Stress is a condition we will have to encounter at some point in life. Stress is any event or set of events that disrupt the body’s equilibrium and this can reflect in different forms such as through one’s physical and mental state. Stress can increase a person’s vulnerability to illness. It is important to learn how to cope with stress, it is also important to understand how it occurs.
We become stressed from demands around us, which could be external, internal or both, and these demands become more than the body’s normal adaptive resources can handle. Hence when we are stressed often or exposed to such a state over a long period, it manifests itself through physiological and mental symptoms, such as diarrhea, a throbbing temple, increased muscle tension, increase or decrease in urinary output, anger, depression, anxiety, nervousness, increased vulnerability to illnesses such as flu or mild fevers.
Stress could come from work demands, the need to meet deadlines or simply an extremely demanding job that takes long hours off a person’s time. It could also come from life events that have strong effects on a person’s emotions, this include, the loss of dear ones, abusive relationships, and all other forms of loss that may seem too overwhelming for the body to handle, loss of one financial security or loss of some bodily functions through illness, accidents or any other channels.
HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS
- Identify stressors – To get rid of stress in the first place, its source should be known, only then can all other steps towards coping with it become effective. Is it stress triggered from work which is a physical external factor or it is one triggered by internal factors such as emotions.
- Ventilating the mind – We all probably know how it feels when the mind is overloaded and racing all over the place, releasing the mind by calming it helps relieve stress, hence some form of meditation, breathing exercises, prayers are all means of ventilating the mind and releasing stress.
- Learning time management – When it comes to stress from work, sometimes it is never about how much time, but how strategically one works and is productive. There is a limited number of hours during the day when one is most productive and active, once these hours pass, the body can be said to be doing overtime. Learning how to manage time can then help a person become more productive and less stressed.
- Exercise – Need we talk more on why exercise is important? It is central to healthy living. Simply put, exercise releases stress and makes us feel good.
- Refusing to be stressed – Because there are things that will happen to us that we simply cannot undo, it becomes necessary to simply accept such events graciously, to save our minds and bodies from the torture. Death of loved one cannot be undone, rejection and estrangement from a loved one, or that job you were hoping to get and was certain you were qualified for but still lost are all situations you can do nothing about, you can only choose how you begin to respond to it, let it stress you or move past it and grow.
- Reaching out to support systems – in the case of emotional trauma, it is damaging to try and go through such times alone. Reach out to friends and family who can offer the needed support, or any relevant outlets that can help through the cause of the trauma, especially if it involves emotional abuse.
Stress gives the body a chance to become more habitat friendly for illnesses that could be lurking in the body and waiting to manifest, since the body is the only pace we have to live in, why stress it?
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