Stress is a negative emotional response which comes as a result of some form of mental or physical strain. Be that in your work life, social life or even home and family life. Believe it or not, even babies can experience stress.
Even with a deep passion and love for what you do, stress is unfortunately inevitable. However, when that stress reaches a chronic state, it can be harmful and overwhelming both emotionally and physically.
If you are stressing over work deadlines, relationships or worse, It can seem like the world is coming to an end. You may feel like you’re stuck in a hopeless situation and the stress levels are too much.
That is not the case.
As a matter of fact, you can have more control over it than you might think.
The core idea is knowing that you are in control of every pillar of stress in your life and also figuring out your stress triggers. Knowing these things can be so powerful, that they can enable you to live a stress-free life for a long time.
Stress management is built on the core foundation of realising that you are in control of your life.
Managing stress involves identifying what causes it and becoming aware of your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.
Types of stress you need to know.
- Acute stress.
This is also known as the fight-or-flight response, which is your body’s reaction to any perceived scare, challenge or threat. Acute stress is often intense and immediate, and in certain situations, it can be thrilling.
- Chronic Stress.
This type of response is understated as compared to acute stress; however, its results may be problematic and long lasting.
Tips for recognising stress signs
Identifying stress signs at an early stage enhances the likelihood that you will be able to overcome it and take the required actions to handle the symptoms and the causes, therefore, minimising an individual’s health and well-being risks.
Signs of stress may include
- When you are stressed your physical appearance may change.
Lack of sleep can cause under eye bags. You may not be eating correctly which can result in Lacking vital nutrients and water, causing your skin to become dry and flakey.
AND, if you suffer with any skin issues, be it is acne, eczema, or psoriasis, there is a high chance, during stressful times, your symptoms will flare up.
- You may also notice a change in your normal behaviour
For instance, you may start to have withdrawal tendencies. It’s a common reaction to start withdrawing and isolating yourself from your friends and family. Loved ones may even start noticing more irritability or uncharacteristic behaviours. These are big signs that your body is currently under stress.
- Lacking concentration is another sign of stress
If you find yourself drifting in and out of conversations and discussions without any idea what has actually been going on, it’s probably time to take a break, relax and change your situation. Time for a week off?
- Work is the last thing on your mind
If your stress is affecting your work, you may find yourself reporting late or even avoiding work in general since your emotions have taken the better part of you.
Unfortunately, mental health days aren’t viewed the same way as physical health days in many workplaces, and for some, it’s still a taboo subject. But, let’s hope that change is on the way.
Ways to manage stress
Evidently, it’s important to take charge, and control the stress patterns in your life. Below are a few ways you can manage stress and attempt to live a happy, stress-free life avoiding as much strain or hassle as possible.
- Identify the cause of the stress
It is vital to identify what you are stressed about. Is it an upcoming exam, a particular work project, quarrels with your boss or a dispute with your spouse? By pinpointing the specific cause of stress in your life, it can be a big start in getting organised and taking the necessary actions.
- Work on what you can control
It is next to impossible to control what happens to you in different environments, be it what your employer’s actions might cause, the economy state of your country, what your spouse says/does to you, among others.
For instance, you can choose to get worked up about something your friends said about you or you can opt to ignore their opinion entirely. The worst thing you can do is trying to control uncontrollable things. Since, when you fail to control them, you only feel helpless and more stressed out.
- Know how to manage your time well
One of the biggest cause of stress is that many people have a long to do list with little time allocated to each task. Therefore, when time flies they only achieve a small percentage of their work and eventually rush at the last minute.
Time management or as others call it life management is so important. Prioritising your day list first thing in the morning, or even the night before is a must.
Learn to have find time for everything. In that, when it is time to work, utilise the time well, and when it is the time to relax do so.
You can book an appointment at your local spa and enjoy a long relaxing massage, or even you can try out new activities that you have always wanted to try but never had the chance to do so.
Even just hanging out with friends with a glass of wine and deep meaningful chats can be unbelievably relaxing.
- Embrace mistakes
Being a perfectionist, isn’t always the best way to be. It can be anxiety provoking and also exhausting since as soon as something goes wrong or not as expected, the fuses in your brain blow and stress kicks in, which can be ridiculously harmful to you.
Some of the greatest things in life come from imperfections.
- It’s the break in Adele’s voice that makes it so stunning.
- The leaning tower of Pisa is so beautiful due to its curves
- Heck, my favourite shorts are literally the most torn up, ripped denim shorts.
A happy life begins with taking care of you. Draining your energy on stress is not beneficial to your well-being, or even the wellbeing of those around you.
Focus on you.
Focus on life.
Focus on the positives.
Look for the positives around you, as hard as that may seem, even in some of life’s worst times, silver linings are around. It’s time you start looking for yours.