Guides

Aug 12 2022

9 Effective Ways To Manage Stress

Oluwafikunayomi Odusola

Oluwafikunayomi Odusola

Author

Stressed dark skinned man has much work in office, asked by many people at one time who remind about preparing business project, hold alarm clock, notepad with records, sits at desktopStressed dark skinned man has much work in office, asked by many people at one time who remind about preparing business project, hold alarm clock, notepad with records, sits at desktop

Stress is the physical, emotional, or mental change experienced in moments of pressure. It’s a constant reaction to life situations — there’s always something to worry about.

As humans, we’re constantly surrounded by situations that put us under pressure, e.g., school, money issues, work, relationships, et cetera.

If taken lightly, these issues can culminate and affect everyday life and productivity. Hence, it’s necessary to know effective ways to manage stress.

Signs of Stress

When you’re stressed, your body will send out alarms to call your attention. These alarms come in form of physical signs or emotional and behavioral changes.

You might experience behavioral and emotional changes such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Easy loss of temper
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Aggression towards others
  • Irritability
  • Constant fear
  • Unstable emotions i.e. you might get withdrawn, tearful or indecisive on impulse
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem

Likewise, you should look out for physical symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Different sorts of aches
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleeping issues
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation

Stressed african businesswoman suffering from headache at work doing overtime late night.

Identifying the Root Cause of Stress

Although there’s no definite factor that causes stress, here are some general causes of stress:

  • Financial instability
  • Unemployment
  • Conflicts in relationships
  • Pressure from work
  • Divorce
  • Trauma
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Strenuous physical activities

The list is endless. It’s possible to be stressed by things you consider insignificant. It’s also possible to be stressed by gigantic life problems like divorce, unemployment, loss of a loved one, et cetera.

Best Strategies for Managing Stress

It’s impossible to get rid of stress completely, but it can be managed and prevented from culminating in other illnesses. After you identify the root cause of your stress, you can practice these effective ways to manage stress:

Portrait of young smiling female nutritionist in the consultation room. Nutritionist desk with healthy fruit, juice and measuring tape. Dietitian working on diet plan.

Cultivate healthy eating and drinking habits

Substances that you consume go a long way in determining your stress level — they can either lessen or worsen the problem. Hence, you should stay away from taking in foods and drinks that can add to your stress level.

You shouldn’t binge-eat or consume alcoholic drinks or drinks that contain caffeine when you start to feel the effects of stress. Instead, you should incorporate the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and water into your diet.

Keep your smoking habits in check

Smoking tobacco, weed, cigarettes, et cetera to ease stress would only compound your problem. These products can make you feel good and giddy, but their effects would lead to stress lingering for a longer period.

Exercise and practice relaxation techniques

A little physical activity like walking can help you reduce stress. Exercising isn’t only beneficial for physical fitness, but it has also proven to be a way of easing stress.

Similarly, you should practice relaxation techniques whenever you notice the effect of stress. You can try deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation, muscle relaxation exercises like stretching, yoga, et cetera.

Filter responsibilities

Sometimes, responsibilities can get overwhelming and put a lot of pressure on you. You can filter responsibilities by sharing or dividing them among others.

Woman listening to music and having a good time. Effective ways to manage stress

Take a breather

You can also reduce stress by taking time off your work or activities to rest. Taking a breather involves putting a temporary pause on activities that might cause stress.

During this period, you can visit any serene environment to help clear your head. You can also stay around situations or people that make you happy.

Ask for help

When you feel pressured or frustrated due to an excessive workload, ask for help. It’s okay to admit when you can no longer move forward.

Asking for help doesn’t make you less capable or deficient. If you feel unsafe talking and asking for help from someone familiar, you might want to consider therapy.

Set SMART goals

Goals are essential in every aspect of life — be it business, education, family, et cetera.

However, when you don’t have a solid structure in place, you might begin to feel frustrated or even pressured. To avoid this, you can use SMART goals to reduce feelings of pressure and frustration. SMART goals are:

  • Specific: Set goals that are straightforward and clear. Instead of setting general goals, narrow your goals down to know how feasible they can be.
  • Measurable: These are goals that keep you organized and in check. Measurable goals require you to have a specific method of tracking down your progress. Through this, you can know if you’re moving forward or not.
  • Achievable: Achievable goals are goals that are doable and possible to attain. To set achievable goals, you can consider these questions: What resources can propel this goal to become a reality? And how do they come in?
  • Realistic: Likewise, you should set goals that are practicable and real. Doing this will save you from the distress of not having a way out when things get tough.
  • Timely: Having target dates for your goals makes them timely. You can write out the date you set out on a plan and also put a deadline on it.

Setting SMART goals might be the best way to handle a stressful situation. This is because they give you an organized timeline and timeframe to work with. So whenever you begin to feel stressed, you can fall back on these goals for a sense of clarity.

Beautiful happy young mulatto girl with curly black hair posing isolated dressed in silk pajamas, making thumbs up gesture and showing ok sign, smiling

Affirmations

Affirmations are positive words or sentences that can motivate you and help you overcome negative thoughts. When you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, you can affirm positive things to yourself, like:

  • I can pull through this demanding situation.
  • I handle my work with ease. 
  • I attract opportunities, and I take charge of the opportunities given to me.
  • Success is my default response. I succeed in everything I do.
  • I am capable and powerful enough to pull through this.
  • I’m unstoppable because my circumstances do not define me.
  • Today is an excellent day to squash my goals!

Journalling

A good way to manage stress is journalling. Journalling involves writing your thoughts down in a diary or journal.

You can consider this as a means of venting, ranting, or any way of expressing your thoughts. In the long run, journalling can help you to process your feelings and control them better whenever you feel stressed.

Shot of a young woman writing in her journal at the beach. Effective ways of managing stress: journal.

Takeaway

Everybody goes through stress. It’s a normal reaction to life’s circumstances; however, you shouldn’t undermine the effects of stress. These effective ways to manage stress will help you cope better, especially on the not-so-good days.

Your health is a priority, and you shouldn’t neglect it. At mytherapist.ng, we’re concerned with providing you with timely information on mental health and wellness.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or problems relating to stress or mental health.

 

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