How to Manage Stress
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. In fact, stress is
a natural part of life and some of it can even be good for us.
Your ability to identify stress that can be harmful, manage or cope with it and reduce it where possible can have a dramatic impact on your life and on the lives of those around you. How well you do these things will ultimately determine if this impact is for the better or for the worse.
Types of Stress.
There are two major types of stress, good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).
Eustress is the positive tension that we experience when we get a job promotion, purchase a new home, go on holidays or have a baby. This type of stress can be helpful to us because it can provide motivation and other essential things to help us grow as individuals.
Distress is negative tension caused by things like increased work demands, running late for an appointment, financial difficulties or experiencing sickness in the family. Because stress is cumulative (it builds up in our body), too much distress over a long period of time can be very bad for us and may lead to unhappiness, serious illness, and even death.
Identifying your Stressors.
Stress affects us all differently. Understanding what causes you stress is critical if you want to reduce its negative impacts on your life. To help you identify your stressors, ask yourself these questions:
- What is stressful to me?
- How does stress affect me?
- When am I most vulnerable to stress?
Once you understand the stresses in your life, and how and when they affect
you most is the first step to minimizing bad stress and negative impact
on your life. Remember the old saying, 'once you have defined the problem,
you are half way to finding a solution.'
Managing and coping with Stress.
Once you've identified your stressors there are many things you can do to help you cope better and reduce its negative impacts. Here are just a few examples:
- Improve your time management skills
- Eat a healthier diet
- Start an exercise program
- Create some eustress in your life
- Use relaxation techniques
The best ways to Relax.
Relaxing is one of the easiest and best ways to cope with stress and there are many different ways to achieve a relaxed state. Most relaxation techniques are simple, inexpensive or free, can be performed almost anywhere at anytime, and don't need to take up a lot of time.
Here are some of the best relaxation techniques we know:
- Deep Breathing
- Tai Chi
- Progressive Relaxation
Reducing stress in your Life.
It is difficult to reduce your stress levels if you haven't identified the major causes of stress in your life. Once you've identified the causes, you can devise an action plan to reduce the stresses you experience.
If work is a main cause of stress for example, speak to your boss about ways to ease your workload or find a new job. If being around certain people causes you stress, make plans to avoid them as much as possible. If lack of time or money is a major stressor for you, attend a course on time or money management, keep a daily and money diary or start to plan your time and budget.
Coping well with stress is a three-pronged process. First, identify the stressors in your life by asking yourself questions and taking note of how you respond to the various pressures of life. Next, reduce the amount of stress that has accumulated in your body by employing one or more of the many relaxation techniques available. Finally, try to remove the major stressors in your life where you can.
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. In fact, stress is a natural part of life.
Our ability to identify stress, manage or cope with it and reduce it where possible can have a dramatic impact on our life and on the lives of those around us. How well we do these things will ultimately determine if this impact is for the better or for the worse.
We hope that this article will help you if you are dealing with unhealthy stress in your life and we wish you good luck with your stress management and your weight loss.
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This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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