How to Manage and Reduce Stress

Stress is a growing, universal health and wellness problem of mammoth proportions that seldom receives the attention it deserves. People often don’t recognize the symptoms of stress, or they end up underestimating their own need to destress. In this post, we will discuss some of the most crucial and effective info that’s needed to manage and reduce stress. Let’s get started with recognition.

Recognize Your Stressors

From a health and wellness perspective, stress can be defined as negative pressure or strain on one’s physical, emotional, and psychological well being. It’s often felt as pressure, anxiety, anger, and/or fear by someone under stress. The triggers that induce stress in an individual are called stressors.

A stressor is a trigger object/subject that induces a stress reaction. How the stressed individual reacts to the negative strain is categorized as his/her stress reactions. For example, some people tend to lash out at the slightest provocations under stress, while others may become uncharacteristically silent. Therefore, both the stressors and the stress reactions differ from individual to individual.

In order to manage stress successfully, we must recognize what stresses us and how we react to it. Technically, there is no limitation to what a stressor may be. Soldiers with PTSD are often stressed by extremely loud noise, arguments, and firecrackers, while someone with severe katsaridaphobia may experience a panic attack on seeing a cockroach. 

In some cases, our own stress reactions, and symptoms themselves become cause for additional stress. For example, hair loss is both a well-documented effect and cause of stress. Not only can you start losing hair due to stress, the fact that you are losing hair can further boost your stress level to new heights.

The good news is that stress related hair loss can be resolved with proper treatment and stress management. Check this post about biotin vs collagen for hair to know how you can manage hair loss and control its magnifying effects on stress.

Avoid the Stressors

Once you have a decent grasp of the factors that cause you stress, simply avoid as many of them as possible, whenever possible. Avoiding the stressors as best as possible will reduce your overall stress accumulation rate. For example, a lot of us feel stressed in certain social occasions but attend them anyway. Over time, the stress builds up, leading to a long list of psychological and even physical health issues.

Avoid any activity that does little besides causing you stress. We often put ourselves through unnecessary stress, just for the sake of fitting in with people who do not even share the same interests. Remember that any recreational activity that does not entertain you is failing by definition and therefore, it’s not a recreational activity for you.

Manage Your Stress Reactions

Unfortunately, very few of us have enough control over all aspects of our life, so as to eliminate all stressors from it, even if we could avoid a few. For example, if it’s your job that’s causing stress, most of us do not have the luxury to quit at will. Even changing to a different company is not always a feasible or easily achievable option for everyone.

Therefore, we may often need to rely on a different strategy to manage stress, especially when the stressor is unavoidable at that time. In such instances, the focus should shift towards managing the stress reaction, rather than avoiding the stressor.

How we react to a stressful situation plays a huge role in deciding:

  • How much more stressful the situation will become for us at that time.
  • How much stress the stressor will trigger next time.
  • How much power the stressor will gain or lose after the incident.

For example, if your stress reaction to a job place occurrence is anger or anxiety, train yourself to recognize it. Once you recognize it as a stressor, you will immediately gain a little more control over your ensuing reaction. Exert that control to not react outwardly in any way that might escalate your own stress.

If you allow it to escalate, the next incident will be even more stressful for you. However, if you manage to deescalate it with better control over your reactions, the stressor will lose power in your mind. The next stressful event of the same nature will not be able to trigger your stress reactions with the same intensity.