As the world gets more competitive by the minute, individuals find themselves in stress bubbles that they cannot handle. Increasing stress levels can create a multitude of health diseases including mental health diseases such as depression and anxiety. Excessive stress levels can disrupt sleep patterns, create lethargy in individuals and also upset the normal functioning of their life.
Due to the dangerous side-effects of higher stress levels, it becomes crucial for one to learn how to prevent and manage stress. We understand that this can become a tedious task when you have a hectic lifestyle so we have curated a list of 10 simple yet effective techniques which can easily be incorporated into your busy life while helping to prevent and manage stress.
Daily exercise of about 30-60 minutes can work miracles for your stress levels and health. Something as simple as going for a walk, dancing or playing sports even for a quick 30 minutes can significantly alter your mood and help release any stress that is built up.
Plan a Diet.
As important as exercise is, it needs to be supplemented with a well-balanced healthy dietary program. Unhealthy eating habits can cause health issues such as lethargy, disturbed sleep cycles, hormonal imbalances, obesity and more without you even realising. A well-balanced intake of nutrients keeps you healthy, happy and energised at all times.
No Means No.
Although many of us struggle with this one, the ability to say no is one of the key determinants of life quality. Being able to refuse a person or a certain task helps you limit the amount of workload to be dealt with while the inability to refuse someone creates an overfull plate. When you take on more work than you can or are willing to do, it creates unnecessary stress and negativity in life. Hence, it is important to learn how to say no and stick with it when taking on the task causes negativity or stress to you.
Do What You Love.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to love what they do for their careers. Even those who are fortunate enough to have this experience can sometimes find themselves extremely stressed by the work requirements. When we say “Do what you love”, we mean that you must make time to pursue your hobbies at least once a week. That is to say, at least once a week, make about 2-4 hours to engage yourself in an activity that brings you joy. These few hours can make all the difference between a stress-induced burnout and the ability to get the toughest tasks done with a smile on your face.
Doctors recommend that adults get at least 6 to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep every day. The recommended hours may vary depending up on a person’s age, profession, health, diet, circumstances and other factors but the key point remains the same - A well rested body and mind is a stress free body and mind. A goodnight’s sleep has the ability to brush off high stress levels, anxiety, unhappy thoughts and exhaustion of the individual.
Despite our best efforts, stressful circumstances do arise. We may not be able to avoid having to face such situations but we can recommend remedies to wash off their effects. Engage yourself in 10 minutes (minimum) meditation, hot showers, aroma therapy, bath salts or massages at the end of a long day and feel the stress melt right off.
Ever wondered how your favourite soap-opera characters handled life-altering tornados and revelations without bursting a vein? Here’s what they all had in common - A great support system! Studies show that people who have strong support systems are likely to be healthier, happier and less stressed than those people who do not have such systems. Such people are less likely to experience physical and emotional symptoms of stress and tend to be happier in life. Loved ones, friends, family, close work associates, neighbours, trainers and even pets are all a part of our social network which forms our support system during times of distress. Spending time with those you love helps you feel lighter and happier.
Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms.
Many of us take to unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to deal with increasing stress levels. These include but are not limited to the consumption of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, self-medicating, overeating and binge-watching television series and movies for days at an end. Such coping mechanisms are unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs. Instead of helping you cope with the stress, these activities only provide a temporary distraction as long as you engage in them. It is important to find healthier coping mechanisms that leave you feeling positive and energetic enough to deal with the scenarios you may face instead of something that leaves you feeling lethargic, hopeless and exhausted.
Time Management is the key to success. We often hear that the greats like Albert Einstein also had the same 24 hours a day that we have. This in itself emphasises the value of time management. When you can allocate and run your day instead of your day running you, the workload stops stressing you out as much. Instead, you find yourself working in an upbeat manner to get the tasks done as desired by you. Developing time management skills is crucial for stress management because we may not be able to control the amount of work that we need to attend to but we can control how we allocate time to it.
In a world dominated by technology, it is important to log-off from your devices once in a while. Studies show that constant and excessive exposure to technological devices is a key factor that causes mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress amongst individuals. Furthermore, these devices provide constant stimuli that have the ability to slow us down and make us lethargic. Every day make time to sign-off from all devices (at least for an hour) and every month try to sign-off from all devices for at least a day. Do this and you’ll find a drastic change in your stress levels, health status and general contentedness with life.