Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
What Is Stress
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight-or-freeze” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
What Are the Signs of Stress?
Common signs of stress include depression, insomnia, tension, anxiety, work mistakes, poor concentration, and apathy, among many others. If high levels of unwanted stress are not properly managed, your health and sense of well-being can suffer. Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage stress.
Tips for Managing Stress
These tips can help you ease stress:
Assess what is stressful: The first step in getting a handle on stress is to figure out what is causing it. Take a good look at your physical condition and your daily activities. Do you suffer from pain? Are you overloaded at work? Once you identify your stressors, you can take steps to reduce them.
Seek social support: Spending time with family and friends is an important buffer against stress. It can be helpful to share your problems with people who care for you.
Practice thought management: What we think, how we think, what we expect, and what we tell ourselves often determine how we feel and how well we manage rising stress levels. You can learn to change thought patterns that produce stress. Thoughts to watch out for include those concerning how things should be and those that over generalise sets of circumstances (for example, “I’m a failure at my whole job because I didn’t reach my targets.”)
Exercise: Exercise can help you blow off steam thereby reducing stress. In addition, flexible, loose muscles are less likely to become tight and painful in response to stress.
Eat a healthy diet: Junk food and refined sugars low in nutritional value and high in calories can leave us feeling out of energy and sluggish. A healthy diet, low in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol consumption, can promote health and reduce stress.
Get adequate sleep: A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle the day’s stress easier. When you are tired, you are less patient and easily agitated which can increase stress. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Practicing good sleep hygiene along with stress-lowering tactics can help improve your quality of sleep.
Delegate responsibility: Often, having too many responsibilities can lead to stress. Free up time and decrease stress by delegating responsibilities.
By following these tips [First Name] you can at least take control of your physical being whilst you ride the roller coaster at work.
“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.”
Dedicated to your health,