4 Tips for Stress Management

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. But in order for us to thrive under this pressure, we need to understand where stress comes from and how to deal with it.

In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet an important deadline. But chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm. Managing stress is all about taking charge – your mindset, emotions and the way you deal with problems.

Stress Management

CAUSES OF STRESS

Some common causes of stress include:

  • Accidents and illnesses
  • Death of a loved one
  • Marriage or divorce
  • New job or loss of job
  • Pregnancy
  • Retirement

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

Stress can present in many ways. We list some of the common warning signs and symptoms below:

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stress
Behavioural Cognitive Emotional Physical
Appetite change Forgetfulness Anxiety Diarrhoea or constipation
Isolating self from others Inability to concentrate Irritability Headaches
Sleeping too much or too little Increased worrying Moodiness Tension in muscles
Turning to unhealthy habits to relax Poor judgment Fearfulness Nausea and giddiness
Loneliness Rapid heartbeat

FIGHTING STRESS

Stress is inevitable and cannot be eliminated completely; hence it is important to know how to manage stress effectively. This includes identifying sources of stress, changing the stressful condition or personal reaction towards stress and making time for rest and relaxation.

Since everyone responds to stress differently, there is no “one size fits all” solution, thus it is important to be equipped with a variety of stress management strategies for dealing with different situations.

TIPS ON MANAGING STRESS

Engage in Daily Physical Exercise

Tip 1: Engage in daily physical exercise

Physical exercise can help to relax tense muscles and reduce the level of stress hormones. Exercise at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week. Any type of regular exercise is beneficial.

Practice Mindfulness

Tip 2: Mindfulness

While the source of stress may not always be within your control, what you can always control is the way you respond. Learn to be in control of the thoughts you pay attention to and focus on the current situation rather than the past or future.

Maintain healthy diet and sleep patterns

Tip 3: Maintain healthy diet and sleep patterns

Have a balanced diet and eat healthily. Take plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains. Limit foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, and try to get six to eight hours of sleep every night. Having sufficient sleep allows you to be more productive, focus better, thus helping you deal better with stressful situations.

Plan your time well and be realistic

Tip 4: Plan your time well and be realistic

Organise your schedule by having a “to do” list, and prioritise daily tasks. Plan activities in advance and avoid procrastination. Set a realistic goal for yourself so that you won’t feel discouraged or frustrated. Remember to reward yourself from time to time (e.g. a movie or massage). Strive for work-life balance. Remember to make time for hobbies. These will relax your mind and are good escapes from stress!