How to manage Stress and Depression
How do you cope under stress or pressure?
There are some times in life when pressure builds up
beyond what we can cope with. This is when we experience symptoms of
stress. Personal relationships, financial commitments, moving, work,
family problems, lack of sleep, and illness can all be sources of
Stress can have both physical and mental symptoms. How you respond, and how much you can cope with, varies from person to person.
Symptoms of stress
Symptoms can be divided
into two categories - physical and behavioral. Take a look at the
following list. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may
be stressed and should take time to address the sources of pressure in
Physical symptoms and Behavioral Symptoms of Stress
Irritability ( you are easily irritated)
Fatigue ( you feel tired all the time)
Harsh treatment of others
Gastro-intestinal (stomach) problems
Increased smoking or alcohol consumption
Lack of concentration
Isolation ( you like to be alone)
Disruptive eating patterns (over eat or under-eat)
High blood pressure
Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
Heart problems (palpitations, you feel your heart beating fast)
Stress can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, which can
affect your health, peace-of-mind, and personal and professional
relationships. Too much stress can cause relatively minor illnesses like
insomnia, headaches and backaches, but can also contribute to serious
problems such as a nervous breakdown, or life-threatening diseases such
as high blood pressure and heart disease.
how much stress you can live with and try and live within these
limits. You also need to learn how to cope, or how to react to,
stressful situations so they don't stress you out.
If you are trying to manage the stress in your life, try the following strategies:
your priorities. What is the most important thing you have to
do? What can wait until tomorrow? Create a list prioritizing your tasks
from most important to least important. Write this down so you have a
structure to follow, and you don't have the stress of trying to remember
everything you have to do. Vulnerabilities.
What are your vulnerabilities? What things do you know make you
stressed-out? If you know that giving a presentation, or negotiating
with your bank manager makes you nervous, don't wait until the situation
arises to deal with it. Practice these events. By preparing for the
situation and acting out your reaction to anticipated stressors, you can
reduce your stress at the event. Expectations.
What do you expect from yourself? Are your expectations realistic?
Expecting too much from yourself or others can be disappointing if these
expectations are not reached. Learn how to maintain a realistic
perspective to offset misunderstandings. Keep healthy!
Make sure you incorporate a healthy level of physical activity (30
minutes a day), a balanced diet, and relaxation techniques into your
daily routine. They will all help lower your risk of becoming
How much stress do you have?
If you feel stressed, make time to look at the things causing you stress.
- Write a list of all the current events that are causing stress in your life - make sure you think about all areas of your life.
- Think about how you cope with stressful situations. What do you do when you are stressed? Does it affect your diet or sleep? Do you find you treat people differently? What effect does it have on your health?
out which activities you find relaxing. Is it meeting with friends,
going for walks, reading for pleasure, taking a bath, doing yoga,
listening to music, having a massage, spending time with your family?
you have identified your stressors and ways of coping you can begin to
see how you can improve your stress management behavior.
each stressor and figure out what you want the outcome to be, and how
you are going to get to that point. Talk to other people and get their
advice and support. Identify your effective relaxation techniques and
incorporate them into your day or week. Learning how to control stress
will not happen overnight, but you should work at it and try not to let
stress build up. Some situations will be resolved easily, while others
may require a lot of attention.
If you think that you or someone you know may be under significant stress and not just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk to a doctor or see a counselor. There are confidential services that can help you with all sorts of life events. Take time to address the stress in your life, before it has lasting effects on you.
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