Stress Management: Knowing Triggers and Dealing with Stress

Posted by Potentialz on August 27th, 2015

According to Chris Prentiss of Zen and the Art of Happiness, ‘Stress comes from the way you relate to events or situations’. Thus, even if you think you don’t have any control on the feeling of stress, you are wrong. You can exercise much control over stress by changing the way you relate to your day-to-day events, big or small. Dealing with stress is much simpler and easier – it is all about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, actions, relationships, and lifestyle.

Knowing the Stress Triggers

Before you can manage stress, you must know what the sources of stress in your life are. In the case of a big event like changing job, shifting home, loss of a family member, divorce, source of stress is too immediate and big to be known fully. We need time and conscious effort to make us come out of such a stressful event. These post-traumatic stressful events can leave us scarred deeply, and in such cases, we must seek support of clinical psychologists.

However, if the stress trigger is not too big and it’s an ongoing process that it has become a part of our lives, it can become tough to know about it. For example, you might feel your job has become demanding and you are not liking it, which is causing you stress. Instead, in real, it’s your procrastination that might be causing you stress. Thus, to actually know about the reason of your stress, look closely at your own habits and excuses. Such hidden triggers of stress are sometimes difficult to find ourselves. In such cases, talk to an accomplished clinical psychologist who will not only pick the real root of your stress but also, will help you in eliminating or improving it.

Dealing with Stress

The best way to self-handle the stress is to maintain a stress journal. In this journal, write down when and how you experience stress, what are its triggers, and what you do to deal with them.

There are a few unhealthy strategies to cope with stress which can temporarily give you some relief but cause you damage in the long run. Following are the unhealthy ways to manage stress:

  • Bingeing on comfort or junk foods

  • Smoking

  • Drinking heavily

  • Using drugs

  • Sleeping a lot

  • Procrastinating

  • Watching TV for long hours

  • Withdrawing from friends and family

  • Blaming others

If you feel stress is taking toll on your physical as well as emotional health, it’s time to get going. Adopt the following healthy ways of dealing with stress to enjoy a blissful life:

Physical Activity:

Stress triggers release various types of stress hormones in our bodies. Our best bet is to indulge in light physical activity daily at a set time or a brisk walk in fresh air at the point itself to metabolize the excessive stress hormones. This will restore our body as well as mind to a calmer and more peaceful state.

Stay Positive:

Staying positive and thinking only happy things will eventually make you a happier person. Create a self mantra for yourself, which is a word or a phrase that has a positive, uplifting meaning to you. For example, ‘I can do it’, ‘I am beautiful, inside and out’, ‘Let peace come’, ‘My family loves me’ etc. Focus on this and repeat this at times of stress.

Meditate:

Meditation and breathing exercises have long been known to create a positive effect on our minds and lives. Focus either on your breath or on an object or mantra at times of stress to experience a calming effect.

Follow Healthy Diet:

Many times, we tend to over indulge ourselves in junk foods, caffeine, nicotine, soda, refined sugars, or alcohol as these provide us fleeting comfort. Reduce your consumption of these things to maintain a healthy diet and you will find not only your body but your mind too will perform better.

Manage Time:

Most of the stress is caused to us because we are not able to manage our time properly. Thus, we feel unorganized and overburdened. If you are not able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, create a priority-wise to-do list daily in the morning. Also, leave some buffer time to deal with immediate or urgent tasks.

If you think you are stressed and are not able to cope with your current situation even by following above methods, seek expert help.

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