Stress is a normal part of life. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes, and it is concealed in more ways than you can imagine: frustration, anxiety, fear, job and family pressure, sadness and happiness, and boredom and overactivity.
Stress is any pressure, good or bad. Thinking about these negative experiences, in fact, can already be stressful: work hassles, traffic jams, fights at home, death in the family, a divorce, or loss of a job. Every one of these is obviously stressful. But even "happy" events can be challenging and can cause stress: a new job, marriage, buying a house, or having a baby.
Health experts are one in saying that how you respond to stress affects your health. Reacting to it can elevate blood pressure. When that reaction becomes chronic, it can contribute to more serious problems, such as heart disease. That is why it’s important to learn how to handle stress. Health experts provide eight ways in effectively combating stress:
1) Be more flexible. In both your personal and professional lives, remember that mistakes happen, and no one, including yourself, is perfect. Arguing only strengthens the effects of stress.
2) Downsize your life. Learn to say no, and avoid taking on more responsibility than you can handle. Cut out unnecessary activities. Be willing to delegate.
3) Gain a sense of control. Lack of control at work is a high risk factor for stress-related illness. If you can’t gain some measure of control at work, find a sense of control in a nonwork activity, such as a hobby.
4) Hug your dog. Pets provide a sense of normalcy, and they will love you no matter what.
5) Keep in touch. The more social contacts you have, the less stressed you feel and the lower your risk for many illnesses, including heart disease. If you have difficulty sharing your emotions, trying writing them out in a journal.
6) Rest and rejuvenate. If you spend too many hours on the job, your work may suffer. Even during busy periods, try to leave work at a reasonable time a few nights a week. Also, take a five-minute break every hour and walk around. Get a good night’s sleep; when times are stressful, you need more rest.
7) Take things one at a time. When you feel overwhelmed, make a list and tackle the most important tasks first. Then check off items as you go; the sense of accomplishment can be satisfying and motivating.
8) Work out, jog, or walk. One of the best antidotes to stress is exercise. It takes your mind off your worries, relieves anxiety, helps you think more clearly, and reduces the physical effects of stress by lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure.
Not all stress is unhealthy according to health experts. A certain amount in a day-to-day life can be motivating and help keep you on your toes. But if stress is getting to you, learn to reduce it. Lifestyle, personality, and even genetic makeup influence our emotional and physiological responses to stress. But we can modify those responses by making changes in how we act, think, relate, move, and relax. Although simple, these eight ways may take sustained work to adopt successfully.