Table of Content
What is Stress Management?
Taking care of the levels of stress is not only good for you but can be essential to your survival and well-being. If you are someone who is living with a constant level of high stress, it will affect you over a period of time. It has its impacts felt on your thoughts, function, and even the desire to enjoy smaller things in life. There will always be stressors- no matter where you are in life, there will be external factors that will constantly change and evolve over time, but they will never totally go away. This is where stress management needs to come in so that you can build resilience to the stress, and keep you afloat.
What Is Stress?
Stress is nothing but the body’s response to changes and challenges that we face in life. It is the natural defense that our body presents against dangers around us, whether that makes us feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. When faced with stressors, the body is flooded with hormones that work to either avoid or confront danger (which is commonly known as the flight-or-fight response). Chronicle stress can cause chemical changes in the body, which if left untreated/unchecked for a long time can lead to mental and physical health issues.
Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times
The immediate response to stress is ideally supposed to be a short-lived one because it helps us focus on the problems at hand. In some cases this is helpful, but in others, the larger picture needs to be kept in mind, which is why we must calm down to make better decisions. The following are some ways to calm oneself down during stressful situations.
Trying to practice breathing exercises can help, since we regulate our emotions through the way we breathe. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated via calm breathing, which helps calm down the body in general. Breathe in, count till four while holding it in, and breathe out, counting till eight. The long exhales reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, which helps us get calm.
Practice self-compassion when things are stressful around you. Be aware of the emotions you are feeling, but don’t feed into them- let them remain for what they are. Be compassionate to others if you can, because sometimes we also need to understand that everyone is human and making mistakes is only natural. Speak warmly and kindly to yourself, instead of beating yourself up for situations that you can’t control.
Foster genuine connections with people. Help people out when they are in need of it, showing compassion for them, and performing acts of kindness has shown that helps with overall stress as well. Some stress management techniques can include:
What Is Mindfulness?
It is a concept that suggests that the mind is fully attentive to what is happening around us, to what we are doing at the moment, and paying attention to the space around us as well. We allow our minds to wander, and in the process lose touch with our bodies- and eventually, this leads to obsessive thoughts about matters in the past or in the future. By being mindful, we come back to the present and focus on things in the present and around us.
What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness?
It will not help if we only choose to fixate on the benefits of it- we should engage in the practice for the sake of it. The benefits are to follow anyway. We are able to enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing things around us, ourselves, and our minds, increase attention and reduce stress. We are able to suspend judgment and be curious about things. We are able to approach our experiences with warmth and kindness, both to others and to ourselves.
1. An open attitude provides relief
Being open about the way things can pan out in the future is definitely an attitude that we need to inculcate, because at the end of the day, even if we are the most meticulous planners. Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned. The practice of paying attention with an open attitude leads to a decrease in rumination and avoidance strategies. Having an open attitude allows for a greater level of acceptance, increases tolerance, and decreases negative thinking as well.
2. Mindfulness creates a new relationship with experiences
If we are being mindful of the way we are, we are able to essentially repurpose and reperceive things around us. We are able to disidentify from our overwhelming thoughts, emotions, and body sensations as they arise, and simply exist with them instead of being controlled by them. The more we are able to do this, the more our confidence in our ability to cope increases, and the less likely we are to become stressed by events around us.
3. Pain Relief
Mindfulness may help relieve pain and improve psychological well-being in people. Chronic pain conditions are seen to feel less painful over time as well. The threshold for pain tolerance goes up, and people feel more equipped to handle the mental health effects of pain (as compared to people who don’t practice mindfulness).
4. Reducing Anxiety and Depression
In general, we know that focusing our mindset to remain in the present moment is linked with improved psychological states. We need to become more accepting of the state we are in because this helps reduce the severity of the state of anxiety or depression that we are in, by reducing some of the symptoms.
Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga is seen to be an effective way to manage stress. Along with mindfulness and meditation, it can help you relax and overcome the various stressors that may be affecting you in your life. Yoga can include breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques such as yoga Nidra in addition to physical postures. Continue reading to learn more about the stress-relieving advantages of yoga and how you can utilize it to improve your overall health.