Stress Survival Guide

Stress Survival

Although stress is a very real threat to emotional and physical well-being, its impact depends not just on what happens to you, but on how you handle it. Some individuals are particularly prone to worry and constantly dwell on the negative aspects of what’s happening or what may happen. The inability to feel in control of stress, rather than stress itself, is often the most harmful.

To achieve greater control over the stress in your life, I have explained some tips on how to bust stress:

To achieve control over the stress in your life, start with some self-analysis. While you may think that you don’t have time to reduce the stress in your life, some simple changes can often ease the pressure you’re under and help you achieve your long-term goals.

Strive for balance: Review your commitments and plans, and if necessary, scale down.

Get the facts: When faced with a change or challenge, seek accurate information, which can bring vague fear down to earth.

Talk with someone you trust: A friend or a health professional can offer a valuable perspective as well as psychological support.

Sweat away stress: Even when your schedule gets jammed, carve out 20 or 30 minutes several times a week to walk, swim, bicycle, jog, work out at the gym.

Express yourself in writing: One of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to work through stress is by putting your feelings into words that only you will read. The more honest and open you are as you write, the better. In studies at Southern Methodist University, psychologist James Pennebaker, Ph.D., found that people who wrote in their journals about traumatic events felt much better afterward than those who wrote about superficial topics. Recording your experience and feelings on paper or audiotape may help decreases stress and enhance well-being.

Take care of yourself: Get enough sleep. Eat a balanced diet. Limit your use of sugar, salt, and caffeine, which can compound stress by leading to fatigue and irritability. Watch your alcohol intake. Drinking can cut down on your ability to cope.

Set priorities: Making a list of things you need to do and ranking their importance helps direct your energies so you’re more efficient and less stressed.

Help others: One of the most effective ways of dealing with stress is to find people in a worse situation and do something positive for them.

Cultivate hobbies: Pursuing a personal pleasure can distract you from the stressors in your life and help you relax.

Master a form or relaxation: Whether you choose meditation, yoga, mindfulness, or another technique, practice it regularly. 

How to cope with stress

Recognize your stress signals. Is your back bothering you more? Do you find yourself speeding or misplacing things? For yourself to stop whenever you see these early warning and say, I’m under stress, I need to do something about it.”
Keep a stress journal. Focus on intense emotional experiences and “autopsy” them to try to understand why they affected you the way they did. Rereading and thinking about your notes may reveal the underlying reason for your response.
Try “stress-inoculation.” Rehearse everyday situations that you find stressful, such as speaking in class. Think of how you might handle the situation, perhaps by breathing deeply before you talk.
Put things in a proper perspective. Ask yourself: Will I remember what’

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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