We all experience stress to a certain degree. If managed appropriately stress can help us, for example, to get things done on time. If however, you are experiencing a high level of stress on a continuous basis without adequately managing it, then it will have a detrimental effect on your physical, mental and emotional health.
Am I stressed?
In some cases, it is blatantly obvious that your current life situation causes you stress but for some people, it might come as a surprise to find out that they are dealing with too much stress. This is because the different situations that you might be dealing with, when looked at separately, do not seem like a big thing. What makes up stress is not necessarily one thing; it is often when we have a culmination of stressful events, situations or people to deal with that stress starts to affect us. A good way to find out whether you are stressed is to check for physical, mental or emotional indicators of stress. Please read my other article called ‘Stress Indicators’ for detailed information and a list of the symptoms.
What is stress relief?
There are various ways and techniques to help you manage your stress. The following is a list of possible methods to relieve stress:
- relaxing breathwork
- changing your diet
- building healthy relationships and having someone to talk to
- reappraising your priorities in life
- learning to control displaced aggressions and deal with their cause
- working on the internal factors that causes stress, your attitude and beliefs
The purpose of stress relief
Given that we all deal with a certain degree of stress we have basically three options: 1. Remove or reduce the causes for stress or 2. Increase our abilities, options, solutions, resources or the time we need. 3. If those two options are not possible at the moment all we can do is to support ourselves with stress relief. The benefit of stress relief will only ever be short to mid-term and should not be expected to work over long periods of time. Stress relief is like a spare tyre that will get you around for a short period of time but you still need to get a new one fitted for better and safer driving.
Stress is experienced when there is an imbalance between, for example, the time needed to finish a project and the time or resources available. Stress relief will help you cope with this situation and support you get through it but it will never solve the imbalance.