We all undergo stress, don't We? (laughs)
I am back again with a topic we all are no stranger to, but how much of it do we know? (laughs!). We all pass through stress at every point in time in our daily activities we do engage in. As a Nigerian I can boldly say you cannot escape the word “STRESS”. Traffic jam, office tasks, house chore, family issues, the list goes on and on. This is actually an interesting topic I will love to breakdown and enlighten us on how to live our daily life with minimum stress because stress cannot be avoided in man’s life.
Tighten your seatbelt as I drive you to the realm of the understanding of stress.
Stress as we all know is an emotional, chemical or physical factors that causes mental or body unrest. Stress can either be negative or positive as the case might be. Positive stress can serve as a good impeller and makes life interesting and beautiful. Take for example when one feels balmy stressed when carrying out a task or an assignment, it often obligate one to do a great job, have better focus and work energetically.
One the other hand, a causative factor of diseases can be associated to a negative stress.
Psychological stress has been related by a lot of people to the term stress itself but physicians and scientists use it to express the force of stability and body balance functions.
Stress can be very mean at times on the body gradually increasing one's body to symptoms, infections of any practical chronic condition.
CAUSES OF STRESS
The following factors may warrant or lead to stress
Physical and Chemical factors
The physical and chemical factor that prolong stress include; toxins, trauma, infections, illness, and any form of body damage of any kind. Emotional issues such as family quarrel, distasteful or unpleasant situation at work.
When one has a negative attitude from a psychological perspective, one is likely to be more stressed than someone who has a positive attitude. To reduce stress, I would strongly advise to check one self’s attitude because a person attitude to life generally is directly proportional to his or her stress level. Let’s take note of this point.
An unbalanced diet i.e (ill-scheduled period of eating, unhealthy food combinations, not eating enough meal) weakens the physical state of the body and as well deteriorate the immune system which subjects it to infections.
A body will always be in a stressed state when there isn't enough engagement in physical activities which the body needs.
Inadequate sleep and Relaxation
Not sleeping as at when due, not getting enough sleep can prohibit stress. Stressful situation can be less handled when there is no involvement in any kind of hobbies and also lack of interest in relaxation techniques at leisure. An adage says “all work and no play makes one a dull being’’ but I can ironically say also that all work without relaxation makes stress a happy man.
In life, during hard times a companion is needed to share burdens with in order to take off the pressure and stress of that particular circumstance. Stressful situations are quite difficult to deal with when there is little or no support.
Poor Time Management
Procrastination is not a friend of time which draws stress close. Factors like insensible deadlines in assignments, over scheduling tasks bring about stress.
EFFECTS AND SYMPTOMS OF STRESS
Psychological stress has been studied and shown by the scientists that stress may accentuate the progress of medical conditions.
There exists actual visibility of poorly managed stress. These include; angriness, headaches, depression, disturbances during sleep, tension, anxiety, lack of concentration, lack of appetite etc.
Overwhelming stress can be experienced in severe circumstances to the junction of “burn out”, accompanied with loss of interest in normal activities. We know that stress alone is not the cause of diseases like HIV/ AIDS, hypertension, cancer etc, but it is a factor that deteriorates the concatenation of these diseases in people.
As I have said earlier, stress cannot be avoided in man’s life i.e it is virtually impossible to eliminate but to dodge its harmful health consequences it can properly be managed. To mange stress is about taking control of the environment, schedules, emotions, thoughts and the manner in which they are dealt with. The desired aim of stress management is to have a proper time for fun, relaxation, relationships and even work not excluding the desire to meet up with deadline assignments and withstand pressure. Ones well-being and healthy life is a vital product of a developed stress management skills. It is not an easy task to develop stress management skills, but with constant practice it can be very effective.
The origins of stress are not always crystal-clear but identifying the source of stress is the beginning of stress management. Although it is not as easy as one may think and it is very easy to ignore feelings, behavior and stress-inducing thoughts. Procrastination leads to deadline stress which brings about work concerns.
Credulous observation of one’s attitude or habits can be a good identification of true sources of stress. Stress level will remain dormant not until the responsibility for creating or maintaining it is embraced.
STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Stress can be compounded by over-reacting, smoking, sleeping late, too much sleep, illegal usage of drugs, departing from families, friends and activities, prolonged usage of computer and watching television, taking out stress on others such as anger, violence, outbursts etc, which is so sad because people tends to cope with them. Coping with all these mentioned may temporarily reduce stress but on the other hand cause more damage to one’s health.
In managing or coping with stress so many ways are practiced. Everyone has a different adaptation to stress and there is no fixed solution to manage it. A single method cannot reduce stress in everyone or in every circumstance, so different strategies and techniques are tested. Generally, we have to focus on which of the techniques or strategies makes us feel in control and calm.
Some effective techniques are listed below to help in managing stress.
- Time management
Stress can be as a result of poor time management. It is difficult to stay focus and calm when the body is stretched beyond normal. Good time-management skills are employed for the control of stress effectiveness.
Avoiding over commitment of tasks and procrastination of jobs are vital measures which are to be taken to avoid over-scheduling. One has to always distinguish between which tasks or job “should” be done or “must” be done. Scaling one’s preference of job is also a good time-management technique. In life, you can never satisfy everyone, so learn to say NO to some irrelevant task. Deporting procrastination can be practiced which is another time management skill. Keeping of diary can be used in identifying time-wasting tasks and also keep one from losing time.
A well organized surrounding such as office, kitchen, desk, closet prevent object or items to be misplace, thereby reducing stress. Develop a habit in cleaning and sorting paper works, house chore and clutter that piles up overtime.
Stay away from people who stress you out
Limit or spend less time with someone that often cause stress in one’s life. Eradication of such relationship can be the best option.
Take control of your environment
Take a longer but less-busy route when you notice traffic. Listening to music or favorite radio station can also be employed when faced with tensed traffic. But for commercial vehicle users, you can spend time relaxing in the office pending the time the traffic is reduce i.e (observing the period traffic mostly occurs) in order to avoid traffic stress.
Avoid controversial topics
If you notice you get easily upset when conversations on religion, sport or politics occur, try and cross them off your conversation list. When topic or subject of such is repeatedly argued about with the same set of people, find a way to excuse yourself or better still avoid bringing up such topic.
Try not to control the uncontrollable
Controlling other people’s behavior can be beyond ones reach because many things in life cannot be controlled. Focus more on things you can easily control than stressing yourself on uncontrollable situations.
Share your feelings
Never hesitate to talk to friends, close relations or a special therapist when faced with challenges that are beyond normal control.
Make time for fun and relaxation
At leisure, always take time to chill out and pull away from all responsibilities in order to regain strength. Never mingle in hustle and bustle of life as it can make you forget the proper care the body needs. Never neglect the body reaction when it has been subjected to excess work or engage in hectic job. Therefore, never omit rest and relaxation in your daily schedule.
Eating a balanced diet
A well-nourished body fights stress, so always eat a well balanced meal. Breakfast is very important as it sparks up energy needed to work for the day.
Get enough sleep
If one does not get enough rest by sleeping as at when due, stress is likely to increase. The fuel to one’s mind is sleep.
Avoid Self-medicated drug, alcohol and cigarettes
Temporal solution is the result of alcohol and self-medicated drugs when faced with challenges that prompt stress. Face the issue and deal with the problem with a clear mind.
Playing musical instruments, watching films, reading novel, engaging in either indoor or field games etc are regarded as relaxation techniques in which one can employ to control stress and to enhance the physical and mental state of man.
Set aside schedules for physical exercise five times a week for at least 30 minutes because it rejuvenates the body and puts it in perfect shape and healthy state. It also helps to reduce tension and emotional stress.
Endeavour to always manage your stressful activities and develop a positive attitude to life as it prolongs one’s life span most importantly reduce STRESS. I leave you with this quote by me “work without RELAXATION enhances STRESS”
- Lawrence, R., Melinda, S. M. A. and Robert, S. M. A. (2018). Stress Management. Helpguide.org.
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