How to deal with stress? Effective techniques and ways to deal with stress
Stress is the body’s reaction to unfriendly surroundings or events. Nowadays, it is difficult to avoid it, as work and a fast-paced lifestyle promote nerves. Chronic stress is destructive to health, as it promotes the development of diseases and weakens the body. How to deal with stress? What techniques are best to use? What are effective ways to deal with stress?
What is stress?
Although we do not have a single scientific definition of this phenomenon, in a nutshell we can say that stress is the body’s response to unfavorable events and the environment that create a threat (or cause a sense of danger) or hinder the realization of important needs for the individual.
Although stress is perceived as a negative phenomenon that we want to get rid of at all costs, in its original role it is useful, it is supposed to activate to action. It is only when it reaches too high an intensity or becomes chronic that it begins to be a problem that can cast a shadow over all spheres of life.
Chronic stress and health
It is worth learning how to deal with stress, because if it is chronic, it has a negative impact on a person’s health. Chronic stress weakens the body, making it more susceptible to infections and diseases. It is one of the main contributors to the development of diseases such as:
- upper respiratory tract infections,
- inflammatory conditions,
- skin diseases,
- cancer diseases,
- headaches, muscle pain, back pain,
- ailments of the digestive system (heartburn, diarrhea, constipation),
- autoimmune diseases,
- diseases related to the psyche (depression, neurosis).
Managing stress is important not only for your health, but also for your well-being. Excess cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, translates directly into your daily functioning. Chronic stress stimulates the body to exert large amounts of cortisol. This hormone blocks the entry of serotonin, a substance that induces good mood and euphoria, into the brain. For this reason, it is not uncommon for people who are subjected to large doses of stress on a daily basis and cope poorly with it to suffer from depression or neurosis.
How to deal with stress? Effective ways
Coping with stress is a skill that only a portion of humanity possesses. ices only a fraction of humanity possesses. The rest can learn it by using the right techniques and discharging negative emotions in different ways. It is worth remembering that something different works for everyone, so do not get discouraged at the first attempt.
The first and one of the best ways to deal with stress is to engage in physical activity. Through movement, the brain starts producing endorphins, which are hormones that reduce stress levels and dull the sensation of pain. In addition, through exercise you can get rid of nervous tension from your muscles and unload your emotions, which is also very beneficial to your health. The type of sport you decide on is not important. Regularity is definitely more important, so that you manage to keep your stress levels at the same low level.
Try to match the way you deal with stress with your lifestyle. For example, if you are an active person, boxing or running will probably work better than yoga. Yoga and Pilates workouts will be good stress management techniques for people who prefer more static solutions. These exercises are very peaceful and mainly involve stretching the muscles, often accompanied by appropriate, relaxing music.
Yoga and Pilates are designed to calm the body, relax the muscles and help you find inner harmony and peace of mind. With regular exercise, you are able to keep your stress levels down, sculpt your body and get your daily dose of relaxation.
How to deal with stress? Other techniques and methods
How to deal with stress in everyday situations? Is it possible to get nerves under control and relax tense muscles quickly and without physical effort? What are the best stress management techniques and methods to use on a daily basis?
Diaphragmatic breathing exercise
One of the most well-known techniques to help manage stress is diaphragmatic breathing exercises. It can be done practically anywhere and in any position, though of course it will be most comfortable sitting.
To begin the exercise, take a deep breath in through your nose while pushing your abdomen forward. Hold the air for about three seconds, then slowly let it out with your mouth, while tensing and pulling in your abdomen. If possible, while doing the exercise, close your eyes and try to take your thoughts away from the stressful situation, focusing only on proper breathing.
You can perform the diaphragmatic breathing exercise until you feel that the stress has been reduced and the tension has disappeared. Usually just a minute of proper breathing is enough to get your emotions under control and return to full equilibrium.
One of the recommended relaxation techniques to help control stress is meditation. It involves clearing your head of all negative thoughts, listening to your body and calming your nervous system. Meditation takes a few minutes a day and does not require specialized equipment. All that is important is calmness. It is important that no one disturbs you while doing it.
How to start meditating? Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Try to get all thoughts out of your head — both good and bad ones. During meditation you can help yourself to music (you can find free recordings on the Internet), although you don’t have to. It’s best to listen to the sounds of your own body, such as the sounds of your heartbeat. Try not to focus on anything but your own body.
In meditation, in addition to clearing the mind, correct posture and breathing are important. Pay attention to not hunching over. A straight back makes it easier for muscles to work and for blood to flow properly through the body. The way you breathe is also important. Take deep breaths in through your nose, hold the air for a moment, and then slowly let it out through your mouth. Try to control this process all the time. In this way, you will maintain your concentration on your body functions, without allowing your mind to become unbalanced.
How to deal with stress at work?
How to deal with stress at work? This is the place that usually generates the most nervous tension in a person’s life. At the same time, the opportunities at work are often quite limited: there is no room for physical exercise or yoga training. Therefore, it is worth mastering techniques that will help you relax and control stress at work.
One of them is to perform isometric exercises. These involve tensing and relaxing the muscles in specific parts of the body. Examples of such exercises include:
- shoulder shrugs — straighten up in a chair, keep your elbows by your sides. Then try to lift your arms up as high as possible without moving the rest of your arms. Maintain muscle tension for about 5 seconds, then relax the muscles. Repeat the exercise until you feel the tension leave your body.
- tensing the leg muscles — straighten up in a chair. Place a soft object between your knees that you can bend without risking deformation. This can be a teddy bear, a rubber ball or a few crumpled pieces of paper, formed into a ball. Then try to push on it from both sides, while tensing your calf muscles and thighs. You can alternate the exercise, once tensing and once relaxing the pressure on the object until you feel relief.
How to deal with stress at school or before an exam?
It is a good idea to start learning methods of coping with stress from an early age, according to the principle of practice makes perfect. Being able to control your nerves at school or before an important exam helps increase concentration and eliminates memory problems. What is the best stress management technique to use at school?
First, try to determine the source of your stress, that is, what situations cause you excessive tension. If the stress is caused by pressure from teachers or peers, it’s a good idea to talk to your parents, teacher or school counselor about it. If the source of stress is an exam or a class, you need to know that pre-examination stress most often comes from a sense of unpreparedness, so it’s worth putting in a decent effort to study.
The day before the exam, however, put away your books. Instead, take a relaxing bath, listen to your favorite music, watch an interesting movie. Ensure a positive attitude and try to keep your thoughts about the upcoming exam to a minimum. Of course, you can also use the methods we described earlier for dealing with stress: physical activity, breathing exercises, meditation will certainly help you cope with the situation.
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