Stress has become a normal part of today’s life thanks to busy schedules and trying to juggle everything at once. In our effort to achieve everything at the same time we end up overwhelming ourselves both mentally and physically and this significantly depreciates our productivity. If you feel like stress is preventing you from being the best you can be or is taking a toll on your body then here is realistic step by step guide on how to relieve stress. Before we delve into effective stress relieving techniques lets first understand what stress is and the harmful effects it can have on your life.
So what is stress?
Stress is simply the human body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be a result of both good and bad experience. The body responds to stress by releasing chemicals into the blood. The predominant chemicals released include adrenaline which increases the heart rate, boost energy and significantly elates blood pressure. The primary stress hormone is Cortisol which increases the level of glucose in the bloodstream and also enhances how the brain utilizes glucose.
Additionally Cortisol also boosts the availability of substances that repair body tissues. The release of these chemical generally boosts energy and strength which is a great thing if you are in physical danger. However, this can be a bad thing if the stress is in response to emotional issues and there is no outlet for the extra strength and energy.
We all deal with stress and everyone reacts differently. Some common stressors include money, relationships and work. If left unchecked stress can dismally affect how you behave, feel or think and can also negatively impact your essential body functions. Common detrimental signs of stress include worrisome thinking, sleeping issues, elated levels of anxiety, excessive sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty focusing or concentrating. This is why it is a worthwhile effort taking your time to learn different strategies and techniques for relieving stress.
Here are 2 simple but effective steps to completely eradicate stress from your life
It all begins with identifying the source or cause of your stress
This is logically the first step before you can move forward. For any stress relieving techniques to have any positive impact, you have to identify what exactly is causing your stress. This will entail taking some time to be alone and get done your journal or notepad. Write down everything that you think or feel is contributing to your stress. Once you have a clear idea or a better sense of what exactly is leading to your stress, you can effectively make the right changes that will help you cope better. Here are some effective ways of trying to pinpoint the cause or source of stress;
Evaluate your personal relationships
Assess the people in your life from the spouse, friends and family to ascertain if any of these relationships are putting a strain on you. A great relationship is supposed to bring you joy and contentment and not unhappiness and distrust. Some leading questions that will ensure you filter the wheat from the chaff include;
Can I depend on this person?
Do I trust them?
Do they add or subtract value from my life?
Does this relationship make me a better person or just drag me behind?
Stressful relationships are arguably the number one cause of emotional distress that can quickly culminate into stress and even depression. This is why everyday there are murders and suicides because of love and friendship.
Assess the frequency of your stress
Are you stressed because of a particular situation or are you in a permanent state of stress. Stressing because you are in a financial fix currently is different from feeling stressed right from the moment you wake up to when you eventually go to bed. If stress is a permanent feeling in your life, there is a chance that there is a more severe underlying condition that you need to deal with. The frequency of your stress will also give you a clearer idea of what is causing it.
Reflect with the help of others
Sometimes you don’t have a clear and objective perspective of who you are and what’s going on in your life. This is why you need the help of the people who know you are rather the people around you. Feel free to open up to someone you trust so that they can help you figure out what might be causing your stress. There are high chances you will get some helpful feedback and a fresh perspective on your issues. Even the simple act of admitting out loud that you are stressed can help clarify what it is that you are struggling with.
Surround yourself with positive social support
Once you have an idea what is causing your stress, the first thing you need to do is isolate yourself from people you think or feel are boosting stress levels or encouraging negativity. Reliable research has ascertained that people who go through major life stresses such as losing a job or loss of a life partner come out the other side of the ordeal more easily if they have a network of friends or family on whom they trust and can rely on. Instead of spending time alone stressing, surround yourself with people who are positive forces in your life. Such people encourage you, make you feel appreciated, valued, boost your confidence and also help you be the best you can be.
Tricks on how to ensure the company you surround yourself with is uplifting
Learn to say No
You have to say no to meeting or hanging out with people who stress you out even if such people are close family and friends. For instance if you feel that yours spouse is making your life intolerable you don’t need to compromise your mental and physical health just to please them. Take a break and stay a way from them for a while to see if it helps.
Seek the companionship of a group that you consider positive or uplifting
If you grew up in the church then perhaps you find a church group positive and uplifting while at work you can identify people who motivate and encourage you to be more and do better. Currently there are numerous counselling groups that can help you deal with what you are going through and also connect you with people who are going through similar issues.
If you can’t avoid some people who are negative company then how about not letting them get to your head
There are people that are almost impossible to avoid even if they are negative company such as workmates or close family who you live with. In this case you have to be mentally strong not to allow their negative opinions and disposition affect you. Try and avoid having conversations with them as you can and also talk to them about what you are going through and how their negativity is affecting you.