You cannot spend your life without facing stress. Stress is a normal and natural element in life and many people find it enjoyable to use their stress to overcome physical, intellectual and social challenges. Extending yourself in this way helps to keep you healthy, active, and young as long as you also know how to relax.
By learning to face each new challenge as it arises, and by knowing how to switch off before fatigue and frustration set in, you can use your stress to motivate you and make life more interesting and fulfilling.
1. Good nutrition: Good nutrition is a powerful ally when it comes to dealing with stress. Your body needs extra B vitamins for a healthy central nervous system, and vitamin C and zinc for building resistance against infections. You can boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue caused by daily stressors by eating small, frequent meals (at least every 3 hours) based around complex carbohydrates such wholemeal bread, pulses, oats, pasta, rice and potatoes. These foods supply a steady stream of energy to the body and have a calming effect on the brain.
2. Eat peacefully: Set aside a peaceful time for eating so that you can eat slowly, relax and enjoy your meal no matter how busy and rushed you may be during the rest of the day.
3. Avoid caffeine: Excessive amounts of caffeine containing beverages like tea and coffee are far more likely to stimulate feelings of anxiety headaches rather than helping to calm down.
4. Quit smoking and alcohol: Some people turn to smoking and alcohol during times of stress but both of these rob the body of valuable nutrients. While the short-term effect of alcohol and smoking is to induce a sense of well being, long-term use can lead to chronic depression.
5. Exercise: Take up simple activities like swimming, cycling or any kind of sports that you like, regularly.
6. Relax: Practice some form of relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and gentle breathing exercises teamed up with positive affirmations.
7. Understand stress: Learn to recognize your own threshold of stress and do not push yourself past it.
8. Have pets: Consider having a pet. Playing with animals can help you relax and feel happy.
9. Be nature-friendly: Stay close to nature, rehydrate and let the elixir of life vibrate your being.
10. Share your problems: If you cannot share your problems with your closed ones, a professional counseling psychologist will be able to help you to take an objective view of yourself, and put your problems into perspective.
11. Face challenges: Instead of running away from work and personal responsibilities, face them openly and take active measures to resolve them.
12. Stay positive: Latch of the affirmative. Be positive thinking and avoid negative thoughts of powerlessness, dejection, failure and despair.
13. Take breaks: Regular holidays with spouse, family and friends can help you rejuvenate and boost your energy levels.
14. Laugh aloud: Add some humor to life. Laughing helps to release good hormones which help you to relax. Indulge in rejuvenating, fun activities that generally helps you to boost your mind-body-soul and energise your being.
15. Be spiritual: Inculcate spiritual and holistic experience with the help of prayer, social service, travelling, gardening or trekking. All of them can effectively help to treat emotional stress.
16. Try alternative therapies: Rejoice with ‘alternative healing treatment’ like secrets of ancient herbs and essential oils bring new vitality, renew yourselves with rejuvenation therapies like crystal healing, past life regression, hypnotherapy, music, and art therapy to rekindle your spirit and harmonise your inner and outer self.
17. Psychotherapy: Chronic stress can be diminished with certain behavioral techniques like relaxation therapy, Jacobson’s progressive muscular relaxation, hypnotherapy, hypnosis, yoga, transcendental meditation and biofeedback reported to be useful stress management techniques.
18. Reframe your mind: Learn to get rid of negative feelings or thoughts that can result in stress. Divert your mind from negative thoughts by spending less time talking and thinking negative.
19. Focus on your strengths: Accentuate the positive, count your blessings and focus on the positives in your life.
20. Keep moving on: Chronic stress makes us vulnerable to negative suggestion. The key to enjoy life is to keep moving on with the ‘forgive and forget’ attitude.
Stress is inevitable in one’s life and one cannot escape it under any circumstances. Prevention and cure are the two limbs of effective stress management.