The blog was written with the expert guidance and feedback of Dr. Vetrivel, MD Psychiatry, DNB Psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist at CareMe Health and the Director of Vetri Clinic at Tirunelveli.
Edited and Coordinated By Arathi Nair
With many versions of the pandemic that came our way, we have experienced social distancing, isolation, couple lockdowns, and a shift to online learning, and working. On the whole, we have experienced a lot of changes.
Statistics show that almost 30% of the population are experiencing stress this year, due to many such changes that came our way!
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”–Mark Black
When dealing with stress, there are two broad ways you can cope with it. You can either try to calm yourself or try to fix the source of the stress.
These strategies are emotion-focused and problem-focused coping mechanisms.
Both of these strategies are helpful. You can pick what works best for you.
Have a look at some of our research driven tips and tricks to beat that stress away!
Emotion-Focused Coping Strategies
1. Deep breathing
Most of us take short breaths; the more aroused or angry we are-the shorter the breaths. Deep breathing involves breathing in and out slowly. The Benson technique suggests that you sit quietly in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax your muscles before you start deep breathing. You can then breathe in through your nose and breath out by counting silently to yourself. You can repeat this for about 10-20 minutes. Research shows that deep breathing decreases both self-reported and physiological stress levels.
We all have our minds ‘full’ of something or the other. To reduce stress levels, you have to become ‘mindful’ or aware of the present moment. The simplest way of doing so is by focusing on your five senses. What are you seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling? Many research studies have also proven that mindfulness can reduce stress. When practicing mindfulness, one must have patience, trust, determination, acceptance, and willingness to release the need to control things.
Most of us enjoy listening to some music or the other and have our favorite songs. Research shows that listening to music helps reduce stress. So next time you feel stressed, listen to your favorite song!
Yoga has many mental and physical health benefits. One of those benefits is stress management. The Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine (2013) suggests that yoga reduces stress. Studies have found that yoga decreases both cognitive and body stress. It also helps reduce work-related stress and enhances the individual’s ability to react to stress. Further, these asanas are simple to learn and practice.
Stress makes our mind and body tense. Using muscle relaxation techniques can help calm your body and mind. Exercise helps combat stress by improving your physical resistance to stress and promotes the generation of new brain cells. These techniques can be very helpful in calming both your mind and body.
In recent times losing sleep for work, studies, or pleasure has become a trend. Unfortunately, scientific evidence shows that a lack of sleep leads to bodily changes. These changes make us more prone to stress. Taking a nap when you are feeling stressed can help you feel more energized and mentally relaxed. It will help you face the issue with renewed confidence.
7. Seeking social support
When we are in a difficult situation, we may feel that there is no solution. Sometimes it is useful to get a third person’s perspective about the same issue. Talking to a friend or family member about the situation can be an insightful experience. Research has found that social support and connectedness can help reduce stress.
Being humorous is seen to be a good coping mechanism. It can be helpful in two ways-directly and indirectly. Directly, a sense of humor can reduce the feeling of suffering and help you look at the situation differently. Indirectly, being humorous will help you attract more social support and you can discuss your problems with them.
Problem-Focused Coping Strategies
1. Being assertive
Many problems arise because of miscommunication or lack of assertiveness. Sometimes we take on more work because we can’t say no! Scientific evidence shows that the ability to say no is related to mental health. Cutting down on your workload or your to-do list by saying ‘no’ can quickly reduce your stress.
2. Avoiding procrastination
Procrastination is our tendency to say- “I’ll do that later!”. Though it may reduce our stress in the short-term, it can lead to high-stress levels later on. Instead of waiting for the last minute, manage your time well. Set a schedule to complete one task at a time.
Are you looking for professional help to de-stress?
We hope these stress management techniques have been helpful. If you feel overwhelmed by your stress and need professional support, we can help you. CareMe offers highly professional counseling services from well-trained psychologists. Set up an appointment now!
Did you like these stress management techniques?
Did you like these techniques? Do you currently use any of them?
Let us know how you deal with stress. Please share your tips for de-stressing and tell us how effective they were!
You can also refer to the self-help book provided by the WHO for more stress management tips.