Stress is something we all deal with on a day-to-day basis, and everyone can relate to the feeling but stress management can be difficult. We like to define it as when demands exceed resources. However, just because it’s a normal part of the human experience, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice ways to manage stress and reign it in so that it doesn’t control our lives. Considering the world has gone through a pretty stressful last few years, we wanted to revisit an old episode of our podcast all about stress management that was recorded at the beginning of all this craziness.
Before getting into the different stress management techniques that can help when you’re coping with stress, it’s important to identify the different types of stress and responses.
- Acute stress: Acute stress is caused by sudden events, and while stress symptoms develop quickly and intensely, they don’t last long. Acute stress is the most common type of stress people deal with.
- Chronic stress: Chronic stress is a constant and persistent feeling, with stress symptoms lasting long periods of time. These symptoms can negatively affect a person’s health and wellbeing if left untreated.
The body responds to these different types of stress differently. In response to acute stress, the body experiences increased levels of adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones that result in quickened breath, faster heartbeat, and higher blood pressure.
When you’re coping with stress in large quantities or chronic stress, you’re in a hyper-vigilant state that can make you get easily agitated and short with friends and family, have trouble getting to sleep, and experience difficulty focusing on the big picture or long-term effects of things. Coping with stress like this may also include invasive thoughts that prevent you from thinking about anything else except one thing.
So, what are some good ways to manage stress? Effective stress management starts with acknowledging all the stimuli you’re exposed to, like social media, advertisements, the 24/7 news cycle, and others. From there, start thinking about the adjustments you can make to limit the effect these stimuli have because the number of things we’re exposed to can be a big cause of stress and intensify existing feelings of stress. You may discover that you’re coping with stress that you can easily avoid by just spending less time on your phone or watching TV.
Additionally, consider how today’s hustle and bustle culture is contributing to your stress. Avoid feeling like you have to maximize every second of every day and comparing what you’re able to accomplish in 24 hours to what it seems like others are able to accomplish in the same time based on their social media posts or TV show. Stress management involves focusing on you and what you’re realistically able to do, not what all these other stimuli are imploring you to do. Take on only what you can control, what you can plan for, set up a routine for, and schedule for.
In addition to your personal life, these stress management techniques will also come in handy in the workplace. If you feel your staff is overwhelmed by day-to-day activities, contact us to learn how we can help.
Listen to our other podcasts for our two cents worth of advice on the heavy-hitting perspectives.