How to get ahead of stress
Stress is a word that everyone can relate too, whether it is because of a relationship, work, school or even monetary problems. This feeling that we call “stress” can have a negative impact on our life, depending on the actions you take to prevent it from relapsing. In order to stop stress we must first understand what it is and how it affects us.
What is stress?
Stress is our body’s way of telling our brain that there is something that needs to be done immediately. The output of that response comes in multiple forms such as physical, mental and emotional reactions. This response is often referred to as the “flight-or-fight” reaction, which our body uses as a defence mechanism against stress.
The first step to dealing with stress would be to recognize that you are stressed and taking some time to reflect on what is causing this feeling. The roots to stress are known as stressors, and as humans they affect us all differently. Some common stressors of life are:
- Late bedtimes – Not getting enough sleep
- Lying – Overthinking the impact of the lie
- Caffeine – Relying on the boost of energy
- Alcohol – Numb any emotions and feelings
- Exercise – Overdoing your exercise
- Opening your inbox – Overwhelmed by messages
- Noise – Constant loud noises
- Commuting – Traffic and feeling of rushing
- Processed Foods – High levels of saturated & trans fat
- Dieting – Restricting natural impulses to cheat
How to deal with stress
Now that we know about the different kind of stressors and what makes our body react this way, it’s important to learn how to deal with them in a healthy way. According to Heart.org, there are a total of 3 recommended ways to stop stress from negatively impacting your life.
1. Positive self-talk (turn that negative into a positive)
The first way is to turn a negative situation into a positive one. For example if you made a mistake, instead of saying “I can’t believe I messed up” think of it as “I’m only human, we all make mistakes, I can fix it”.
2. Emergency stress stoppers
These are methods that you can use to immediately diffuse stressful situations. For example – if you hear something you don’t like from someone, try to count to 10 before you speak or react so you don’t say something you are going to regret in the heat of the moment.
3. Activities to break stress!
Sometimes the best way to stop stress is too occupy yourself with something that makes you happy. You can try to take a walk in nature and appreciate the fresh air and beautiful scenery to calm your nerves.
Stress is impactful in different ways depending on how you deal with it and how your body and mind reacts to it. Always remember to think about the stressors and once they are identified, try to use one of the ways listed above to prevent stress from taking over your life.