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Stress Management made Simple

The long hours and the intense pressure of work puts undue strain on the individuals creating ‘wear and tear’ to his physical well being. Study of stress has gained great importance of late as the number of stressed up individuals have gone up to an alarming figure over the years.

Stress can be positive stress or negative stress. Positive stress provides the necessary drive to push the individual forward to success. Negative stress is a cause of worry on account of its impact on the physical and psychological well being of the individual. Negative stress, if left to itself can cause anxiety and depression besides physical disorders like headaches, high blood pressure, abdominal problems, heart diseases, stroke, etc which can turn out to be fatal in the later years. Stress management aims at finding the cause for the negative stress and the means of coping with the same.

The first step in stress management is the identification of the stressors. Stressors have been defined as “any stimulus or condition that causes physiological arousal beyond what is necessary to accomplish the activity” - Methodfitness. Recognition of the factors, which could be physical, biological, environmental or psychological, that can cause stress helps to have an insight of how to overcome the stress. Physical distress like health issues, environmental factors like work pressure, competition, etc and psychological factors related to work and family, etc, all add up to stress.

On identifying the stressors, separate the stress causes as those that can be eliminated, minimised, avoided or are unavoidable. Stress management is of two types- transactional model and innate health model. Transactional model of stress management focuses its study on the transactions between the people and their external environment. Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman were of the opinion that stress can be managed effectively if the individual visualises them positively and is confident of her ability to cope with the stressors. In short, individual perception of stressors has the power to minimise or negate the stress. In the innate health model of stress management it is believed that the inner thoughts, common sense and the wisdom can be utilised as an effective tool in reducing the impact of stress.

Mind is the strongest factor that has the power to minimise the impact of stress in a person. In addition to these, physical exercises can contribute significantly in the fight against stress. Fatigue and lethargy makes one incapable of performing his duties well leading to depression. Physical exercises and adequate hours of sleep can however, make one physically and mentally stronger, thus improving his perception of things.

While performing any work, the individual must take breaks whenever he can so as to bring down the pressure of work. Effective use of time reduces the burden of work to a large extent making it possible to complete the task within the predefined time. Proper time management leaves room for work and leisure. Friendships also go a long way in reducing the stress.

In many cases, setting up of unrealistic goals and the inability to achieve them are a major cause of stress in the individuals. Goals must be set within the boundaries of one’s capabilities. Accepting the fact that one cannot succeed in everything he does help to reduce the pressure.

Stress management believes that the success in fighting the stress lies in the hands of the individual. So whatever be the approach followed, it can succeed only when one sets his mind on it.

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