STRESS MANAGEMENT

There are many ways that one can use to coupe with stress,but some of this ways are unhealthy and might cause problems in the long run.
Some of this unhealthy ways of dealing with stress include-
1)smoking
2)drinking too much
3)bringening on junk or comfort food
4)zoning out infront of the tv/computer for hours
5)withdrawing from friends,family and activities
6)using pills/drugs to relax
7)sleeping too much
8)procrastinating
9)filling every minute of the day to avoid problems
10)taking out your stress on others(lashing out,angryoutbusts,physical violence)
All the ways listed above are unhealthy ways of dealing with stress but there are other healthy ways of dealing with stress which require different people to choose from as they work differently in each individuals.One should choose that which makes Him/Her calm and in control.
STRESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGY:
1)GET MOVING
Exercising release endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good and can also serve as a distruction to your dairy worries.
The best thing about this is that you do not have to be an athlete or spend the day in a gym to achieve the benefits you can exercise for 30 minutes by engaging in activities that will make you break into sweat.Lets now take a look at some of this activities-
a)put on some music and dance around(preferably loud music)
b)take your dog for a walk
c)walk or cycle to the grocery stores
d)use the stairs at home or work other than an elevator
e)park your car in the farthest part of the parking lot and walk the rest of the way
while exercising focus on your body movements rather than your thoughts.After you exercise you will find it easier to put other stress managements techniques to use including reaching out to others and engaging socially.

2)SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS
Social engagement means to maintain a network of close friends.By having social engagements it helps one improve their resiliency to life stressors.
Engaging yourself socially by speaking to a person face to face,making eye contact,listening in an attentive way,talking can quickly calm you down and put brakes on defensive stress responses like fight or flight.the person that you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix your stress but be a good listener.Opening up is not a sign of weakness and wount make you a burden to others,infact most friends will flattered that you trust them so much to confide in them and will strongly strengthen your bond and remember its never too late to build new friendships

3)AVOID UNNECESSARY STRESS
Some stressors arise at predictable times for example your commute to work,a meeting with your boss,or family gatherings, when handling such predictable stressors you can either change the situation or change the reaction.
When deciding on which option to choose in any given situation it is advisable to think of the four A’s i.e
Avoid
Alter
Adapt
Accept
Its not healthy to avoid a stressor that needs to be addressed but you may be surprised by the number of stressors in your life you can eliminate.

• Learn how to say no-know your limits and stick to them and avoid taking more than you can handle which is a surefire recipe for stress.Distinguish between the “musts” and the “should” and when possible say no to taking too much
• Avoid people who stress you out-If a person causes consistent stress in your life avoid the person or even end the relationship.
• Take control of the environment-if the evening news make you anxious turn off the tv,if traffic makes you tense take a longer but less travelled route,if going to the market is an unpleasant chore do your grocery shopping online.

4)ALTER THE SITUATION
If you cannot avoid a stressful situation in life try to alter it
• Express your feelings instead of bottling them up-If something or someone is bothering you be assertive and express your feelings in an open and respectful way.If you don’t voice your feelings resentment will build and the stress will increase.
• Be willing to compromise-If you tell someone to change your behavior be willing to do the same.If you both are willing to bend you will have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
• Manage your time better-Poor time management can cause a lot of stress,but if you plan ahead and don’t over extend yourself you find it easier to stay calm and focused.

5)ADAPT TO THE STRESSOR
How you think can have a profound effect on your stress levels.every time you think something negative about yourself your body reacts as if it is in the throes of a tension filled situation.

• Reframe problems-Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective for instance instead of fuming about traffic you should view it as an opportunity to pause and regroup,listen to your favourite radio situation or even have some time alone.
• Look at the big picture-Take perspective of the stressful situation and ask yourself how important it will be in the long run.Will it matterin a month?A year?is it really worth getting upset over?ifthe answer is no focus your time and energy elsewhere
• Adjust your standards-perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.stop getting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection.Set reasonable standards for yourself and others and learn to be okay with “good enough”

6)ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE

Some of the sources of stressors are unavoidable you cant prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one a serious illnessor a national recession.in such cases the best way to coupe with stress is to accept things as they are.acceptance maybe difficult but in the long run its easier than railing against a situation you cannot change
• Don’t try to control the uncontrollable-many things in life are beyond our control –particulary the behavior of other people.Rather than stressing over them focus on things that you can control such as the way you react to problems.
• Look for the upside-When facing major challenges try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.If your poor choices led to a stressful situation reflect ont hem and learn from your mistakes.
• Learn to forgive-we should know that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes.Let go of anger and resentment.free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

7)MAKE TIME FOR FUN AND RELAXATION

Beyond a take charge approach anda positive attitudeyou can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself.If you regularly take time for fun and relaxation you will be at a better place to handle life stressor’s.
Don’t get caught up so much in the hustles and bustle of life and forget to take care of your own needs.Nuturing yourself is a necessity not a luxury.

• Set aside relaxation time-Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedhule.Dont allow other obligations to encroach.Tthis is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
• Do something you enjoy everyday-Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy,whether it be star gazing ,playing the piano or working on your bike.
• Keep your sense of humour-This includes the ability to laugh at yourself.The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

8)ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
In addition to regular exercise there are other healthy lifestyle chances that can increase your resistance to stress.

• Eat a healthy diet-well nourished bodies are more prepared to coupe with stress,so be mindful of what you eat.start your day right with breakfast and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced ,nutritious meals throughout the day.
• Reduce caffeine and sugar-the temporary highs caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy.By reducing the amount of coffee,softdrinks,chocolate, and sugarsnacks in your diet you’ll feel more relaxed and sleep better.
• Avoid alcohol,cigarettes and drugs –self medicating with alcohol and drugs might seem an easy way out from stress but the relief Is only temporary.Dont avoid or mask the the issue at hand deal with issues head on and with a clear mind.
• Get enough sleep-Adequate sleep fuels your mind,as well as your body,feeling tired will increase your stress as it might cause you to think irrationally.
Though stress is almost an everyday situation there are ways through which you can manage it and prevent its harmful effects.