How to relieve stress is becoming a major priority for people.
Stress is the human body’s physical response to situations or events that are threatening or that cause one’s balance to be upset in one way or the other. This is a natural procedure of the body and is primarily designed for survival purposes. Indeed, when one senses danger, the body engages its defense mechanism, known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction or stress response. Therefore, in small doses, stress in itself is not bad. However, it becomes dangerous when present in large amounts. This is what in the long term can lead to anxiety, depression, impaired immunity, musculoskeletal problems and cardiovascular disease. It is thus very important for one’s health to know how to relieve stress as well as how to reduce stress.
There are various stress symptoms which are categorized into cognitive stress symptoms such as inability to concentrate, memory problems and anxious thoughts; emotional stress symptoms such as irritability, depression and feeling overwhelmed; physical stress symptoms such as frequent colds, dizziness, aches and pains; and behavioral stress symptoms such as changed eating or sleeping habits, use of alcohol or cigarettes for relaxation, and nervous habits such as pacing around or nail biting. When one learns how to relieve stress they can be able to reduce or eliminate these stress symptoms.
In learning how to relieve stress, one encounters several stress management strategies. These are ways to relieve stress that can be adopted by those who suffer from too much stress. In stress management, it is important to identify stressors, and where possible to document them as well as one’s reaction to them. The stress management strategy should incorporate steps for either changing the stressful situation, or for changing your reaction to it. In changing the situation, you should seek to either avoid the stressor altogether, or to alter the stressor by either communicating your feelings where possible or seeking a compromise. In changing your reaction to the situation, you should either adapt to the stressor by possibly adjusting your expectations or focusing on the positive, or accept the stressor by accepting what you cannot control, or learning to forgive those people who you cannot change and who are causing you stress.
A person who knows how to relieve stress knows the need for fun and relaxation. There are various stress relievers that can be incorporated into most stress management strategies. These include taking walks, talking to a friend, listening to music, writing in a journal, exercise workouts, getting a massage, working in the garden, playing with a pet, reading a good book, taking a long bath among others. These are simple activities that can be adopted by all people learning how to relieve stress.
Setting aside time for meaningful relaxation is another way of relieving stress. When you learn how to relieve stress, you must also learn about the various relaxation techniques available. These include breathing meditation where you breathe deeply from the abdomen, filling your lungs as much as possible with oxygen. This reduces the tension and the feelings of anxiety. Another stress relieving technique is the progressive muscle relaxation technique where you move from one muscle group to the other tensing and relaxing them. When this technique is mastered, you are able to locate the tense muscle group when stressed and to relax it. Mindfulness is another relaxation technique where you focus on the present moment, thinking either of something internal such as your breathing, or something external such as a candle flame and remaining calm until your nervous system is brought to a balanced state. Yoga and tai chi can also be used as relaxation techniques to help relieve stress.
Finally, in learning how to relieve stress, it is important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. These include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and reducing or avoiding those things that are bad for your health such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
Where all these stress relief methods fail, one should consult a doctor. The doctor will review the available options for you on how to relieve stress, and these may include medication, psychological counseling or change of lifestyle, such as changing your job.
Learning how to relieve stress can greatly improve our health and help us to lead to a more fulfilled life. It is thus something that we should all take time to do.