Stress is the body’s reaction to extreme changes that may affect it. The human system is made to combat stress naturally. Stress can be described as a natural manifestation that affects everyone. It commonly occurs when an individual strain themselves either physically or mentally over a prolonged timeframe. About 60% of the world’s population experience some form of stress daily.
A significant amount of stress can lead to poor concentration, overeating, elevated heart rate, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and irritability. Chronic stress can lead to more complicated problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and mental disorders (depression or anxiety disorders).
Various day-to-day activities can bring about stress. These activities may include daily commuting routine, school presentations, job interviews, and more. Such activities usually compound together to push people into a stressful condition.
Ways of Reducing Stress
There are many ways an individual can reduce the magnitude of stress that affects him or her. Some of the more common and effective ways are explained below.
1. Get adequate sleep
Significant levels of stress can lead to severe sleep deprivation. Therefore, getting sufficient sleep every day is the right way of reducing stress. A daily average of eight hours of sleep would significantly reduce stress by allowing the human body adequate time to recover fully. Also, the standard hours of daily sleep requirement should be complemented with sleeping early when possible. Studies show that the human body tends to reset and optimize its activities while sleeping before midnight. Additionally, mid-day power naps are excellent ways of taking the edge off.
2. Regular exercise and meditation
Exercise and meditation are activities that significantly relieve stress. Research has shown that regular exercise helps the brain to produce endorphins, which is widely thought to be responsible for making people feel good. Also, exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, increase confidence, encourage relaxation, and improve sleep. The key is for an individual to find the right kind of exercise that they enjoy doing.
Meditation is another tool that helps people to forget their worries and focus on positive thoughts momentarily. When done right and regularly, meditation can help to significantly reduce stress and can allow people to have better control of everyday problems, which can lead to stress. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines physical movements and meditation, which helps with general fitness and reduces stress.
3. Eating healthy food
Stress is known to affect the eating pattern. Depending on the individual, it can cause loss of appetite, overeating, and cravings. Therefore, stress can lead to eating disorders such as obesity, anorexia, or bulimia. In any of these cases, the body is deprived of specific nutritional needs, which can amplify stress. As such, eating healthy foods helps prevent such eating disorders and significantly reduces stress by providing the body with the right combination of nutrients for normal function. It is equally important to have a good schedule for eating. Also, an individual should not overeat or eat just before going to sleep as these habits are known to increase stress. Additionally, reducing the consumption of coffee can reduce stress levels. Also, food supplements such as omega-3 and green tea are useful for reducing stress.
4. Being optimistic
Being optimistic is a positive mental disposition that helps to reduce the level and effect of stress. When things are bad in life, people tend to think negatively, which helps to amplify existing stress levels. Therefore, an individual needs to make a conscious effort to be optimistic about the future to reduce stress as much as possible.
5. Good time management
Poor time management puts people under tremendous pressure, which can ultimately lead to elevated stress levels. People are encouraged to properly manage their time by scheduling activities and sticking to such schedules accordingly. Proper time management helps to keep people organized and minimize the likelihood of failure, which also reduces stress. Also, proper time management can allow an individual to use his or her time for leisure activities, which can reduce stress.
6. Prioritize personal wellbeing
Selflessness is usually an excellent virtue. However, it can sometimes be harmful if an individual doesn’t care to put certain limits between them and selfish family members, friends, or coworkers. People must always try to make decisions that favor not only those around them but also themselves. This action helps to prevent stress that may result from the negative consequences of bad decisions.
7. Identify stress triggers
Another critical way of dealing with stress is to identify stress triggers. This means a person would carefully identify what activity triggers their stress. By doing this, an individual can learn to handle these triggers to prevent stress. For example, an individual that gets significantly stressed if they don’t get sufficient sleep should try to get as much sleep as possible.
8. Socialize more
Socializing with family and friends is another great way of eliminating stress from an individual’s life. Mingling with family and friends gives people a great sense of purpose and confidence, which helps to overcome rough patches in life. Moreover, several studies have shown that having an active social life helps to prevent anxiety and depression, which are the usual result of constant stress. It is also advisable to have a friend or a family member to share secrets with, as this relieves tension.