Stress is an unwanted part of life that everyone deals with at one point or another. For some people, stress does not occur very frequently, for others stress is a part of their everyday life. Scientific studies have proven that long-term stress is detrimental to health. So, it is important to incorporate ways of managing stress into one’s daily activities to prevent the buildup that leads to detrimental health consequences. This article presents some of the ways of dealing with stress.
Physical and social engagement are known to reduce the levels of stress significantly. Physical activities outside the stressors can reduce stress. Such physical activities include exercise. To maximize the benefits of exercise as stress alleviators, it is important to engage in exercises that appeal most to a person. For example, if a person has a thing for skipping but has never done a lot of skipping because of time constraints, skipping can help with managing stress. The benefits of physical activity come from the fact that increased physical activity reduces the effect of stress hormones which are activated by stress.
Social activities have also been established as ways of managing stress. The stress-managing benefits of social activities are improved when the activity involves face-to-face contact with other humans. Examples of social activities which a person could engage in to manage stress are participating in volunteer activities and being part of social groups.
Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
Although it may be tempting to drink the stress away, alcohol does more bad than good to a person that is stressed. When consumed in small quantities, alcohol can act as stimulants. However, when consumed in larger quantities, alcohol acts as a depressant and worsens the manifestations of stress. It is easy to blur the lines between small and large quantities of alcohol, and a great way of managing stress is total abstinence from alcohol. When total abstinence cannot be achieved, the consumption must be strictly controlled. Reduced consumption of caffeine is also important in managing stress.
An unhealthy sleep pattern directly contributes to stress in a significant proportion. Persons that sleep for fewer hours of the day are known to be more stressed than those that get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. A simple an effective way of managing stress is by improving one’s sleep hygiene.
Seek social support
It is possible to feel overwhelmed by stress and just want to handle it alone. The typical thought pattern behind this is that everyone else has their own issues to handle. Social support systems which could be friends, families, colleagues and professionals such as counselors help with managing. Simply talking to someone else about a situation reduces a significant proportion of the stress associated with the situation.
Stress can greatly reduce the quality of one’s life, and it is important to establish methods of handling stress when it comes. No matter the method applied, the overall effect is reduced stress and better quality of life.
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