If you think stress only happens to professionals who work indecent hours, think again. Stress is in fact part and parcel of everyone’s response to the increasingly fast pace of daily life in this century. A daily routine can be as ordinary as getting the kids ready for school, taking Dad for his regular medical check-up, driving to work, fetching the kids for extra-curricular activities, searching for the right home loan financing … well you get the picture.
Stress can be what enables you to achieve more in your typical day or it can work against you and prevent you from accomplishing your normal daily tasks.
The right amount of stress is a positive force. It helps us to do work to the best of our ability and keeps us alert, energetic, focused and engaged with others around us. However, too much stress on the other hand can leave us tense, anxious, drained of energy, distracted and uncomfortable. The key is to maintain an optimum balance when we become overwhelmed.
Stress affects us in many ways emotionally, physically and also directly impacts our behavior. As stress can not be avoided, you need to manage it as part of daily life if you want to look after your health and sense of well-being.
Here are 5 basic ways to manage your daily stress: –
1) Social support – is the single most buffer against stress. Spend time with family and friends. It’s important to share your problems and seek advice from people you trust and who care about you.
2) Relaxation – everyone needs to develop methods for invoking relaxation response. Relaxation lowers blood pressure, respiration and pulse rates, releases muscle tension and eases emotional strains.
3) Thought management – how and what we think, what we expect and what we tell ourselves often determines how we feel and how well we manage rising stress levels. Stop your thoughts as and when you catch yourself leaning towards negativity.
4) Exercise, diet and sleep – regular exercise is an excellent way to burn off accumulated effects of stress. As for your diet, limit caffeine, sugars and alcohol intake. Junk food and refined sugar low in nutritional value and high in calories can leave us feeling sluggish. Go to bed and rise at the same time everyday to build a routine habit. Do not engage in exercise or strenuous activity immediately before bed time.
5) Increase quality time – quality time is when you engage in special events to connect to and share the feelings and closeness with others. Although you need to have quality time with your family, it’s also essential to set out quality time for yourself, too.
Just relax and take it easy
To make it easier and to enhance your efforts, include diaphragm breathing techniques, relaxing massages, meditation, to help you in managing your body’s stress response during demanding periods.
All these stress relievers help you to take control of your health and life goals with ease. Regularly practicing the diaphragm breathing technique and detoxifying your body over the weekend enables you to experience a sensation of true calm while enjoying better mental alertness and focus within weeks of practice.
These simple but therapeutic techniques also help your body regulate stress to a level that motivates and does not harm your bodily functions in the long run and is most helpful for anyone who wants to protect their body from the long term wear and tear of stress, and also those going through stressful situations.
It can also be incorporated in your daily routine for specific stressful situations such as exams, hectic schedule, killer datelines, important public presentations, etc. You will feel calmer and more focused with daily practice.
This is the “remedy” for go-getters who just want to get more out of their life. Most importantly, we all need to draw on calm, focused and dynamic energy levels to achieve all that we have planned for ourselves and loved ones for that matter.