Stress occurs in our daily lives in different forms. If you are a working individual, most of your stress may come from work. If you are staying home most of the time, family and environmental stress may be the major contributing factors.
Despite the presence of stress, we ought to always manage it so that we can live our lives a lot better. To do this, we have to figure out what triggers our stress. This way, we can think about the effective methods to lower it.
To better understand stress itself, let’s discuss its types and what to do about them. Knowing the types will help you manage stress the right way. But first, here’s a brief background of what stress is.
What is stress
It is a reaction of the body when it experiences changes. It may respond emotionally, mentally, and physically to the changes. In fact, science considers it as the body’s normal reaction. Positive changes can also cause you to be stressed: it could be a promotion at work or even childbirth.
Types of stress
1. Psychological stress. This type of stress deals with cognitive and emotional stress. The triggers include:
- Panic attacks
Psychological stress occurs when people experience situations that trigger physiological and emotional reactions.
2. Psychosocial stress. People who experience challenging relationships and marriage difficulties are the ones who suffer from psychosocial stress. Relationships can come from a partner, family member, or employee or employer. Its triggers include:
- Loss of a loved one
- Loss of employment
- Lack of social support
3. Physical stress. As the name implies, physical stress deals with the physical reactions of the body. People may experience this because of the following:
- Dental problems
- Substance abuse
- Hormonal imbalance
- Lack of oxygen supply
- Environmental pollution
- Intense physical labour
4. Acute stress. This type of stress is severe because it demands an immediate reaction of the body to new changes. However, positive situations can also trigger acute stress. One example is when people are riding a roller coaster and they feel fear.
5. Episodic acute stress. Episodic acute stress is when people experience frequent acute stress. Short-tempered, irritable, and anxious people often experience this type. They commonly have a negative outlook or worry about everything. They think of stress as part of their lives and have difficulties changing their lifestyles.
6. Chronic stress. If acute stress stays longer, it turns into chronic stress. It is a continuous type of stress and does not quickly go away. It can harm people’s health that can lead to depression, heart problems, and other diseases. Its triggers include:
- Financial problems
- Dysfunctional family
- Bad work environment
- Unhappy marriage
How do you manage stress effectively?
Regardless of the type of stress, people can do activities to manage it. To know what these are, here is a list:
1. Have a positive attitude. Keeping a positive attitude takes steps:
- What you need to do first is to accept that there are facts and fiction. Your negative thoughts are just thoughts in your head. They are not facts.
- Focus your mind on knowing the positive. Think about the things that make you happy, hopeful, and motivated. These are your motivations in focusing on the positive.
- Be thankful for everything. Gratitude creates a positive feeling and energy that influence how you think and feel. Be thankful for even the smallest and simplest things.
2. Acknowledge the things beyond your control. Wanting to get something makes you do everything to reach it. This is especially true if you are talking about your dreams. As you reach your dreams, there may be situations you cannot control. If you force yourself to it, it can lead to stress. At this point, practice your mind to accept the situation.
3. Exercise regularly. Being physically active is always good for our overall health. It can help release tension, relax the mind and body, and help you think clearly. All of these are helpful in relieving stress levels.
However, there are many types of exercise you can perform. It can get confusing on which to choose. To start, do light exercises. You can simply go for a walk outside for 30 minutes each day.
You can also perform breathing exercises to help you relax. Yoga is another good workout for stress. There is yoga for beginners you can try performing.
4. Eat healthily. Your diet is also another way of combating stress. The nutrients you take from food are all healthy for the brain and body. Your meals should contain the right amounts of protein, healthy fats, carbs, and fibre. These are macronutrients that provide energy, keep you focused and alert, and boost your mood.
It is also important to keep a healthy eating behaviour. This can significantly influence your health as well. You should eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is also important to avoid sweets and other unhealthy foods that affect your mood.
5. Take a break and have fun. Scheduling time to have fun is healthy for your mental health. It can relieve stress, reduce tension and anxiety, and make you feel better. There are tons of things you can do to have fun: one is going to the beach with family or friends.
At the beach, there are a lot of activities you can do such as swimming. To make it more fun and enjoyable, use a swimming platform made of plastic floating docks. Manufacturers design them to be robust to assure people’s safety. The docks also come in various sizes, shapes, and colours. Check out these plastic floating dock cubes that make a perfect swimming platform.
6. Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep can recharge your body and allow you to rest. You need to sleep 7-8 hours a day to completely re-energize. To achieve a good night’s sleep, you can do the following:
- Drink a glass of milk
- Listen to soft music
- Take an aromatic bath
- Write a journal
- Read a book
- Perform breathing exercises
Stress is everywhere, and we just have to deal with it properly. It can occur in any form in your life, so you have to identify its triggers immediately. Doing so can help you find solutions and fight stress. However, if you think stress persists after doing self-help, ask for professional help as soon as you can.
James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.