Stress is truly an inevitable phenomenon in a person’s life. Basically, anything that poses a challenge or a threat to a person’s well-being is a source of stress. Psychology provides a more in-depth definition of the word. It states that stress generally refers to two things – the psychological perception of pressure, on the one hand, and the body’s response to it, on the other, both of which involve multiple systems, from metabolism to muscles to memory.
Day by day, individuals encounter events that can either challenge or trouble their days, inducing a certain response of the body. This leads to much more complicated negative effects in one’s life. This includes a physical, mental and even social aspect.
For these reasons, one can see the importance of having a good stress management system in order to address these effects. However, before anything else, it is important to be aware of the problem, to find out the root cause of this stress. Acknowledging these sources and accepting it is the first step towards handling any stressful situation. When all sources have all been laid out, it is now much easier to address each and every one of them.
Work & Education
Work and education seem to be the top tier in the sources of stress. Especially now that this generation is struggling with high demands in school and at work, either lack of income or failing grades can break a person’s will to endure these harsh times. In today’s hectic world, the workplace (or study place, for that matter) often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines and ever-increasing demands can leave one feeling worried, uncertain and overwhelmed. When stress exceeds one’s ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to a person’s mind and body.
The American Psychological Association enumerated a number of reasons why stress at work is overwhelming. The study lists low salaries, excessive workloads, few opportunities for growth and development, conflicting demands and lack of social support as common reasons for work stress.
If stress on the job is interfering with one’s ability to work and manage his or her personal life, it’s time to take action. No matter what one does for a living, or how stressful one’s job is, there are plenty of things a person can do to reduce the overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work.
It’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. What a person can do is to establish some work-life boundaries. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that comes along with it.
Similarly, education can bring about a variety of stresses. Over-scheduling is a big source of school stress, experts say. Many high-school students enroll in more honors or advanced placement courses than they can handle, and then pile extracurricular activities on top of it all. The challenge is to strike a balance between study and extracurricular activities. If a person feels overly stressed and overwhelmed, look for ways to cut back on school work and extra activities.
The best stress-reducer may simply be sharing one’s stresses with a close friend or relative. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathy, especially face-to-face, can be a highly effective way of blowing off steam and regaining calmness.
One of the reasons why people study and work is to earn enough to sustain their way of living. Work and school, as mentioned before, are two sources of stress. Consequently, one’s finances offer a whole new level of stress on their own. As a matter of fact, financial stress can have major effects on one’s health.
If a person constantly finds himself consumed with how much money he has, and how he’s going to keep a roof over his head, feed his family and live a normal life, this stressed-out individual may develop, sooner or later, a stress-related health condition. Yes, it’s normal to feel worried, anxious or down when times are hard. However, there are lots of things people can do to help themselves in difficult situations.
When one has been made redundant or has been struggling with debt, feeling low or anxious is a normal response. Losing one’s job can affect self-esteem and financial circumstances, which in turn can trigger emotional distress. Fear of redundancy can also lead to worry, which is a very common human emotion.
The Bank of America provided a great way to deal with financial stress, advising that a person should sit down and write out his or her financial stress points. Money problems can seem like those cartoon snowballs, rolling downhill, gathering speed and size, and making every day financial transactions seem overwhelming.
Instead, one should just focus on two or three financial problems at a time. Say for example, when a person has already committed buying a new home, managing a mortgage or a trust deed should be part of the primary solution in order to maintain proper financial status. Another good way to deal with financial problems is to contact a counseling service. These professionals can guide a person through finances with much efficiency and supervision.
Family & Relationships
A person’s family is his or her getaway from the ruthless pressures of this world. Nonetheless, there are times when the family itself is the main source of it all. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is inevitable that a person gets stressed out by family. Then again, stress caused by the people one loves can definitely be one of the hardest things to handle. As the saying goes, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”
There are key steps in getting away with stress of family, and each is unique to each circumstance. Children, elderly parents, and visiting relatives all can be sources of stress. They can bring much happiness and fun to their relatives, but they can also send anyone to a certain level of exhaustion and discomfort.
Whether one stays at home or goes out to work, is single or married, has one child or six, the challenges can be enormous in their own way. Staying calm and collected all the time seems like an impossible goal. Even small hassles can add up until there are moments that one will just burst. True enough, these stresses won’t just disappear. As such, steps like listening and socializing with other people who share the same stress would reap huge benefits.
Although a family may have similarities because of culture and upbringing, there are times when differences in personalities bring about conflict and debate. This comes more often from younger or older family members as they grew up at a different time, and they have different views.
Ultimately, the goal is to get out of the immediate confrontation in order to take the time to acknowledge that your family member is simply having a physical and emotional reaction to a stressful situation. Disengaging from a heated argument or debate makes it much easier to avoid any possible negative feelings that may come after. Sometimes that’s enough to give one’s head enough room to push through the fog of frustration and anger.