In psychology, stress is a feeling of pressure as well as emotional strain. Stress is something of a kind of psychological pain. Small quantities of stress can be desirable, beneficial, and even healthy. Positive stress helps improve performance in the athletics. It also plays a factor in motivation, adaptation and environmental reaction. However, excessive amounts of stress can cause bodily harm. Stress can increase the risk of strokes , heart attacks, ulcers and mental illnesses such as depression and worsening a pre-existing condition. This article will help you to reduce stress and anxiety.
Stress can be external and environment-related, but it can also be induced by inner experiences that cause an person to feel anxiety or other negative emotions surrounding a situation, such as strain, discomfort, etc., which they then find stressful.
Types of Stressors:
A stressor is any event, experience or stimulus to the environment that causes stress within an individual. These events or experiences are perceived as individual threats or challenges, and may be either physical or psychological. Researchers have found that stressors can make people more prone to both physical and psychological issues, including heart disease and anxiety.
This type of stressor is unforeseen and unpredictable and, as such, is entirely out of individual control. Examples of crises and disasters include: devastating natural disasters like major floods or earthquakes, wars etc. This type of stressor, although rare in occurrence, typically causes a great deal of stress in a person’s life. A study by Stanford University found that those affected experienced a significant increase in stress level following natural disasters. Combat stress is an acute and chronic widespread problem.
2. Important life events:
Common examples of major events in life include: marriage, going to college, a loved one’s death, childbirth, divorce, moving houses, etc. Whether positive or negative, these events can create a sense of uncertainty and fear that will ultimately lead to stress. For example, during the transition from high school to university, research has found the elevation of stress, with college freshmen being about two times more likely to be stressed than students in the final year. Research has found major life events, due to their rare occurrences, are somewhat rare to be major causes of stress.
The length of time since occurrence and whether it is a positive or negative event are factors in whether it causes stress or not, and how much stress it causes. Researchers have found that events that occurred in the past month are generally not associated with stress or illness, while chronic events that occurred more than a few months ago are associated with stress and change in illness and personality. In addition , positive life events are typically not associated with stress, and if so, generally only trivial stress, while negative life events may be associated with stress and the health issues that accompany stress.
3. Daily hassles:
Includes daily annoyances and minor hassles in this category. Examples include: making decisions, meeting work or school deadlines, traffic jams, irritating personality encounters, and so on. This type of stressor often encompasses conflicts with others. Nevertheless, everyday stressors are different for each individual, since not everyone perceives a certain event as stressful. For instance , most people find public speaking to be stressful but most likely a seasoned politician won’t.
4. Corporate stressors:
Studies conducted in military and combat fields show that some of the most powerful stressors can be in the unit or on the home front due to personal organizational issues. Stress due to bad organizational practices is often associated with “Toxic Leadership” in companies as well as in governmental organisations.
How to reduce Stress?
1. Preventing and building resilience:
Some common strategies and techniques are: self-monitoring, tailoring, material strengthening, social reinforcement, social support, self-contracting, contracting with significant others, shaping, reminders, self-help groups, professional assistance.
Although many techniques have traditionally been developed to address the consequences of stress considerable research has also been carried out on stress prevention, a subject closely related to building psychological resilience.
A number of self-help approaches have been developed for stress-prevention and resilience-building, drawing mainly on the cognitive-behavioral therapy theory and practice.
Studies have demonstrated that exercise lowers stress. Exercise reduces fatigue effectively, improves sleep, improves overall cognitive function such as alertness and concentration, decreases overall tension levels and improves self-esteem. Because many of these are depleted when an individual suffers from chronic stress, exercise provides an ideal mechanism for coping. Despite popular belief, to reduce stress, exercise doesn’t need to be routine or intense. Effects of anti-anxiety can start stimulating as little as five minutes of aerobic exercise.
3. Theoretical reasons:
In attempts to explain why exercise effectively reduces stress, a broad range of theories have been presented. One theory , known as the time-out hypothesis, asserts that exercise distracts the stressor. The time out hypothesis claims exercise reduces stress effectively because it gives individuals a break from their stressors. This has been tested in a recent study of women from college who identified studying as their primary stressor.
The women were then placed at different times under four conditions: “rest,” “study,” “exercising” and “study while exercising.The participants’ stress levels were measured after each condition through self-assessments of stress and anxiety symptoms. The results showed that the condition of “exercising” had the greatest reduction in symptoms of stress and anxiety. These results demonstrate the validity of the hypothesis about time-out. It is also important to note that exercise delivered a greater reduction in stress than rest.
4. Light a Candle:
Using essential oils or burning a scented candle can help reduce the stress and anxiety you feel. Some of the fragrances are particularly soothing. Here are some of the soothingest scents:
It’s called aromatherapy to use the scents to treat your mood. Several studies reveal that aromatherapy may reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
5. Take a Yoga Class:
Yoga has become a popular way to relieve stress and exercise across all age groups. While yoga styles are different, most share a common goal — to unite your body and mind. Yoga does this primarily by increasing the awareness of the body and the breath.
Some studies have examined the effects of yoga on mental health. Overall, research has shown that yoga can improve mood and even be as effective as antidepressant drugs in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety does seem to be related to its impact on your nervous system and your stress response.
6. Get a Pet:
Having a pet can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Interacting with pets can help release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood. Having a pet can also help relieve stress by giving you a purpose, keeping you active and providing companionship — all the qualities that help reduce anxiety.
7. Listen to your Soothing Music:
Hearing music can have an extremely relaxing effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the response to relaxation by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate, along with stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing but it is also effective to simply listen to the music you enjoy.
The sounds of nature can be very calming too. That’s why they’re often incorporated into music for relaxation and meditation.
When you are laughing it’s hard to feel anxious. It’s good for your health and it can help relieve stress in a few ways:
- Relaxing your response to stress.
- Relaxing your muscles to relieve tension.
Long term laughter can also help your immune system and mood improve.A study among people with cancer found that there was more stress relief experienced by people in the laughter intervention group than by simply distracted ones.
Try to watch a funny television show, or hang out with friends who make you laugh.
9. Cut down your social media:
Staying touch with social media can be beneficial or harmful, It all depends on how you intend to use it. Using too much social media may strain your eyes and you will end up having headache. Its necessary you have a track of usage of your phone to reduce stress and anxiety.