Stress has become one of the most alarming issues in the healthcare. Over 33% of people worldwide are identified to be living with stress contributed to by several factors. 48% of these people explain that their stress levels have especially increased within the last five years. Studies further show that over 47% of people are unable to sleep at night spending hours awake due to stress. Almost half of stress related problems are traced back from the day to day workload of individuals while 28% is because of personal issues. From these figures, it is very clear that stress has become an issue of serious concern that can no longer be assumed.
Stress, however, is not an unmanageable problem. Several practical strategies have been tried and proven to be very crucial in helping to deal with all types of stress whether it is due to workload, personal issues or a combination of both. The following are some of the strategies that can be used to deal with stress:
1. Pinpoint behaviors or sources of your stress
The first and most important tip towards dealing with stress is to identify where the stress is coming from. Managing to pinpoint the exact cause of your stress will put you in a very advantageous position towards managing this problem. If your stress is due to a major event happening in your life like losing a close family member/friend, then it could be easy to deal with it as you can share this with a therapist. If it’s due to some other reason, then you will have to look closely at your habits/behaviors and your day to day activities to find the exact cause of stress. Once you have managed to locate the source, you can then go ahead to write them down so that you can share it with someone or look at ways of avoiding them.
2. Connect with other people
Talking and connecting with other people is one of the best ways of relieving stress. It may be a work colleague, a friend or a family member. Never isolate yourself. Communicating with other people will always help you get a feeling of calmness. It will help you relieve your brain or mind off whatever it is that is stressing you. Connecting with other people will also help you to understand that there are people who listen and care about what you are going through. In case you feel like the situation you are in is embarrassing or for whatever reason can’t be shared with someone you know, then you can always book an appoint with a therapist. They are professionals and will ensure that you problems are not shared. They will also help in calming you down and offering possible solutions.
3. Engage in physical activities
Physical activities and exercises are known to release endorphins which are good for boosting one’s mood. An exercise will, therefore, help to make you feel good and distract you from your frustrations and worries. Physical activities will also assist in preventing or reducing the effects brought about by stress. It will, therefore, contribute to keeping you safe from depression, high blood pressure, and other similar problems. However, you should not start right away with heavy physical activities. This may have an adverse impact on your health. You are advised first to start with light exercises for a shorter duration and then building up from there. You can, for example, go out for a walk with your dog or pet, dance to some music, play some sport like tennis with friends, etc. doing these exercises regularly will help to keep you in a good mood and reduce your stress levels significantly.
4. Create a “me” time in your schedule
Regardless of how demanding your work and personal lives may be you should try as much as possible to ensure that you squeeze some “me” or personal time. This is a paramount time as it helps you to stay away from all the workload or stressing things that you are exposed to every day. You can use this time to relax, call a friend for a swim, go for a movie with your partner, etc. this will play a crucial role in ensuring that you are not sucked up in your workload which would increase your stress levels. With this time you will also be able to meet new people, make friends and to know your friends. This will make your life enjoyable reducing your stress levels.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Different people tend to deal with stress in a variety of ways. Some will try to engage in smoking, alcohol drinking, and other substance abuse activities in an attempt to deal with stress. This is a terrible move. No matter how much life is stressing you, you should never start engaging in these activities. You will think that they are helping you when in reality they will be escalating your problem further. The few minutes of relaxation brought by these drugs are not worthy the long term consequences that you will suffer afterward. Avoid these drugs, sugar, and caffeine. Continue eating a balanced diet which will help your body deal with stress better off.
6. Practicing the four “A”s
The other effective method of dealing with stress as explained by experts is putting the four “A”s in action. These includes:
i. Avoiding unnecessary stress – there are many cases where stress is brought about by unnecessary things that can easily be avoided. For instance, if it is a certain person that stresses you but can be avoided then do not shy away from ignoring them or cutting the relationship. Always say “no” to any activities or people that are not worthy stressing over.
ii. Adapting to the cause of stress – if you have identified your stressor as something that you have to deal with, then you will need to adjust to it so that it doesn’t get to have more power over you. You should try to view these causes of stress from a positive perspective while looking at the bigger picture.
iii. Altering the situation – if you are unable to prevent a certain situation, then you should try to alter it at least. You can try to change how you approach the situation and how you operate yourself. You can become assertive, compromise whenever possible and stop keeping your feelings to yourself. These will help you to have control of your stressor giving you a better outcome.
iv. Accept the situation – some things or situations cannot be changed or controlled. If your stressor is one of them, then you need to accept it and not try to control it because it could only work to increase your stress.
The above are the major tips effective for dealing with stress. You no longer need to let stressful events get control of your life. Practice the above tips, and in a very short duration, you will start to notice the great impact that it would have.