Friday, December 23, 2011

In Focus: Stress and How to Combat It

Stress is one of the most  talked and written-about subject of this century from research, forums, and group discussions.  Why?  Because everybody experience stress at a certain point of their lives even in simple activities of daily life or in  a prolong stressful  situation.  Research shows that almost seven million people had suffered from  stress related sickness or health problems.  Common side effects of stress are sleep disorder, digestive disorder, hormonal dysfunction, and heart problems.

Expert Brendan Bradley, Professor of Clinical Psychology Research from University of Southampton, look at stress as “Stress is like a lingering fear.  The source of this uneasiness is not always known, which adds to the distress.  However, stress is not a disease, it’s a normal part of life.”

From the  book of  The Stress of Life” by Hans Selye,  there are two forms of Stress: 
Eustress referred as a “good stress” which  is unavoidable part of our lives where we face various challenges.  If there is motivation that would lead to a positive result or accomplishment, the stress experienced while achieving it is called eustress.  

Distress referred as a “bad stress” which are own perceptions of a difficult situation.  It is like the fear of something or not capable of doing before the actual situation comes. 

The difference of the two depends on how we respond to the situation and stress.  If we take stress as a positive challenge then we have a eustress while if we perceive about our knowledge and skills are not capable to handle the situation, we experience distress.

Common Factors of Stress
Work related Stress
A failing  marriage or broken relationships
Financial problem
Unbalanced life and lack of time management
Techno stress or having a fast paced digital lifestyle
Disorganized environment
Inadequate skills or knowledge

Coping Strategies to Combat Stress
“Stress is emotional energy.  It can come from outside you, at work and in relationships , or from inside you, for example a desire to be thin.  Exercise, sleep, and eating well can all combat stress” says Deanne Jade, Founder of National Centre for Eating Disorders.

Get enough sleep.  The body functions better if there is enough sleep where the body cells rejuvenates to regain energy and alertness.

Avoid food that triggers stress.  If under stress, avoid caffeine, alcohol, fatty food, and processed food.

Organize and manage time effectively.  There is always enough time to those who do not know how to manage time.  The demands of life will always be there but there is  only one self and 24 hours to do all them.  Time is very important and therefore should be allocated wisely.   Know when to accept responsibilities, when to say “no”, and when to delegate a task.  One can never go wrong if priorities are set, know what is immediate and not.  Another important thing to do is to get organized on personal or  work activities that causes stress, plan in advance to avoid hassles and last minute preparations.

Be realistic with your goals and decisions.  There are things in life that we cannot control and are not achievable at the present time.  We need to evaluate the situation that causes the stress. We might be pushing ourselves too hard with high expectations or clinging to someone or a situation.  Do not waste too much energies and brain fluids, rather see if it is time to let go and be realistic in life.

Build relationships.  Whether family or work relationships, build them well.  One can handle stress well if surrounded by people who will support and willing to give an extra hand to help.  Handling stress will be much easier if emotional needs are met.