"How are you?" is the most formal and historical greeting from decades that has a robotic response called "I am fine, thank you." But, seriously, this sugar-coated word called 'Fine' comes with an underbelly supersize word called stress.
The more we become successful, the more stressed out we are because stress doesn't come as a gift of success; instead, it is a side effect of our inability to control issues and be vulnerable to the precinct of our highly fatigued surroundings.
Unlike your weight or your blood reports, stress cannot be measured. Stress is that unwelcome visitor that comes into our life when fed with crispy fried wafers of tension accompanied with worry as starters. Then it refuses to go and brings its other family members as well- anxiety, depression, insomnia, ulcerations, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
According to S. Palmer, an award-winning Psychologist and Psychotherapist - Stress occurs when pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope.
Why is it important to manage stress?
Stress knows no boundaries; it can plague anyone with a faulty coping mechanism. Be it family stress, work stress, financial stress, or self-induced stress. It is impossible to avoid. While a small amount of stress is considered a source of motivation, too much of it can become dangerous to health, relationships, and quality of life.
When we are under stress, it is emotionally taxing, but our body's physiological process also has to suffer its wrath. For example, the level of cortisol hormone in our body rises when we are under stress. Over time, this cortisol, when increased than usual, creates havoc on our metabolic activities, blood pressure, and memory. Thus when our stress level skyrockets, it is essential to get it under control.
How to Manage Stress?
From savage spiritual gurus to debonair dieticians, everyone has enchanting spells and spruced-up diets to shoo away our stress. However, shunning away stress is not only the solution.
The first step towards dealing with stress is to identify the stress triggers. The second step includes the strategies to follow with the identified stress triggers. This will help us to protect ourselves from the damaging effects of stress-related disorders.
Here we have encompassed a few tips on how not to give a damn about your stress. It is not a surety of creating a total zen space but an assurity of inching towards the oasis of calm.
Write down your thoughts
Writing helps you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. It enables you to gain valuable self-knowledge. Sometimes solutions quickly come on paper when both the hemisphere of the brain is involved.
Writing helps you release from the unrest to seek a balance between the outer world and your inner world. Writing gives you hope that it will leave you a little more at peace than before. Be it a gratitude journal, emotional paper, or to-do list. Writing in any form is a great way to expand on your positive ratio.
Do a digital detox but don't overdo it.
When Charlie Puth said, "You're one call away," I felt the world would crash down if the ring goes unanswered. That's where ringxiety starts to ring bells. Since lockdown, we are glued to technology more than ever. Gadgets connect with us more efficiently than humans. Virtual tours seem exciting to us now because social media platforms are designed to keep us hooked. Doom scrolling, binge texting, nomophobia, etc., are ways we subconsciously adapt to get rid of unknown stress. To manage stress, do the opposite.
Don't wear the digital detox cloak of invisibility but console yourself with small amendments. Install an app that will shock you for the time spent on your blank screen. Gather your thoughts and call the person instead of making your thumb run like a maniac bull while chatting. No work emails after 6 pm, keeping your phone away while dozing off, though small but effective ways to draw tech boundaries around your gadgets and you.
Comfort yourself with Comfort food
Psychiatrists recommend introducing a healthy diet in your daily life that can help you mitigate your stressful life. However, how can you say no to a bowl of comfort food that soothes your warm heart and takes you down to the bylanes of your nostalgic treats? Once in a while, it's ok to tantalize your tongue with fried foods or satiate your sweet tooth with a tub of ice cream. After all, stressed, when spelled backward, is desserts. So dial down your stress level hormones with your favourite comfort meal.
Celebrate small achievements
Success is a series of small victories. When you celebrate small achievements, you are more planned and organized with your agendas, leaving less time to fail and panic. Thus, celebrating small achievements is a way to welcome a non-stressful situation.
Indulge in Self-love and Self-care treatments
Investing in yourself is a great way to unwind your stressful day. A warm bubble bath or going under the knife, oops sorry, going under the hand of masseuses will help you to escape your stressful reality and take you in an emotional and mental land filled with relaxation and respite.
Meditation aahh…. not again
I know it sounds cliche, but meditation has its benefits to offer. Besides relaxation, meditation also helps you to have control over your thoughts. Fewer thoughts and less stress kind of work for me.
You don't have to start sitting down and meditate for hours at length. Instead, begin by meditating for a minute or so and then move on for a more extended period. Don't forget to celebrate your small achievements when you establish the habit of sitting for a minute to meditate.
Sleep through your worries
Another cliche tool in a bucket of stress busters. But that's what even The American Institute of Stress says, "the more you sleep through your worries, the more rejuvenated and more energized you become." Unfortunately, insufficient sleep and stress is a vicious cycle that keeps us awake at night.
I can understand how someone can sleep through the entire night with early morning board meetings. However, if you are prepared beforehand with all your work, you can easily make it through your next day's meeting. And the problems left unsolved won't get solved through the night. So relax, sleep and get on your feet with better mental clarity the next day.
Meditation in Motion
Exercise can be called meditation in motion as it helps you be mindful; it helps to release endorphins. Exercise also helps in imitating the flight and fight response- effect of stress. This prepares the body to work through such effects and mitigate the risk of body ailments on stress-related days.
A workout body has a sound sleep, so stress busters come with a package of sound sleep, exercise, and meditation.
Nurture your hobby
Hobbies help us to brainstorm ideas. This will discourage the stress triggers from irritating our bodies, and we can overcome stress effects easily. When we indulge in the work we love, we don't seem to work but enjoy the process. When we love the work we do, stress can have its altered effects, and it starts to release feel-good neurotransmitters. Thus, saving us from being pissed off for unnecessary things.
10. Spend time with your loved ones
Though it was the last tip, it is very, very important. We as humans cannot disconnect from society. But yes we can choose our favourite people and spend time with them. When your loved one lends you an ear to listen to your worries, they are helping you in a way to overcome your stress. Similarly, spending time with your parents, family, and friends will let you laugh at your worries and smile through your tensions.
More is said than done. I know when you are stressed, these words may appear fine black lines of ants meandering in lost pages, but when you manifest your beliefs and perpetuate at least a few tips mentioned above to curb your stress, you can manage to practice and perform at your best.