Stress is a modern-day parasite in everyone’s life. Whether it is due to workload, academic pressure or family issues, stress occupies major sections of the human brain.
What is Stress?
In simpler terms, stress in humans is defined as a response in a physical or mental form often driven by external factors that promote the body to respond. Environmental factors, relationships, work, school, and finances can all lead to stress in the human body.
How Does Stress Affect the Human Body?
The primary signs that the body produces under stress are clenched jaw and grinding teeth. Other responses against chronic stress include dizziness, headache, acid reflux, increased heartbeat, joint pain, and stomach cramps. If you are suffering from these symptoms, it could be from underlying stress.
Stress causes a variety of threats to the to the body and mind. It has been observed that stress is directly linked with major causes of death, such as heart attacks and suicide. Stress mostly drives a person crazy, disables thinking ability and often leads to erratic actions.
What is Chronic Stress?
If stress continues for a longer period of time, it causes serious chronic effects. Chronic stress can disturb the body’s equilibrium leading to headaches, upset bowels, chest pain, elevated blood pressure and even sexual dysfunction. Apart from physical effects, stress has a detrimental impact on the mental state as well. Panic attacks, depression, anxiety and excessive worry are mental effects of stress.
Many people fall into addictions such as overeating, smoking, alcohol, drugs or sex. Instead of curing the stress, these vices chase short-term euphoria without treating the root problem. As a result, this can lead to getting trapped in a vicious (unhealthy) cycle.
How can stress be relieved?
There are several stress-busting options, but few of the hacks are more effective than the rest. Certain strategies can be more beneficial and bring quicker results. Choosing the most effective stress manager is easy once you are familiar with the common practices available and understand the pros and cons. Here is a list of the best stress busters with their positive and negative effects.
Quick stress reliever
Nowadays we prefer something that works as soon as possible. Many people opt for quicker methods while many resorts to conventional methods.
When the body is under stress it is in the fight or flight state. As a result, the brain cannot function properly. Some of the quick stress busters include breathing exercises, audio-visual methods, music, yoga and other activities that relax the mind quickly.
Fast Stress Busters – Pros
- They have a quicker response time. Most of these methods, calm the distressed mind in a matter of minutes.
- These methods can be used anywhere and anytime. While you are amidst a stressed situation, you can practice these methods easily. Next time whenever you are in a stressed situation, you can start practicing these breathing exercises which will quickly calm you down. Other practices such as calming music, inspiring videos, and self-help books etc, are fast methods but they can’t always be done in the moment.
- Quicker methods help resolve chronic stress. Chronic stress is the result of long exposure to stress without periodical relaxation.
Fast Stress Busters – Cons
- The fast stress fighting hacks are targeted at treating the symptoms rather than the root problem. For short-term stress situations and temporary cases, quick hacks can be effective. However, the quick fix may be less effective for those who are suffering from long-term and heavy stress issues.
- There are certain stress relievers which can make a person resistant to stressful situations in the future. The fast methods may not produce those effects.
- The quicker methods of stress-busting may have a variety of options but not all of them are available in every situation. For instance, when you are in class and the test gives you stress, you cannot listen to music or watch a video. In that situation, breathing exercises are one of the best options.
- In short, these habits are geared toward instant relief, rather than treating the root problem.
Developing Healthy Habits
There are certain healthy habits which can build up resilience towards stress. Exercising, meditation, yoga, and self-care are few common tips that help to tackle stress. These methods are not only effective for dealing with stress, they come with many other benefits to the body and mind. While these methods may take some practice, they can be effectively used for stress relief. Try to develop new healthy habits that promote the reduction of anxiety and stress.
Healthy Habits – Pros
- Exercising, meditation or yoga can help you minimize the stress today, and help the body and mind be more resistant to stress over time.
- These habits will not only battle stress, they will help improve overall health. Think of these healthy habits as adding insulation from the impacts of stress.
- These exercises and meditation methods can be performed in a group as well. Find a nearby yoga class or exercise group to help you stay motivated.
- Taking herbal supplements such as Calm Now can help balance mood and reduce stress over time.
Healthy Habits – Cons
- The most common negative point is that these practices take time. These habits take time to develop, similar to building muscles. Resilience takes a bit time to develop. A single yoga or meditation session can benefit you a lot but in order to develop the resilience, you have to stick to the yoga, exercise or meditation sessions.
- Starting a new healthy habit takes effort! Breathing during stress seems much easier compared exercising and meditation. This approach is going to take more willpower to get the desired results.
In life, there are likely times where different methods make sense. If you need to reduce stress today, practice the fast techniques to bring yourself back down to earth. Start incorporating some longer-term healthy habits to build resilience over time.
Change in Lifestyle
When stress takes on your life, you may try to change lifestyle. In a person’s daily life there can be multiple sources of stress. One should carefully phase out which sources can be eradicated. Eliminate as many sources of stress as possible through lifestyle changes.
If your job gives you a substantial amount of stress then think of ways you can change the environment. Can you improve your communication with others, or stop over-committing to projects that induce stress? You may not need to find another job, but perhaps you need to approach your current work in a different way.
Lifestyle – Pros
- By this process, you can phase out stress without even needing to manage it. This involved restructuring your life to reduce or eliminate stress sources. When possible, this is one of the best ways to deal with stress.
- If you are proactive, then you can create the life that you want. By ruling out unnecessary sources of stresses and focusing primarily on what you want, you can eradicate a large amount of stress.
Lifestyle – Cons
- Though this process seems simple, to simply avoid stress, it is not quite that simple. You cannot always cut out all the stress sources of your life. Even if it seems possible now, you’ll inevitably come across a stressful situation. Life happens.
- In many cases, we have to deal with family members or close friends with whom we might have had a disagreement. It is not advised that you create an emotional wall; rather understand there is a better way.
- Almost every person has a job that creates stress at times. You cannot simply resign from the job if it’s causing you stress.
To manage stress in a healthy way you need to have a combination of tricks for stress management. Find the processes that work for you. It may be a combination of lifestyle, quick relief techniques and also long-term practices.
What are the other followed tips?
Apart from the tips above you may find stress relief from activities such as camping, hiking, long drive, vacation, adventure sports etc. All of these have proven to be effective to deal with everyday stress.