Stressor: The situations and pressures that cause stress
We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as a tiring work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful. Believe it or not, not all stress is bad. Good stress can allow you to be more alert and focused. Good stress can be described as positive, major life changes, such as a new job, a graduation, marriage, a vacation.
Stress occurs because we run out of emotional and sensible resources. We do not always realize we are under stress until it has begun to overwhelm us. It is important to acknowledge stress before it gets out of hand. Stress can negatively affect your mental and emotional health. It can also create social and relationship problems.
Often, we resort to the unhealthy management of stress. This could involve too much alcohol, smoking, drugs, overeating/mindless eating to name a few.
Instead of the unhealthy and negative management of stress, let’s focus on some healthy, positive, and fun ways to manage our stress.
- Adopt more moderate views/change your thinking patterns:
- Reflect on positive experiences
- Journal – record your feelings, thoughts and emotions
- Have a more optimistic outlook on life
- Use humor – watch comedy, smile, and make jokes
- Refute negative thoughts
- Avoid social media, TV, and checking e-mails for at least 15 minutes a day
- Listen to music
- Take a bubble bath
- Color – adult coloring books are the new rage. Did you know coloring stimulates the brain areas associated with motor skills, the senses, and creativity?!
- Build and maintain positive and supportive relationships:
- Be with and around people who uplift your mood and provide emotional support.
- Identify the nature and causes of stress: Minimize contact with stressors
- Find social support/build up resources
- Pick an activity that requires focus and is challenging – it can distract you from your worries
- Be in nature if at all possible – breathe in the fresh air
- Express yourself!
- Slow, deep breathing
- Say “NO” to others. Say “YES” to you. Take more “ME” time.
- Become mindful!
- Improve your diet:
- Make a meal plan/meal prep
- Eat clean/eat the rainbow/eat plenty of vegetables
- Drink plenty of water/cut out pop/soda