There are emotional and behavioral consequences of stress that can have a negative impact on your daily life. Some of those consequences include anxiety, depression, fatigue, or becoming unmotivated. These effects can damage relationships, your career, or your routines. On top of mental consequences, there are physical ones as well, including headaches, nausea, and digestive problems.
Knowing that stress can be the cause of various health setbacks, implementing preventative measures to reduce stress is crucial. Managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all, and everyone will have different strategies. While this is important to consider, it’s still good to have a guidebook of stress management techniques to come back to.
Why is Stress Management Important?
From small to big, everyone has stressors that they deal with in their everyday lives. It’s normal. There are side effects to dealing with daily stress, and while you could only be dealing with one, another person could be dealing with five side effects. Some of those include unexpected mood swings, insomnia, panic attacks, and more. While stress does affect everyone, it’s important you know how to manage your stress so that it does not consume you.
Ways to Manage Stress
Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities to manage it. However, being aware that you are stressed is not enough. Stress reduction requires action, however little or big that action may be depending on the stress.
Stress At Home
Home should be your sanctuary, but sometimes it may not be. Family dynamics and financial responsibilities can be complicated and a major cause of stress for some. To manage stress at home:
● Speak up. If you feel you are not being heard, whether by your partner or your kids, it’s time to speak up and speak loudly. Communicating the problem will help find a solution.
● Get organized. Having a clean home helps maintain mental balance and calms the brain due to no more clutter. The outside world is already chaotic, don’t make your home that way too.
● Find alone time. Dedicate some time to yourself by creating your own space to think and just be.
Stress At Work
Work is among the top stressor for many people and has actually reached a record high within the last couple of years. To help manage stress at work:
● Avoid multitasking. Juggling many balls at once will make anyone feel overwhelmed. Doing one task at a time will help increase effectiveness and decrease stress.
● Understand expectations and set boundaries. Knowing your role is crucial. Overextending yourself by not setting boundaries can be a serious cause of stress. It’s okay to be helpful, just make sure you aren’t doing more than you signed up for.
Dealing with Stress Quickly
Sometimes, our stress takes over and we find we need to take a mental break. It’s proven that exercise can be an effective stress reliever, so take a walk or go to the gym. If you don’t feel like exercising, take a few deep breaths to calm your mind. There are many ways to deal with stress, both short-term and long-term. You just need to find the strategies that work best for you.
Source: NYC Health & Hospitals (2023) 7 Tips to Avoid Stress
Source: Maggie Wool (2020) Manage Stress and Regain Control