Life without stress can become quite monotonous. A little bit of stress is good. It usually encourages people to do better.
Stress is the ‘brain’s response to any demand’. It quickly releases hormones that make people find ways to protect themselves. The ability to cope with stress varies from person to person.
Too much stress can result in lack of sleep, headache, anxiety, depression and at times may affect one’s health.
The best way to reduce the risk of stress-related health problems is to tackle the stress itself.
- Recognize the symptoms of stress. They could be sleeplessness, exhaustion, eating too much or too little and feelings of depression, anger or irritability, excessive smoking or drinking or even taking drugs.
- Talk to and get support from friends and family. If they cannot help you, get professional help from a counsellor or psychiatrist.
- Move about. Exercise to relieve stress. Physical activity and exercise increase production of the ‘feel good’ endorphins in the brain. Exercise helps with symptoms of depression, as well as improves sleep quality.
- Be positive: Instead of saying "I can't do this," say "I'll do the best I can." Negative self-talk increases stress.
- Use quick stress stoppers: If you start to feel stressed, count to 10 before you talk, or take a few deep breaths or go for a walk.
- Do something you enjoy: Engaging in activities you enjoy is a great way to hold back stress. Take up a hobby, watch a movie or have a meal with friends.
- Daily relaxation: Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and tai chi. They can reduce stress levels.