Stress and Easy Ways to Work With It
Has it ever happened to you that you feel stressed out, but you can’t help yourself because you’re having disturbing thoughts? If this happens to you not too often and only against the backdrop of important upcoming events, then it’s okay and even helps to mobilize.
If you live in such an anxious state all the time, it is a reason to think seriously about your health. Chronic stress is as bad for your health as alcohol and smoking combined.
What Is Self-regulation and Stress
Self-regulation is the ability of any system in general and the human body in particular to adapt to external circumstances and neutralize negative influences by activating internal resources.
Stress is a set of body’s adaptation reactions, thanks to which we overcome difficult stretches of life. In primitive society, stress at the sight of a predator allowed the organism to mobilize and make the right decision: to run away, hide or try to kill a potentially dangerous animal.
Today you do not need to fight with wild animals, but quickly come up with an answer to a tricky question or choose a strategy for playing online slots you need to know. Such stressful situations are accompanied by a release of adrenaline, which breaks down glycogen in the liver and converts it into glucose, leading to a rise in blood sugar levels.
A short-term effect of this kind is quite safe and even useful for training the body’s systems. But prolonged exposure to stress is fraught with dangerous physiological changes in the state of systems and organs.
There are two types of stress:
- Eustress is short-term mobilizing stress or stress caused by positive emotions.
- Distress is negative stress, harmful to health.
Why It Is Important to Manage Stress
Doctors identify a range of consequences that chronic stress can lead to:
- Adrenaline release and elevated blood sugar levels.
- Nervous tension and headaches.
- Constant anxiety.
- Sleep disturbance and insomnia.
- Appetite disorder (increased, decreased).
- Chronic fatigue.
- Panic attacks.
- Rashes on the skin.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Heart disease.
- Peptic ulcers and other digestive disorders.
- Depressive disorders.
- Reduced ability to work.
- Problems in relations with others.
- Cognitive disorders.
Besides physical reactions, stress may cause problems with concentration, remembering important information, analyzing current events and making the right decisions. Of course, each person’s stress manifests itself individually, and it is not necessarily the case that all the signs and consequences of stress will appear at once. However, even a cursory glance at this impressive list is enough to understand how any of these points can poison your life, even if it is just one.
Today the ability to manage stress is more important than ever. There are more and more sources of stress: financial crises, problems at work, quarrels within the family, the need to sacrifice sleep to have time to do more things, the inability to get some rest during the day, traffic jams, information noise, unhealthy self-esteem.
Is it possible to manage stress in these conditions and how to do it? Let’s take a look.
Stress Management Techniques
Methods of dealing with stress have not changed much over the past thousand years. These are still yoga, breathing practices, being outdoors, meditation, and relaxation. The only thing that has been added is advice to get away from the computer and the Internet more often, which simply did not exist a few thousand years ago. Either way, we will have to change our daily and stressful behaviors to cope with momentary stress and not fall into long-term depression.
Here are express methods of self-regulation of behavior and psychological state:
- In a state of acute stress, you should not make important decisions, except in cases of natural disasters and other life-saving situations.
- In a stressful situation, try to concentrate and mentally count from 1 to 10.
- Get out of the room where you are stressed, preferably outside. Look around you, slowly moving your eyes from one object to another and mentally describing their appearance.
- Drink water, concentrating on the sensation of water passing through your throat and entering your body.
- Moisten your forehead, temples, and arteries on your hands with cold or cool water.
- Stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart. As you exhale, bend over, relaxing your neck and shoulders. Let your head and arms hang loosely in the air.
- Take several deep breaths for one to two minutes. Stop deep breathing if you feel dizzy.
Recommendations for dealing with stress:
- Communicate more often with optimists who are “grounded” in positivity and solving problems as they come up.
- Find an opportunity to communicate with like-minded people and everyone who has common interests with you.
- Enlist the support of those close to you.
- Look at life realistically, set yourself moderately ambitious, but not too abstract tasks.
- Practice sports and fitness, provide yourself with the physical activity that is within your age and health.
- Try to establish a proper diet and form a healthy diet.
- Observe the daily routine, balance work and rest.
- Read books, go to nature, listen to music.
- Enjoy life.
- Remember the best moments of your life.
The last recommendation was on this list for a reason. Psychologists found out that pleasant memories reduce the negative impact of a stressful situation by as much as 85%. One way to maintain positive emotions is to remember past positive events.