Stress: Tips To Cope With It
In today’s fast-paced world, stress is unavoidable. Whether you are working full time or a stay-at-home mom, stress can cause a lot of anxious and exhaustive moments in your life. For some, the mundane day-to-day tasks can be the cause, whereas for others, it could result from some traumatic event. Thus, the cause, extent, and nature vary from person to person.
Research has shown that academic expectations are the main source of stress for students in Asia. For the working class, work-related pressure is the leading cause. Unhealthy lifestyle, balancing work and life, inefficient time management, and failure to relax can also cause stress.
World Mental Health Day falls on 10 Oct. Stress can often be an important cause of one person developing mental health issues. Find out how we can help ourselves and our loved ones cope with it and prevent development of mental health issues!
What are the symptoms of stress?
Stress can have both physical and mental symptoms:
- Ache and pain in the body, including headache.
- Upset stomach including diarrhoea and constipation.
- Low energy and a lack of interest in doing things.
- Frequent infections like cold.
- Sweaty hands and feet.
- Difficulty in swallowing and dry mouth.
- Becoming easily frustrated and moody.
- Feeling lonely and depressed.
- Losing control over your emotions.
- Avoiding meeting others.
How to cope with stress?
Have a well-balanced diet
Having a well-nourished body helps you to cope up with stress much better. Eat a good breakfast containing a lot of whole grains, and fruits. Try to include vegetables, dairy products, meat and pulses in your daily diet. Make sure that you consume at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Alcohol and caffeine can provide temporary relief from stress. But it can have a negative impact on your health in the long run. Try to stay away from it as much as possible. Similarly, reduce sugar laden food like soft drink and chocolates as it provides only a temporary relief from stress.
Exercising regularly helps in better blood circulation and in flushing out stress from the body. It also releases endorphin that makes you feel good and relaxed.
You can undertake any exercise depending on your capability, but make sure that you do it consistently for at least 30 minutes every day. Though walking is the best form of exercise for all age groups, you can also try out swimming, cycling and aerobics depending on your physical condition.
Get proper sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night helps you to face stress in a much better manner. If stress is keeping you awake, you should consider seeking medical help. Another suggestion could be to include more time for meditation, which helps your mind and body to relax.
Yoga and meditation are very effective in beating stress. Yoga relaxes your body, mind and breathing. You are able to balance your emotions and calm down while practicing yoga. Stress is associated with future or past events. Through yoga you can connect with the present which helps you to focus and calm down.
Connect with people
Having someone around to listen to your woes and support you helps to relieve stress to a great extent. Connect with your friends or family who understand your problem well. You can also connect with other support groups who can provide counselling and guidance to deal with stress. It is best to have face-to-face interaction rather than through digital media as it provides a human touch.
Always have a good network of friends and family rather than relying on a single person. This way you will get support when needed.
Engage in hobbies
Doing things that interests you helps to cut out stress to a considerable extent. You can cultivate hobbies like reading, gardening and listening to music. If you like doing creative work like painting and sculpting, undertake those activities. It helps to divert your attention and free up your mind. Hobbies create a fun and relaxing environment which can be very helpful in reducing your stress levels.
Take a break
If you are stressed out because of your work, going on a vacation helps to refresh and rejuvenate yourself. It helps to take your mind off the factors causing the stress and helps you to relax. You will be in a positive frame of mind once you are back from vacation.
Seek a counsellor
If none of the above coping mechanisms are working, you can seek the help of a counsellor. By talking to the counsellor about your problem, they can clearly understand your mental makeup and suggest solution for the same.
Stress is a part of modern life. The key is managing it the most effective way. Try to figure out the cause of the stress and find solutions for the same. It can help a long way when you keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Similarly, having a good support mechanism also helps you to reduce stress to a great extent.