Khursheed Nabi

The ever increasing issue if Stress and responding to it correctly!

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Stress Management isn’t easy nor is it tough

The term Stress refers to the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. A human body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. Stress is said to be a normal part of life . one can experience stress from environment, body, thoughts etc. Sometimes positive changes in ones life can produce stress. So stress is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and are struggling to cope with demands. These demands are usually related to finance, jobs, relationships, examinations etc. Such demands possess a real or perceived challenge to a person’s wellbeing.

Stress can be a positive motivator as well and can help in the survival of a person. It may act as a booster to achieve something extraordinary in life. Therefore it have positive consequences as well. Stress can help a student to achieve good grades in the examination or it may help a worker to perform well so as to get promotion. But stress should not rise up to the level where it will have adverse effects on the personality of an individual. If stress is short-term it can be helpful, but long-term stress is linked to various physical as well as mental issues.

Stress is body’s natural defense against danger. When we are faced with a challenge, part of our response is physical. The body activates resources to protect us by preparing us to stay and fight or to get away. Our body produces larger quantities of the chemical cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin. These trigger an increased heart rate , heightened muscle preparedness, sweating and alertness. The factors improve the ability to respond to a challenging situation. The factors of environment which trigger this type of reaction are called stressors; these include noises, aggressive behaviors, scary moments in a show or movies etc. The level of stress will therefore depend on the stress we experience, the more stressors we experience the more stressed we will be. It must be noted that what is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another. Some commonly life events that can trigger stress include job issues, financial issues, family problems, illness, relationships, marriage, divorce, overcrowding, pollution etc. Stress usually results in some behavioral problems like eating too much, sudden angry outburst, drug and alcohol abuse, social withdrawal or frequent crying.

Stress can’t be prevented once for all but can manage and reduce its level  in order to avoid its ill effects on mental and physical health. Given below are certain ways to manage stress:-

Exercise:  Exercising body and mind will help in reducing stress. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins.  Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, message therapy and deep breathing can cause our body to produce endorphins.

Reduce intake of alcohol, drugs and caffeine: Many people take these substances during stress with the hope that it will reduce their stress. But these things can make it worse. The consumption of these substances should be cut out to reduce stress level.

Nutrition: A balanced diet helps to maintain the immune system at the times of stress. A poor diet will leads  to ill health and will therefore result in additional stress.

Prioritizing: One should spend a little time in organizing to-do list to see what is important and then focus on what has been accomplished during the day rather than what is yet to finish. This will build a positive attitude and will hence help to reduce stress.

Time Management: We have to manage our time in such a way so that some time can be set aside for ourselves. This time should be spend to organize our life, relax and to pursue our own interests.

Finding One’s own Distresses:  People have something that helps them to relax , such as reading a book or newspaper, going out with friends, listening to music, joining gym or going for a walk. These activators will help them to reduce stress.

Relationship with Family and Friends: Talking to family, friends, work colleagues etc regarding our thoughts and worries will help us to reduce stress to a great extend. We may be comforted and may even find there is an easy solution that we have not thought of.

Apart from the above mentioned ways, there are various other tips that may help us to keep stress at bay and live happier and healthier lives. Given below are some of them:

One needs to have a positive attitude.

One should accept the fact that there are certain events beyond the control.

Make time for hobbies, interests and relaxation.

Get enough time for sleeping.

Spend Enough time with the people u enjoy to be with.

Be assertive instead of aggressive.

If needed seek consultation of a psychologist or a professional trained in stress management.

The writer is a student of M.ED at IASE Srinagar and can be reached at [email protected]

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