Stress Management: Learn How to Manage It Effectively

Managing stress is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health

Stress management is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. It is what people call well-being. And it is a skill, one that is essential for achieving a well-balanced lifestyle.

Stress management involves understanding what your stressors are, and developing strategies to cope with them. 

Firstly, to begin managing something, you need to understand what stress is. However, let’s remember that stress is not necessarily bad. As you look at your life, you certainly find good stress. For instance, you experience good stress when you look forward to a trip, the excitement of a new job, or when you feel the rush after an intense workout. 

The thing is, these are all stressors, but we call them something different: we call them motivation. 

Stress becomes a problem when it is chronic, that is to say, you have been experiencing it for a long-time. Also, it can be caused by smaller everyday stressors over time.

What is stress?

Stress is the body’s natural response to demands, changes, and challenges in life. And It is a normal part of life. In other words, stress is the body’s way of preparing you for danger. It is the sympathetic nervous system telling your body to focus on what is important and absolutely necessary – the stressful situation you are facing.

All of this results in a jacked-up heart rate and breathing rate. Your blood is full of sugar, your vision is extra clear, and the cortisol is setting you up just in case the stressful situation lasts longer than a few minutes.

That is why the stakes are high when it comes to stress management because stress left unchecked,  can cause anxiety, depression, and other serious health issues.

Working with a therapist can help you identify your stressor and develop healthy coping strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and exercise.

Effects of chronic stress on the body

When your body is flooded with cortisol, and can’t metabolize stress hormones fast enough. This ends up with your body being:

  • Unable to repair things fully because it can’t shift fully into rest mode
  • Inflamed because the immune system either can’t respond or responds too strongly.
  • Brain fog because the brain itself can’t flush out the waste products from constant vigilance.
  • Sexual dysfunctional because stress shuts down the release of sex hormones.

Stress management involves learning the source of your stress

1. What is causing stress?

This is quite simple, you can begin by asking yourself simple questions, and start observing what makes you stressed: it could be a person, place, or thing. 

2. Pinpoint how the stress is impacting the body.

For most of us, it is easier to identify the external stressor that affects our well-being, but it becomes harder to pinpoint it in the body. The body is a great tool, and never lies because it is always in the present. It will tell you everything through sensations, which is the language through which the body speaks to us. 

For example, name the body sensations. That helps you separate yourself from the stressful situation, while strengthening the connection between mind and body sensations.

The Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal has been a champion of rethinking stress, her Ted Talk has been viewed by more 14 million times.

3. What to do with the stress.

  • Take a moment to pause. This is one of the most important skills to start managing stress. 
  • You can start closing your eyes for a moment, and connect  with your breath without trying to change the pace of your breath.
  • Feel the weight of your body on the surface you are in.
  • Relax your jaw and start scanning your body with your attention: face, shoulders, arms, chest, hips, legs and feet, and rest your attention on each part for a few moments. 
  • Keep focusing on your breath and after 4 to 5 minutes, you will notice your breath starting to slow down.
  • Keep doing it until you feel better. 
  • And do it as often as necessary.

In conclusion, stress management can be seen as an act of self-compassion. It is about choosing to make peace with yourself, and it is a beautiful skill for life to have.

A question to ponder:

I am pressured to do or be? 


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