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Stress Management ~ Learn to reduce and cope with stress

Updated on December 18, 2013

Understanding how stress are you?

Everyone experiences stress to some extent, but it may be difficult to know whether your level of stress is having a harmful effect on you. Go through the stress symptom checklist below to get an idea of what your stress level is.

Stress symptom checklist

Does this describe you?
1. I regularly experience headaches, muscle tension and digestive Problems.
2. I have difficulty sleeping and often wake up feeling as though I didn’t get any rest at all.
3. I feel as though the people around me have too many expectations and demands on me.
4. I find it difficult to say no when asked to accept additional tasks and responsibilities.
5. I Can’t seem to find time to relax and enjoy myself anymore.
6. I get irritated, frustrated, and angry easily.
7. I often feel exhausted at the end of each day.
8. I never have enough time to spend with the people I care about.
*The checklist outlines a few symptoms of prolonged exposure to stress. The more boxes you have checked, the more stress symptoms you are experiencing. But do not get panic. From time to time, experiencing high stress is normal. However, if you exper

What is stress?

Stress is the feeling you experience when life seems overwhelming. It is the strain caused by your physical and emotional response to the heavy demands placed on you.

Stress can be caused by traumatic events – such as death, divorce, illness, and job loss. Stress can also be triggered by seemingly ordinary situations that make you feel distressed – such as a traffic jam, an argument with you father-in-law, loud noises, feeling incompetent, and so on.

Most people think of stress as being entirely bad-an experience to avoid or to escape from. Stress is actually our Body’s natural responses to changes in life. It is a feeling created when we encounter tough and demanding situations. Sometimes, stress can even be good for you!

Eustress, The Good Stress

Whereas distress is the negative stress that makes people feels bad, eustress (pronounced as you-stress) is good stress. Eustress is a positive form of stress that gets you excited about life, motivates you to persevere, improved you performance, and leads to feeling good!

Some situations or events that could lead to eustress include: getting married, starting a new job, going on vacation, and retiring.

When you are facing zero stress level, life could be dull and boring, but with too much stress, life would be chaotic and overwhelming! The graph in Figure 1 shows how stress and performance are related.

The optimal level of stress is at the top of the curve where the red ‘X’ is drawn- it’s the point where stress enhances your performance. Your stress level is too low at the blue ‘X’ – this is a point where you feel unchallenged and bored so you perform at less than your best. At the level where the green’X’ is drawn, your stress level is too high so your anxiety affects your performance negatively. Learning where you optimal stress level is can help you use stress to your advantage!

How Stress Affects You

Everybody responds to negative stress differently. Some people may lash out in anger and frustration while others tend to bottle their response up inside. The table below outlines common ways that stress affects people.

Muscle tension,headaches, migraine.
Irritate or moody
Withdrawing from friends or loved ones
Stomach aches or stomach ulcer.
Excessively worrying.
Difficulty sleeping.
Accelerated heartbeat.
Difficulty concentrating
Loss of interest in social activities.
Falling sick easily and frequently.
Memory impairments
Avoidance or procrastination of tasks.
Feeling Sad or blue.
Loss of appetite or overeating
Feelings of inadequacy.
Loss of interest in hobbies.

Health Problems related to Stress

1) Cardiovascular disease. Researchers have long believed that the stressed-out, type A personality has a greater risk of hypertension and heart problems. We don't understand why, exactly.

Stress could have a direct impact on the heart and blood vessel. It's also possible that anxiety is related to various other issues-- a boosted likelihood of smoking cigarettes or obesity-- that in a roundabout way raise the heart threats.

Doctors do know that abrupt emotional tension can be a trigger for major heart issues, including cardiovascular disease. People which have chronic heart problems should prevent severe anxiety as long as they can.

2) Asthma. Numerous researches have actually revealed that stress could intensify asthma.Some evidence recommends that a parent's chronic stress may even improve the risk of establishing asthma in their children. The children with pressured out moms and dads had a considerably higher risk of establishing asthma.

3) Weight problems. Excess fat in the belly appears to posture better health and wellness threats than fat on the legs or hips-- and regrettably, that's merely where individuals with high anxiety appear to keep it. "Stress induces higher degrees of the bodily hormone cortisol and that appears to boost the amount of fat deposits that's transferred in the abdomen.".

4) Diabetic issues. Stress could aggravate diabetic issues in both ways. It enhances the likelihood of bad behaviors, such as undesirable consuming and excessive drinking. Second, anxiety appears to raise the sugar degrees of folks with kind 2 diabetes straight.

