Strategies to combat the impact of stress

COMBATING THE IMPACT OF STRESS 5

The impact of stress can be overwhelming especially if one does notknow how to cope. Preventive stress management has been studied forthe past 33 years leading to an understanding of how to cope withstress argues Hargrove et al. (2012). To effectively cope with stressand decrease the impact it has, meaningful activities are highlyrecommended. Those activities should be able to help deal with theimpact of stress as it affects all aspects of life.

Research objective

  • To investigate how the impact of stress can be decreased and managed physically, emotionally, cognitive and spiritually

Literature review

Some of the most meaningful physical activities that have beendiscovered as complementary to the mental and emotional state whiledealing with stress are regular exercises (Dunn, 2014). Physicalexercises ranging from a simple walk, jogging, lifting weights,keeping fit in the gym with workouts or running are healthy ways ofkeeping the body fit and kicking stress off. The stress response toexercising is burn offs which unblock the toxins and extra tensionthat underlies in the body thus making one lighter and less tense.Psychologists argue that the hormones released while exercising aredirected towards the intended metabolic function thus helping combatstress effectively. Through exercises, endorphin hormones arereleased to the body allowing effective blood circulation andelevating the mood incredibly.

Enough sleep is another activity that greatly decreases the impactof stress in individuals. Lack of sleep is in fact a cause of stressfor any human being. Enough rest is best obtained during sleep.Adequate sleep helps cope with stress through numbing the stressorand letting the body rest without disturbance. Relaxing is not thesame as sleeping it is leisure. According to Qian et al (2014), onepositive event which is identified as a coping resource of stress, isleisure. Simple relaxation does not require one to be asleep butresting. The relaxation enables a slow heart rate and slows the bloodpressure too. Through relaxation, the metabolic rate decreases.

Stress can be managed through healthy eating habits. Eating ahealthy balanced diet is a remedy for relieving stress argues Dunn(2014). It is a way for the body to get necessary nutrients that helpdevelop a strong immunity and resistance to any external forces likestress or diseases. Eating unhealthy diets make people vulnerable tostress. Fatty foods with a lot of starch for example can be a sourceof stress as they do not give the body enough nutrients but ratherincrease the number of calories. Under eating or eating more thannorm creates distress to the body and does not help in dealing withstress.

Cognitive and emotional stress management activities are useful tothe brain and help emotions calm down when stressed. Involving thebrain in activities that help it think positively like readinginspirational books helps deal with stress amazinglyasserts Schwarzer (2014). Investing in people that you love oryour hobbies helps cope with stress through creating emotionalsecurity. The hobbies relax the mind and release positive feelings.Simple activities like laughing, being happy, joyful and expressingyourself through crying are vital for managing stress. They relievestress through raising the endorphin levels, blood oxygen, relievingpain and enhancing productivity. Effective anger managementtechniques are a good way of getting control of one’s emotions.Express, suppress or calm anger assertively rather than beingaggressive. The emotional part is not complete without cultivatingone’s spiritual side.

Spiritual health can be a marvelous way of managing stress. Throughgetting involved in

Spiritual activities like prayer, songs, quiet time, yoga or readingreligious books stress is relieved greatly. The belief in a higherpower and connecting to that higher power when nothing else makessense, makes one feel at home and creates a positive feeling of hopeand optimism. Taking quiet time to meditate and think about the wordof God can be very fulfilling when stressed out. It encourages andgives hope in the worst times. Prayer also is a way of relieving yourfears and anxieties to a higher being. It comforts to know that onecan find hope somewhere outside the world.

Stress can be managed through engaging in meaningful activities likeyoga. The ancient practice combines meditation, relaxation, breathingtechniques, refreshing, rejuvenating and stretching exercises. Qiqongand Tai Chi are other forms of meditation from China that help in thebody and mind health exercises. These practices have been useful inrelieving major forms of stress for many people.

References

Dunn, J. (2014). ‘Stressproof your body,’ Health, 28(9),116-121

Hargrove, M. Quick, J. Nelson, D. &ampQuick, J. (2012). ‘Thetheory of preventive stress management: a 33year review andevaluation,’ stress &amp health journal of international society for the investigation of stress, 27(3),182-193

Qian,X. Yarnal, C.&ampAlmeida,D.(2014). ‘Using the dynamic modelof affect (DAM)to examine leisure time as a stress coping resource,’Journal of leisure research,46(4),483-505

Schwarzer, R. (Ed.).(2014).&nbspSelf-efficacy:Thought control of action.Taylor &amp Francis.