“Two men look through the prison bars; one sees the mud and the other see the stars.” “A paradox of work life is that a situation can be seen by one person as a devastating threat, but by another as an invigorating challenge.” I chose to start this post with these phrases because I do believe stress exists, it’s real, but I also know we are the ones who create it and we are the ones who could diminish it or make our stress point smaller if we choose to (or if we learn how to).
Finding Our Stress Point
Stress is the physical way in which we respond to pressure. We may think of stressful events as unpleasant ones, such as losing a job or having difficulties at home or at school. But changes for the better can also cause stress and change out stress point, like a new baby, a wedding and a new house.
In an ideal world, maybe we could get away from stressful situations, or change them. Too often we can’t do that – but we can learn to control our response to those situations. And we can develop techniques that will reduce the effects of stress on our mental and physical health. Here are some ideas of how to prevent getting too stressed out:
Ways to Lower Our Stress Point
- Exercise – Exercise has been proven to have a beneficial effect on a person’s mental and physical state. For many people, exercise is an extremely effective stress buster.
- Division of labor – Try to delegate your responsibilities at work, or share them. If you make yourself indispensable the likelihood of your feeling highly stressed is significantly greater.
- Assertiveness – Don’t say yes to everything. If you can’t do something well, or if something is not your responsibility, try to seek ways of not agreeing to do them.
- Alcohol and Drugs – Alcohol and drugs will not help you manage your stress better. Either stop consuming them completely, or cut down.
- Caffeine – If your consumption of coffee and other drinks which contain caffeine is high, cut down.
- Nutrition – Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet.
- Time – Make sure you set aside some time each day just for yourself. Use that time to organize your life, relax and pursue your own interests.
- Breathing – There are some effective breathing techniques which will slow down your system and help you relax.
- Talk – Talk to your family, friends, work colleagues and your boss. Express your thoughts and worries.
- Seek professional help – If the stress is affecting the way you function, go and see your doctor. Heightened stress for prolonged periods can be bad for your physical and mental health.
- Relaxation techniques – Mediation, massage, or yoga have been known to greatly help people with stress.
What’s your stress point? Have you found any unique ways to reduce stress that work for you? Let us know in the comments!