Practical Ways To Manage Stress In Your Everyday Life
Let’s first take a look at a scenario which exemplifies a stressed individual.
Let’s say Peter gets up late in the morning. He’s so rushed that he spills his cup of tea on his shirt and has to change. He heads out the door and drives out hurriedly. He has gone about 5 minutes when he suddenly remembers an important document he forgot at home. He has to go back for it.
Now he’s on the way in to work and gets to a serious traffic on the way. His temper starts to flare after someone bumps him and gives his new car a scratch. He’s honking at people, cursing, and arrives to work late and in a bad mood. He did below par on his last two assignments and his boss is threatening to fire him. He gets home late and exhausted. His wife has falling recently ill and he has to take her to the hospital. His kids have cluttered the sitting room and it’s a big mess and he shouts at them angrily.
The above scenario may seem extreme but it shows the variable types of stress individuals could go through on a daily basis. How we manage stress can have an impact on our health and overall wellness.
Health consequences of chronic and persistent stress include tendency to chronic debilitating headaches, digestive problems such as heartburns, flares in some skin conditions, increases in blood pressure and infertility related problems in both male and female.
So what are the ways we can manage stress to avoid these health problems.
1. Identify and create a stress diary
Identifying the things that stress you out in your life is an important step towards handling them. Take some time to ponder about what stresses you out on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. What persons or circumstances contribute to stress in your life? Can they be avoided or altered? You also have to assess your attitude and personality traits which have additive effect on your stressors. Do you have healthy coping mechanisms to cope with stressful circumstances? These questions if answered honestly can be the start of your journey out of a stressful lifestyle.
2. Reassess and organize your schedules
As a medical practitioner, I have learnt that you cannot be everywhere at the same time. The term “Triage” is often what emergency doctors do when they have to attend to many patients at the same time.. It means looking at the various persons, commitments, events that require your attention and attending to them based on their value both to the recipient and yourself. Simplify your routines and schedules. Don’t try to impress your boss or colleagues by taking up responsibilities that you can’t handle. Learn to delegate tasks to trusted persons if possible. Learn to say “No” to unplanned commitments except it”s absolutely necessary.
3. Create time for leisure
I would say that all work and no play make Jack an unhealthy and potentially depressed boy. Having time to relax and rest from work is very important. If work all through the year with all the stressors you face on daily basis, you are likely to wear yourself physically and mentally. Leisure starts from using your break time for work well. Go out and take a breath of fresh air. Have lunch at a nearby restaurant with a colleague. Enjoy times of laughter with your friends and family. Engage in fun activities during weekends. Have a vacation during the year and travel out to interesting places and explore. When you engage in leisure, you will help to relieve your stress build up and make you healthier and more productive.
4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
What you eat or drink can influence your mood and your physical and mental capacity to cope with stress. Take a balanced meal that includes fruits and vegetables. Keep yourself well hydrated. Reduce your intake of caffeine and sugar containing beverages. Some people drink a lot of alcohol to cope with stress. However, this does more harm than good. Don’t engage in the intake of drugs and tobacco-related products. Exercise on a regular basis. Take a nap when you need it.
5. Accept your limitations and ask for help
Sometimes, you may not be able to prevent stressors such as illness, passing away of a loved one or a national economic recession. Don’t try to question or control the uncontrollable. Learn to accept the things you cannot change. Have a positive outlook in life and always be hopeful for the best outcome. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, it is appropriate to consult with a psychologist or sometimes a religious organization that can help you learn how to manage your stress effectively.
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