Throughout life, we are faced with many challenges. They might not necessarily be stressful, yet the human psyche tends to turn those challenges into stressful situations. How a person perceives life’s challenges, varies for every individual and their physical, mental, and psychological strength. Three major kinds of stress are:
i) Physical and Environmental Stress: These demand the change of state of our body and are usually accompanied by feelings of exhaustion. Catastrophic disasters, such as flood and earthquake give rise to environmental stress.
ii) Psychological Stress: These are created in our own minds, and are unique to every individual, which includes frustration, conflicts between two or more incompatible needs, internal pressure and social pressure.
Other symptoms of stress include lack of concentration, memory loss, irregular timekeeping, low self-esteem, backache, headache, misuse of drugs, sleeping and eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.
Stress plays an eminent role in physical and mental illnesses, and so it is very important to know stress management techniques, to avoid being affected by stress.
i) Relaxation Techniques: This active skill reduces stress and the risks of stress-related illnesses. Muscle relaxation along with deep breathing is used to relax the body and calm the mind.
ii) Meditation Procedures: Meditation is a method of yoga, that brings about an altered state of consciousness, involving a rigorous concentration, thus making the meditator unaware of any outside stimulation.
iii) Cognitive Behavioral Techniques: The aim of this technique is to replace negative and unreasonable though with positive and reasonable ones. This includes three main parts- assessment, stress-reduction techniques, and follow through.
iv) Assertiveness: It helps to convey clearly, our thoughts, wants, needs, and feelings, thus having higher self-esteem, confidence, and a solid sense of our own identity.
v) Creative Visualization: This is a subjective practice that uses imagination and imagery and reduces the interruption of unnecessary thoughts and provides the creative energy needed for changing an imagined scene into reality.
vi) Time Management: A crucial method of reducing time stress is by changing one’s perception of time.
vii) Rational Thinking: By challenging our misshapen thinking and baseless beliefs, driving out unwanted anxiety-provoking thoughts, and making positive statements, we can get rid of stress.
viii) Exercise: In response to stress, physiological arousal can be experienced through exercise, which provides an active outlet for the same.
ix) Self-care: We are always better prepared physically and emotionally to conquer the stresses of life if we take proper care of ourselves and keep ourselves healthy and relaxed.
x) Diet: By maintaining a balanced diet, one can feel better and have the immune system required to cope with stresses of life.
xi) Positive thinking and positive attitude: The power of well-being and optimism can be acknowledged by having a positive attitude, that is well effective in reducing and coping with stress.
Stress is an integral part of life. Physiological, emotional and psychological well-being is not hard to attain, all one needs to have is resilience. Hence all we need to do is recognize the signs of stress in us and others, and take apt measures to control the stress. And thus, by creating a harmonious condition in the society, we can truly be stress-free.