Learning to Manage Stress

Stress Management

Stress, which includes tension and anxiety, is accepted as the price that we pay for our modern lifestyles. Many of us can deal with stress on our own. However, at times, a stressful situation may arise which burdens us beyond our ability to cope and when this happens, our ability to perform and to contribute positively to relationships is adversely affected. An example of this kind of stress that affects everyone is the COVID-19 pandemic which has changed the way we live. The pandemic will go away in time, but till then we need to know how to handle the stress that it is causing and how to preserve our happiness and well-being. Knowing how to manage stress will allow you to live a productive life.

What Is Stress?

Stress is a person’s response to a challenging situation. Short term stress is often good for us as it boosts the metabolism so that it can cope with and overcome difficulties. The response may be physical, mental or emotional or a combination of these. However, when the stress continues for an extended period, often after the cause of it has been removed, it can have a negative impact on our lives, relationships and ability to perform, both professionally and socially.

The Causes of Stress

Any difficult situation can cause stress – a problem in a relationship, academic or work-related pressure, the need to live up to the expectations of others, changes in the family, financial problems and so on. Feeling some degree of stress in such situations is normal but if it is excessive or continues for too long, it diminishes our ability to deal with the problems we face and so becomes a self-regenerating negative influence on our lives.

The Symptoms of Stress

People often do not realize how stress is affecting them. Being able to recognize the symptoms means that we can get the help we need to manage the condition and bring our lives back to positivity. Among the common signs are:

  • Feeling sick for no apparent physical reason
  • Headaches and stomach-aches
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Insomnia
  • Constant exhaustion, even when no physical activity is being performed
  • Irritability or inability to control temper
  • Excessive emotional responses to situations
  • Over or under eating
  • Twitching or shaking
  • Fainting

These are just a few of the many manifestations of stress.

Managing Stress

The problem with stress is that it is like a battle you are fighting with yourself. For every positive thought that you have and effort you make to escape from stress, you will also produce your own negative thoughts and reasons to not escape. Defeating your own negativity is never easy. The best way to manage stress and get your life back on track is to get professional help in the form of expert counselling. A professional counselor will work with you to provide the guidance you need to find your way out of the stress cycles and once out, remain away from it. Online counselling is the most effective therapy for stress as it enables a private one-on-one interaction with the counselor that promotes the openness and honesty needed to make the counselling sessions more effective in defeating stress.