Everyone experiences stress, only the duration and the intensity vary. Stress is experienced especially when the situation is too demanding- physically or mentally or whenever our resources to cope up with the stress are inadequate.
Stress can be divided into Eustress and distress. If the stressful situation results in a positive experience and growth, then it is called eustress. But if it affects a person negatively and hampers his functioning, then it can be termed as distress.
Let's try to find out various ways to effectively manage stress:
1. Look at stress as an opportunity to grow:
Some amount of stress helps to push us out of our comfort zone and to realize our true potential so that it helps us grow.
2. Avoid reacting to stress, instead, respond:
Avoid reacting to stress with anger, frustration and avoid taking hasty wrong decisions. Instead, try to explore the reasons for the stress and try to work on the underlying cause.
3. Develop effective coping strategies:
Instead of running away from stress, improve your physical and mental resilience so that you will be better at facing it.
4. Learn problem solving:
Instead of cribbing about "Why it happened, why me, I don't want to be in such a situation", accept that the problem exists. Try to find out as many solutions as possible and implement it to find the best alternative which works for you.
5. Build your social network:
In times of distress, when we feel inadequate to deal with the crisis, help from family and friends can mean a lot. Remember "I can't, but together we can". It also helps us to look at the problem from a different perspective and develop hope.
6. 'This too shall pass':
Look at the stressful situation as a temporary phase in your life. This takes away the pessimism and hopeless thinking about the situation.
7. Remember 'You can':
Remember the last time when you effectively tackled an unpredictable stressful situation and came out as a winner. This increases your feelings of self-efficacy.
8. Don't look for temporary harmful solutions:
Resorting to alcohol, drugs, smoking for temporary relief can cause more harm in the long run. Some people who abuse them for a long time, can get hooked on to them and develop a new problem of addiction.
Remember nobody can escape problems and stress, so try to manage stress effectively with the help of the above solutions.
But in case you are not able to manage the stress by your own efforts and support of near ones and if it starts affecting your day to day functioning, persisting for a long time or causing you depression, making you suicidal- don't shy away from taking help of a trained mental health professional like psychiatrist or psychologist.