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Stress Management Leaflet - Keep stress at bay


Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There's going to be stress in life, but it's your choice whether you let it affect you or not.

What is Stress?

There are challenging situations in life. The feeling of pressure, strain, tension or anxiety while we are in the challenging situation at work, home, family, etc. is known as stress. It occurs to everyone and it is part of our daily live since life is challenging in every aspect in its own ways.

Stress in situations can vary from person to person. Whether or not a situation is stressful depends on the person experiencing it. If you can determine what is causing you stress, you can handle it better in your life.

The common sources of stress can include but not limited to:

  1. Personal Life factors such as death, divorce, illness, financial problems, major changes in life like shifting, etc.
  2. Environment related factors such as weather, noise, pollution, traffic, crowd, etc.
  3. Work related factors such as deadlines, workplace conflict, multi tasking, etc.

Ways to know you are stressed

Different people react in different ways while they are in stress. There are some set of signs and symptoms, you should be aware of. This will help you to counter the stress and get better faster. Below are some of the common symptoms and traits of being in stress:

  1. Physical symptoms of stress
    • Digestive issues
    • Stomach aches
    • Feeling of restlessness
    • Heart rate increases
    • Headaches
    • Allergies
    • Back pain
    • More sweat
  2. Emotional Symptoms of Stress
    • Mood changes
    • Depression
    • You feel anxious and fear
    • You get irritated and angry easily on petty things
  3. Stress impact on different people
    • Change in food habits
    • Concentration issues
    • You start to forget things
    • Negative thoughts become predominant
    • Sleeping troubles
    • Addiction of substance or behaviour increases – like alcohol intake, gambling, sex, etc.

Opt right way to manage stress

If you have a bad day or if you are feeling stressed or down, do not retort to addictive behaviours such as substance abuse or other addiction. There are people who retort to consuming alcohol, smoking or taking prescription drugs. These things can give you temporary relief but they will create more issues going forward. The best way to come out of this situation is to learn how to manage stress positively and live life with it. Running away from stress is not going to solve it.

Stress management Techniques

Below are some of the effective stress management techniques which you can apply to help yourself out of stressful situations:

  1. Time Management - Manage your time and do task prioritizations to reduce the stress related to missed deadlines, spill over work, missed anniversaries, etc. Find the right balance and wade off the stress related to these areas.
  2. Know your capabilities - If you can do 2 things in a day, opt for only 2. Do not set targets or goals which are unrealistic for you. If you set realistic and achievable goals/tasks, you will be able to complete them on time and feel more satisfied and complete. The stress will be gone out of the foray. You will be more organized and will be able to plan your time better.
  3. Positive attitude and thoughts - Do not be self critical and identify your positive traits. You should stop being hard on yourself and pushing yourself to unwanted limits. Do not blame yourself and carrying a pessimistic attitude towards doing things. Remember that if you are going to find the way of doing things on your own, you might be stressed to limits. Take help wherever needed.
  4. Live a healthy Life - Healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Eat well balanced diet and do not skip meals. You should exercise regularly and sleep well.
  5. Take help and rely on Support System - You should create a support system for yourself in the form of family, friends, neighbours, peer groups or religious groups. You can also seek help from professionals such as counsellors, doctors, etc.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Below are some of the stress reduction techniques which you can use. You need to practice these techniques and find out which one suit you best.

  1. Relaxation Exercises – Try the different relaxation exercises such as visual imagery, meditation, yoga. You can also relax by following breathing exercises as recommended in yoga.
  2. Plan to manage stress – Do some meaningful and enjoyable activities like swimming, kayaking, etc, which makes you feel relaxed.
  3. Keep up your sense of humour – Do not complain about the life issues and problems. Try to find out the humour out the stressful situations.
  4. Laugh out the stress – Try to use laughing therapy which is very beneficial in reducing stress. This can also increase your pain tolerance and boost your immune system.
  5. It’s a matter of choice – If you choose to remain stressed, you will be stressed. Choose not to be felt overwhelmed by your thoughts and situation. You have the power to pick up serenity over stress.
  6. Get the support from others – Talk to someone who cares about you and loves you. They can be family members, friends, co-workers, counsellors, support group people, religious group people, etc.
  7. Exercise - Follow regular physical exercise routine such as jogging, playing some sports such as badminton, etc.
  8. Develop a hobby – Start your long desired classes or activity. You can start taking the classes which you always wanted but left out in the pace of life. You can pick up music, cooking, dance, drawing, painting, etc. This will take your mind away from the stressful situations.
My body needs laughter as much as it needs tears. Both are cleansers of stress. Do not hesitate in doing both of them.