Show me a man or woman that is yet to experience stress, and I will spend my days sitting by their feet taking daily wisdom nuggets.
What is Stress?
Stress occurs when our body reacts to activities and things that require our focus. Stress refers to a change that results in either physical, physiological or emotional strain.
To be plain, stress is an experience everyone must have undergone at a point in time. I am quite familiar with being stressed. I call it the “reward of being busy.”
Sometimes, stress is a necessary experience in achieving a milestone. For instance, childbearing is a stressful experience but the result is a blessing. Similarly, earning a major promotion or starting a business is usually stressful, nonetheless, when such goals are achieved, they are worth the stress.
How is Stress Activated?
Stress can be triggered by various events. It could be triggered by the usual routine of hustling and bustling. Other times, it can be activated by major life crises such as a divorce or being in debt.
Depending on the trigger, stress can either be short-term (acute), long-term (chronic), or it can also be positive (eustress). Being stressed is not an unusual occurrence, however, persistent stress can lead to the deterioration of one’s health.
Two Major Types of Stress
Acute Stress: This sort of stress is short term and can be triggered by daily routines. This kind of stress can be relieved more easily.
Chronic Stress: This is a persistent kind of stress that appears to be devoid of an end. Causes of chronic stress are usually long term situations. Such as a toxic relationship or a toxic workplace.
Is Stress Always Bad?
Do you know that, unlike popular opinion, stress is not always a negative experience?
There is a positive type of stress known as eustress. Eustress is a needed type of stress because it is beneficial for our well-being. This is the type of stress you get after a great day at the Amusement Park, Movies, Concerts and other delightful activities.
Further causes of eustress include new exciting challenges such as going on a first date or starting a new career.
Some Common Signs of Being Stressed
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Low energy level
- Body pains and muscle friction
- Racing Heartbeat
- Regular sickness
- Troubles remembering events
- High blood pressure
- Poor self-care
- The high desire for alcohol and drugs
Some Stress Mitigation Methods
Healthy Eating: Eating healthy is a great way to reduce stress.
The consumption of a balanced diet can relieve stress. A healthy and tasty meal can add colour to a stressful day. Eat right, feel right.
Frequent Exercise: Engaging in daily exercise is a great stress combatant. Research has shown that exercise is a huge stress reliever. You can start your day by jogging, doing yoga or performing some non-complex aerobic exercises.
If you cannot hit the gym, or perform rigorous exercise activities, you can opt for activities such as dancing, swimming and lots more.
Have Enough Sleep: Make it a routine to go to bed early. Having enough sleep greatly relieve stress, while insomnia is a sign of stress. Lack of sleep can make you have a cranky day which will increase your stress level. Sleep right, feel right.
Never Be a People Pleaser: The word ‘No’ exist in the dictionary for a good reason. Learn to be assertive and say no to people when their requests could cause you undue stress.
Set Realistic Goals: Unrealistic goals will leave you feeling drained and incomplete. Set realistic goals and expectations so you do not stress needlessly. Having goals that have proven to be unachievable for years can cause you long-term stress.
Learn not to overwhelm yourself, and relish in your little wins.
Read Books: Epicurus the founder of Epicureanism stated that, “Pleasure was the sole good of man.” By pleasure, he meant intellectual pleasure such as reading a book. Reading a good book can be a great stress reliever.
Hang Out With Friends: Chilling with friends after a stressful week is an awesome way of relieving stress. Laughter they say is the best medicine, and being with friends should be an avenue to laugh away your stress and seek counsel on issues causing you stress.
Meditation: Regular meditation can help manage stress. Indulge in meditation to help relieve yourself of stress.
Also, listen to classical and relaxing music. Music is said to be the “Food of the soul.”
Honestly, stress cannot be entirely eradicated from our lives but it can be well managed if the above tips are applied.
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