may be time to act.
Step 2: Step away.
Ever heard the saying, “Never respond in anger?” It’s a typical response to stressful encounters. When angry, it’s hard to think clearly or problem-solve effectively. You might say and do things that you regret as soon as you’ve calmed down.
When negative emotions rule, walk away. Whether at work or home, you will need to explain that you need some time to think and perhaps add that you would feel more comfortable responding after you have calmed down.
Once you’ve calmed down, you’ll be more rational and able to think clearly—evaluate the situation, identify a resolution, and when you’re ready to resume the conversation.
Step 3: Take time to breathe.
Make a habit of relaxing. Learn to give yourself time out. Meditate twice daily for 3 to 15 minutes. If done correctly, you’ll notice how focusing on breathing can quickly soothe you. They calm your mind and help to slow your racing pulse. A deep lungful of air also feels good.
As you focus on breathing (at most three to five deep breaths per session), you’ll notice your tension begins to decrease and eventually disappear.
You’ll also want to focus on relaxing your muscles while you breathe. Perhaps sit or lie down in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.
Step 4: Focus on something else.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to recall something when you want to? However, once you stop thinking about it, it’ll just pop into your mind. The same can be said for tackling a problem that’s stressing you out. Only a relaxed mind is able to creatively problem-solve.
You need to focus your attention elsewhere, at least until you feel your body start to relax.
- Read a book.
- Watch a show.
- Go for a walk.
Do what you need to do to centre yourself. You’ll know when you’re ready to manage that which is stressing you out.
Step 5: Talk about it.
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Stress loves unresolved conflict. Sweeping it under the rug won’t make it go away. It’s the elephant in the room, and you need to face facts.
You need a resolution. Avoidance is counterproductive. It can also increase mental and physical tension, so you need to talk about what’s causing you stress.
Explain how you feel, what’s bothering you. Be open to listening. You want to reach an amicable solution together and that may mean compromising. Just don’t walk away until both parties are happy.
Step 6: Sweat it out.
When all else fails, exercise. Your basic neurological response to stress is fight or flight. You need an outlet for the active stress hormones, and physical activity is a great solution.
Choose your preferred activity. Whether it’s running, cycling, walking the dog, going to the gym, or a high-intensity dance class, channelling that energy into a sweaty bout of exercise can help to balance your mood, redirect your focus and relieve stress.
Should you see a doctor?
Everyone gets stressed from time to time. But you don’t have to deal with your stress in isolation.
Try to manage your stress by using the strategies listed above. If you find that you’re still not coping, don’t wait to get help. Contact a doctor here or get in touch with Welwitschia Hospital by sending an email to email@example.com. We’re here to help you stop feeling stressed and out of control.