Many of us are experiencing stress right now. What is stress, how do we know that we have it, and what can we do to manage it? While stress can be a very negative thing if not handled properly, it can also become a positive enforcer that helps us stay productive and complete our goals.
What is stress? Stress is our bodies’ natural response to change, especially if the change is frequent and diverse. Everyone gets stressed over different things, and handle stressors differently. It is important to remember that everyone struggles, and there are ways to overcome these struggles with simple steps.
When feeling stressed, we could also be experiencing any of these symptoms: headache, fatigue, weight change, restlessness, insomnia, pounding heart, teeth grinding, and increased use of harmful substances. Emotional and mental effects of stress include forgetfulness, low-productivity, negative attitude, lethargy, boredom, depression, mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. These symptoms can help us determine how stressed we really are. Also, consider different warning signs in your day-to-day life, listed below.
According to the LSU AgCenter website, there are steps you can take to relieve stress. The first step is to set realistic goals and expectations. Do not promise others more than you can provide, and do not sign up for more than you can do. Learn how to say “no” to some projects by politely saying that you have too much on your plate. The second step is to assess your personal limits, and stick to them until you’re ready to push them.
To manage stress, try asking for help. It is easy to assume that asking for help is a sign of weakness or giving up. That is not the case. Understand that if you need to ask for help when it comes to your job, schoolwork, or personal situations, it is important that you do so. The people in your life that care about you will be grateful that you did, and when you get the help you need, you will be too. Asking for help can also come in the form of using community resources and programs.
Finally, it is important to understand that your mental and physical health come before any of your stressors. Take care of yourself, and find out what you need to do in order to get rid of any effects of stress in a positive manner.
1.) Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself.
2.) Know your limits and accept them, and implement them where necessary.
3.) Ask for help from the people in your life who care about you.
4.) Find and use community programs and resources.
5.) Take care of your physical and mental health.
Information adapted from an article at this link: Manage stress today.