Stress occurs when pressure exceeds our perceived ability to cope.. Loss, conflict, health challenges, unstable marriages, breakups, competition, deadlines, failures, rejection and financial strain etc. are main factors attributed to generation of stress. But in my view, main reasons for stress are thinking errors (especially focusing on the negative/discounting the positive and Pessimistic thinking) ,rigid beliefs, over-perfectionism, tendency to blow out of proportion, nonadjustable behavior and over-ambitious attitude. Someone said it wisely ” There Are No Stressful Situations, There Are Only Stressful Responses.”
Stress in itself is not bad for the body or the mind. On the contrary, Acute stress response are necessary for survival, especially when we’re facing physical danger or an immediate challenge/life threatening condition. In these situations , stress hormones energizes us, motivate us to overcome obstacles, and help us focus on the problem…..But, when stress becomes chronic , the same hormones that were life saviour in acute case can lead to various physical and mental disorders. ….That’s why we need to manage our stress.*Effective stress management helps us to break the hold of stress on our lives , so that we can be happier, healthier, focused, more productive, and on top.
So, let’s discuss some useful stress-busting techniques and strategies to deal with stress
1)MINDFULNESS. This is, purposeful, nonjudgmental, focused way of looking at our experience in the present. To practice this, we maintain the awareness that stress is a moving, dynamic state that’s flowing through us .We’re more than whatever’s happening in our mind and body at the moment. Mindfulness teachers often use the metaphor that you are the sky and your thoughts and feelings are clouds.
2)ACCEPTANCE. The concept of SELF-ACCEPTANCE – Acknowledges that one of the key aspects that makes us human is that we are fallible and definitely not perfect, that’s why we should learn to accept ourselves even with all our faults and never rate ourselves or the other person.
3)COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY; this strategy can be understood as, working with mental clay; we can mould your brain in different ways until we find a way or perfect solution that best fits the situation
4)CHANGING OUR THINKING… Positive /reasonable thinking is the best antidote to stress. As the first-century philosopher Epictetus said.”People are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them ” Shakespeare proffered a similar statement : “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
5)Overcoming a Scarcity Mind-Set. To deal with stress of scarcity and limited resources, we have to Focus on what we have, not what we lack. To create a sense of abundance, we should focus on all the good things that we already have in our lives . Using Gratitude to Gain a New Perspective. Gratitude is a positive state of mind in which we deliberately focus on the good things in our life and feel appreciative. As motivational Author Melody Beattie said: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity” (Beattie 1990).
6)Letting it be. If trying to control the situation isn’t productive, then it would be better to take a step back and just let it unfold.
7)Finding distractions /Creating Positive Moods. When feeling stressed, we should try to divert our mind. To divert our mind or to create positive moods, different types of activities can be done such as, Play and creative activities, Exploring and trying new things, Enjoying nature or beauty, or recalling positive memories, Spending time with loved ones, Sports or entertainment, Challenging tasks, Humor etc.
8)Finding the Right Mind-Set. It means we can lessen the negative impacts and even create positive outcomes of stress by changing our attitude toward stress. If a person thinks that Stress is harmful, then his/her primary focus will be to try to avoid or minimize feelings of stress. However, if a person thinks Stress can be beneficial, then he will be more motivated to face the stressor actively and use the situation to his best advantage or to work on accepting stressors he can’t change.
Becoming Gritty. Grit means to having mental toughness, determination/perseverance to achieve long term goals. Gritty people are those who are driven to succeed, have a passion for what they’re doing, and are willing to stick it out when things get difficult.
The Benefits of Stress. In studies, when people (or rats) are exposed to a mild or moderate stressor that they’re able to master, they’ll cope better with a larger stressor later on, just as a vaccine immunizes us against a disease. If a person never had to deal with any significant changes or obstacles, he/she may feel less confident and give up more easily when he/she faces a challenging situation later in life.
Stress in children : Every parent‘s general tendency is to protect their children from all kinds of stress, but I think that it can do more harm than good. At every stage in life, right from childhood, one faces situations that causes stress, but they were also the ones that led to the most
Growth – they made us stronger, more resilient and better prepared to face the next set of challenges. Thus, we should teach our child to turn adversity into advantage. Remind them of their strengths and try to cultivate a ‘can do mind set’
Positive/realistic thinking, acceptance and right mindset may make people more resilient to stress, like sturdy tree branches that bend but don’t break when battered by a storm.When we can’t change the world,its better to change our Feelings. Although we can’t erase negative life events and past mistakes,but, we can take the lessons from these experiences and turn them into fuel for our journey