Stress is very much normal, and it almost affect everyone across the globe equally. It is the stimulus response of the body against any form of demand in life.

Stress could be associated with emotions, broken relationships, family problems, monetary challenges, parenting issues, work-related stress and many more. Its almost impossible for anyone to remain untouched from this change in life.

Due to its inseparable distance between stress and individual, its advisable for people to learn the art of stress management. But before diving into the details of stress management, lets focus on stress and its types.

What is Stress……?

Stress is the health condition in which our brain and body responds to the demand or challenges associated with certain situation or life event. The reason of stress could be anything which can make you angry, frustrates and nervous. (1, 2, 3)

Stress can be for very short span but in certain cases, it can persist for very long time. The prolonged stress condition or the chronic stress may affect our health. It is very important that we need to do stress management to overcome these stress condition. (3)

What are Different Types of Stress……?

Based on the life span of stress condition, it has been classified in two categories namely:

Acute Stress: This type of stress makes you off balance momentarily and goes away. It might occur in the situation when you want to try something new, faced some dangerous situation or having argument with the partner. This sort of stress can be relived easily like breathing exercise. (2)

Chronic Stress: This is the stress; people should be wary off. It generally spans for quite some time and left you completely drained. Situation like complicated marriage, monetary deficit and work-related problem may result in chronic stress. It can be relieved by regular meditation, exercise and healthy diet. (2)

The stress management very much dependent upon the types of stress, different stress requires different measures of stress management.

Signs of Stress

There could be various sign of stress condition however it has been grouped in three broad categories: (2)

  • Emotional Changes
    • Anxiety
    • Anger
    • Frustration
    • Sadness
  • Behavioral Changes
    • Indecisive
    • Social Withdrawal
    • Irritation
    • Reduced Sexual Desire
    • Aggression
    • Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs
  • Physical Changes
    • Headaches
    • Nausea
    • Indigestion
    • Palpitations
    • Breathing Heavily
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 Stress Management

 The stressful experience is very much normal and part of life of almost everyone. But the best thing is that some of our action might help in  stress management or eliminating the stressor which might make ourselves overwhelmed and make us incapable in coping with it. (4, 5)

Sometimes, it is very much difficult for an individual to cope with the stress and its associated situation by its own and may require surroundings intervention. The surroundings may include family member, friend, society, communities, workplace and governments. (4)

 It is always said that “if there is a problem, there is solution”. There are various ways or lifestyle tweaks which might prove helpful in relieving stress. Some of the stress management techniques includes:

Eliminate the Stressor: Stress is always having its origin and to eliminate stress from our life we need to identify the stressor and try to eliminate it and it not possible to eliminate try to minimize its impact.

If you have identified the origin of stress, think about what you can do to eliminate that or reduce its impact on your life. Sometimes people just need to change the perspective about anyone/anything to reduce the stress.

Social Connect: It’s been observed that stressed people are always found to be alone and have fewer friends than a normal person. Stress may result in fewer connects or it may be otherwise, whatever may be the situation stress is linked to fewer friends.

An individual need to connect to more and more people, the connectee may not necessary to be someone from outside. It could be family members, relatives, friend, neighbors, colleagues and some other peoples.

 Healthy Nutrition:  In presence of stress it is found that people have stress eating habits. Usually, acute stress kills appetite however chronic stress increases the cravings for fat and sugar due to release of hormone like cortisol. (5)

 When we encounter stressor, our central nervous system releases adrenaline and cortisol hormone which affects our digestive system. Studies suggests that combination of high cortisol and high sugar may result in deposition of fat around our internal organs which may affect cardiovascular and metabolic health.

A healthy and balanced diet might help in providing the essential nutrition and energy. The intake of essential nutrients in balance manner might help in reducing the risk of stress and its associated risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

Meditation: Various studies suggests that the mindful meditation is helpful in reducing the psychological stress and anxiety. Meditation even for minutes might have very calming effects on your life.

Try to meditate just for 5 minutes in a quiet and peaceful place and try to focus on the present rather than to dwell on the past. It always will be the situation when some unwanted thoughts will show up but don’t linger on that and just get pass through that by simply acknowledging it.

Natures Walk: Nature’s beauty have incredible calming effects on our mind and body. Studies conducted across several countries concluded that green scenery have ability to improve our mood. Even though some videos about nature’s beauty will have similar effects.

If you are suffering from stress, it is advisable to spare some time from your busy schedule and go for a walk in park or places with greenery. It will not be bad to plan vacation for places with natural beauty.

Pleasurable Activities: In this busy schedule we often end-up cutting or times from our leisure activities which are essential for maintaining the balance in our life. It’s always better to spare some time for ourselves and do the activities we are fond off.

It may be singing, reading favorite novels, playing musical instruments, watching comedies and favorite shows. These activities will help in taking your mind off from the regular work and help in relieving the stress.

Quality Sleep: Sleep is the natural healer and recharges our mind and body. A good quality sleep might be very helpful in relieving the stress however, stress is itself the enemy of the sleep. A good sleep of 7-8 hours is considered healthy for proper functioning of mind and body.

Sleep is also affected by our consumption pattern. If an individual has trouble sleeping, he/she may look for cutting some caffeine from their diet and try to focus on sleep friendly diet.

Physical Activities: The activities not necessarily mean that you need to go for heavy exercise, or it should include weightlifting. It could be a brisk walk, hiking, nature trail or running some house chores. It’s not just relieves the stress but also helps in keeping you fit and healthy along with good quality sleep.

Exercises are known to be stress busters and several studies shows that it causes release of endorphin hormone which is also known as happiness hormone. It improves your mood and keeps you happy.

When to See Doctor/Professional

Usually, stress shouldn’t be life threatening however in certain cases, people gets overwhelmed and may have suicidal tendencies. In these circumstances, it is advisable to seek immediate medical professional help. (3)

There might be other situation where individual mightn’t be able to cope with stress, have all together new symptoms or even frequent use of alcohol and drugs to relieve stress. (3)

Summary

Stress has become part of everyone’s life and its impacting our life detrimentally. It could be acute or chronic stress which disrupts our lifestyle and in certain cases may be life threatening. Some of the lifestyle modification may have been proven successful against stress as stress management techniques however professional intervention will be essential in extreme cases. “Stay Happy, Stay Healthy”.