Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension.
Emotional stress usually occurs in situations people consider
difficult or challenging. Different people consider different
situations to be stressful.
Physical stress refers to a physical reaction of the body to
various triggers. The pain experienced after surgery is an
example of physical stress. Physical stress often leads to
emotional stress, and emotional stress often occurs as
physical stress (e.g., stomach cramps).
Stress management involves controlling and reducing the
tension that occurs in stressful situations by making emotional
and physical changes. The degree of stress and the desire to
make the changes will determine how much change takes
Types of Stress
There are two types of stress a) Short term (acute stress) and
Long term (chronic stress).
Short-term (acute) stress is usually caused by a temporary
situation or emotion that can be resolved quickly, for
example, locking the car keys in the car or waiting in long lines.
Although the stressful feelings can be very intense, they usually
disappear after a short time.
Long-term (chronic) stress is constant, relentless pressure that
can last for months or years. Many situations or conditions can
cause chronic stress. Type A personalities or high-pressure
lifestyles can be major factors in causing chronic stress. Some
people get so used to the stress that they can't even recognize
it anymore. Chronic stress predisposes people to higher risks of
depression, mental illness, high blood pressure and various
other medical conditions.
Step 1: Physical Activity
Physical activity is a good way to fight the feelings associated
with stress. Plan your schedule to fit in at least 20 minutes of
activity, three times a week. The type of physical activity does
not matter, as long as you're moving around. Try teaming up
with a buddy for additional motivation.
Step 2: Healthy diet
Stress can be related to an improper diet, so healthy eating
and nutrition is key to combating stress. Medline Plus
recommends increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables
you eat, while focusing on controlled portion sizes.
Step 3: Socialization
Stress can sometimes lead you to want to avoid your friends.
However, interacting with friends and family can boost your
mood and take your mind off of anything that causes stress.
Step 4: Avoid Stress
One of the best ways to control your stress level is to avoid
known stress-inducing situations. Avoid people who cause
you stress. Additionally, avoid places that may stress you out.
For example, if crowds stress you out, avoid the mall or
amusement parks. Also, avoid discussing topics that cause
you stress. If political debates bother you, don't engage in
Step 5: Be willing to adjust
You need to be willing to adjust to situations to combat
potential stress. Be willing to compromise instead of fighting
for your own way. However, if necessary, be more assertive
and stand up for yourself and your opinions. Don't let yourself
be walked all over, as that can lead to an excess of stress.
Step 6: Look at the bigger picture
Looking at the bigger picture, as focusing on smaller, specific
situations can often lead to negative thinking. Focus on the
positive and try to find the silver lining in every situation.
Positive thinking can go a long way in fighting stress.
Step 7: Acceptance
Sometimes it is important to just accept the things you
cannot change. Not everything in life can be controlled, and
attempting to do so will only result in undue stress.
Additionally, Help Guide suggests learning to forgive as a
way to cope with stress. Holding grudges can be tiresome
and upsetting; forgive people and move on.
Step 8: Be healthy
In addition to physical activity and overall nutrition maintain a
healthy lifestyle. This means that you should limit drinking, quit
smoking and avoid drugs. Unhealthy habits can cause
illnesses that can increase stress levels; try to be healthy to
Step 9: Learn to say “No”
Over-committing to too many things is a fairly common cause
of stress. Learn to say no; only take on as many activities as
you can fit into your schedule, while still making time for
yourself. Cut down on the number of things you put on your to
do list. Forcing yourself to do too many things will only make
you feel run down and stressed out.
Step 10: Relax
Finding a hobby or activity that you enjoy that will allow you to
release stress and enjoy yourself. Read a book every
week, join a yoga class, get a massage, take a bath, go for a
walk, or play with a pet. Whatever you do, just make sure it's
enjoyable and relaxing.