5) Headaches. Stress is thought about one of the most typical causes for headaches-- not merely tension problems, however migraine headaches as well.

6) Depression and anxiousness. It's probably not a surprise that persistent anxiety is connected with higher rates of sadness and stress and anxiety. One study of recent researches discovered that people that had anxiety associated with their tasks-- like doing a demanding work with no rewards- had an 80 % greater threat of establishing depression within a couple of years than folks with reduced stress.

7) Alzheimer's illness. One animal research discovered that stress may intensify Alzheimer's illness, causing its mind sores to develop more quickly. Some researchers speculate that decreasing anxiety has the possible to reduce the development of the illness.

8) Accelerated aging. There's actually evidence that stress can affect how you age. One study contrasted the DNA of mothers that were under higher stress-- they were caring for a chronically ill youngster-- with women which were not. Anxiety appeared to accelerate aging concerning 9 to 17 additional years.

9) Premature death. A study took a look at the health and wellness results of stress by examining senior health professionals taking care of their spouses-- individuals that are naturally under a large amount of tension. It located that caretakers had a 63 % greater chance of fatality compared to people their age which were not caretakers.

Unhealthy ways of managing Stress.

In looking for a easy way to solve the problem, it is often too easy to rely on unhealthy ways of coping which may reduce stress in the short run, but cause more damage in the long run. Examples of unhealthy coping strategies include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, zoning out excessively in front of the TV, or taking out your stress on others. These ways of coping do not work because they do not address the root of your problem.

Stress Management: Your personal Battle strategy

Just like how soldiers train for battle during times of peace, you need to cultivate their combat techniques even during non-stressful periods.

Because stress can be a tricky opponent, you must be ready at all times for a surprise attack. There are many ways to overpower stress, and this part will highlight some of the tactics.

The first step to managing stress effectively is to identify the stress-causing factors in your life that might be able to eliminate.

Change your Behavior

1. Does people ask too much from you?

Know your limits and learn to say No! It is important to be realistic about your own limits and stick to them. Sometimes it’s acceptable to turn down additional responsibility and demands by other people when you’ve already got so many things to handle.

2. Too much stuff going on at the same time?

Spread out some of the major changes in your life! Give yourself time to adapt from one change to another.

3.Too Little time yet too much thing to do.

Manage your time effectively ! Keep a daily planner and give priority to the most important and urgent task. Move away from complicated one and give ample time to handle the task.

However, need not be too rigid to the schedule – leave some space for fun activities.

4.Not sure what to do.

Be sure about your job scope and know what it is expects of you. If not, please clarify with your direct boss.

5.Can’t handle everything by yourself.

Seek help or share your problem with your boss or colleague such as to relief your job loads.

Change your Thinking

1. Always thinking that everything gonna go wrong.

Try Practicing “reframe”. The power of reframing involves changing your perception of something by understanding it in a different way. For example, you practice hard for a competition but was unable to participate last minutes due to injury. However, instead of letting stress overpower you, try something different to relief the stress.

2.Always thinking that you are the worst.

Stop saying negative stuff. Learn to say positive stuff. For example, do not always say I cannot do this, I cannot do that. Think differently. Tell yourself you are able to do it.

3.Does the problem seem worst than it really is?

Sometimes the problem is just a minor issue. However, the amount of stress that you put on yourself makes it seem to be quite bad. Calm yourself down and the solution might come easily.

Change your lifestyle

1. Make time for family and relationship

Nothing beats relaxing yourself with you loved ones.

2.Make time for your self.

So something that you really love to do and it will greatly reduce your stress.


During Heart-pumping activity, the body releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, otherswise also known as “Feel Good Hormones”.

4.Eat healthy

A healthy body give you a healthy mind.

5.Get enough rest and stress.

Body function at it’s worst state when we do not have enough rest. Subsequently, Stress will pin down on us.

6.Learn to relax and breathe deeply

Whenever you feel stressed, you will take a short, shallow breaths. This deprives the brain and body of oxygen which stresses you out even more.

Do you think you can manage your Stress after reading this article?

See results


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    • AlvinTay profile image

      Alvin Tay Kong Wei 4 years ago from Singapore

      Have to give ur self some break in between I guess

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      The thing that gets me when it comes to stress is not so much what other people expect of me, but what I expect of myself. I hit that point of boredom and I start things, then end up with too much and have to back off for the physical symptoms to go away.