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What To Do When You're Stressed

With the presence of constant work within the current generation of employees, more individuals are prone to dealing with stress on a daily basis. Though you might think that stress is merely a result of doing too much work, the implications of what stress can do to your well-being and  mental health are dangerous, to say the least. 


What is stress?


Stress is a physiological response of your body when it feels an approaching threat. Sensing danger, whether it’s an actual life-or-death situation or the mental tension of dealing with potential conflicts, the body goes into a fight-or-flight response which is also called the ‘stress response’. Its effect keeps you focused, filled with energy and adrenaline, and attentive to your surroundings. 


Why do people tolerate stress?


Though stress is a natural response of the body, experiencing it too frequently could degrade and damage you physically and mentally. Much of the cause of overwork and chronic stress can be attributed to people brushing off what they’re experiencing without analyzing why they’re in that predicament in the first place.


Your stress tolerance can be attributed to a number of factors such as:


  • Your personal sense of control: how you handle your own stressful situations
  • Your functioning support network:  how effective your peers are in dealing with your stress
  • Your Emotional Quotient: how proficient you are in identifying emotions and emotional situations.


How much you experience these factors can explain why you might have a higher stress tolerance compared to others. Remember that you shouldn’t pride yourself on handling higher levels of stress, you should work more towards growing more out of the challenges that you experience.


Dangers of chronic stress


Burning out from too many projects is a common symptom of chronic stress. Your body begins feeling a heightened level of stress more frequently which causes disruptions to your immune system, having biological ailments develop with your reproductive and digestive systems.


Being in a constant state of stress brings you closer to heart attack, hypertension, and increases the occurrence of stroke. Chronic stress damages your body either through physical means:


  • Digestive problems
  • Weight issues
  • Skin conditions
  • Heart disease


Or behavioral responses:


  • Insomnia and/or sleep apnea,
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Blackouts


What are the causes of stress?


Though we’re more commonly familiar with external issues that lead us to stressful situations, they do come in both internal and environmental categories. These ‘stressors’ don’t have to always be a bad work week or a struggling living situation, much of stress comes from the little things that are bottled up that sneak up on you when it’s time to burst. Stressors can also come from within.


Whether it be the common stage fright that a lot of people who identify with being introverted have or the intense pressures of being family breadwinner, these all add up to the stress that you might not be willing to accept or face. Common causes for stress are the following:


  • Financial issues
  • Work and life environments
  • Juggling social circles
  • Unreal expectations
  • Close-mindedness
  • Self-deprecation


What is the right response?


Though each individual is built differently, the responses to dealing with stress have shown to be almost universal. Everyone might have their own personal battle, but it’s an uplifting thing to know that there are steps that anyone can make to move out of a stressful dilemma. Here are some ways to respond with moving past a stressful episode.


  • Start getting physical 

And, No, I don’t mean putting your emotions into physical translations of your stress. Rather commit to physical exercises such as going to the gym or doing sports not just as a way to distract you from your problems but also to keep your body and mind in sync with the task at hand to make use of the adrenaline in your body to good use.


  • Build and strengthen your relationships


No one should be alone, especially when it comes to stressful situations. Though work often brings the worst in people with regards to pitting yourself with daily tasks and obstacles, it’s also the best place to find people who share the same path as you. To find and connect with someone not only helps you become more open as a person but also allows you to be a helping hand to someone else.


  • Learn to surrender and to accept


 Much of stress comes from the anticipation of failure or the refusal to move on from it. Giving yourself the chance to be humble and accept defeat will make it easier for you to grow from the experience instead of living in the past.


  • Always find time to rest


Downtime should always be scheduled in-between projects, especially if you’ve been on a particularly challenging month. Take time to have a break and to sort things out before you go out to deal with potentially stressful situations.


Taking things one step at a time


In this fast paced era, the demand for output is much greater than before. The current generation are taking on more tasks and projects than they can handle at a given period. It is important to assess your physical and mental state when your stress levels get too high. Instead of taking things head on non-stop, it is good to take your projects one step at a time.


If you have a lot on your plate, try  practicing effective time management. This habit will help you get work done before deadlines. Break down major projects into bite-sized tasks that can be done within the day or week. Do not forget to take breaks as well! Taking a breather is good to refresh your mind, recharge and prepare yourself for another day of work.