Techniques to Cope with Stress during Life’s Challenges


In simple terms, stress is a physiological and psychological response to a challenging situation. Chronic stress can keep a person from feeling and performing their best – mentally, physically and emotionally. No one’s life is completely stress-free. It is extremely important to know how to manage stress. Learning how to identify when stress levels are increasing is one of the first things in learning how to cope. The common signs of high-stress levels include – headaches, muscle pain, change in appetite, constipation, concentration problems, insomnia, and ringing in the ears. Discussed below are effective strategies to keep stress at bay or manage it –

  • Regular Exercise and Good Nutrition – Being physically active and eating healthy are two important ways to relax your body and mind. A healthy body releases feel-good hormones and reduces mental stress. Likewise, a healthy mind promotes physical health. Exercise is a proven stress reliever and also improves overall quality of life. Maintaining proper nutrition is crucial for a healthy as well as a healthy mind, which helps you to better combat stress.
  • Practice Deep Breathing – Taking a few deep breaths can take the pressure off the mind. Take a deep breath for 5 seconds, hold for 2 seconds and release for 8 seconds. This can activate your parasympathetic nervous system to calm down the body, and reduce overall stress and anxiety.
  • Find Time for Hobbies – Find time for things you enjoy. Doing something you enjoy every day can help relieve stress. Gardening, painting, reading, and watching movies are great ways to relax and unwind.
  • Muscle Relaxation– When you are stressed, your muscles become tense. Stretching, getting a massage, or taking a hot shower before bedtime are great ways to loosen up your muscles and refresh your body and mind.
  • Use Guided Meditation – Guided meditation is a great way to relieve stress. Practicing meditation can relax your body and mind.
  • Take a Break from Media – Take a break from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. It is always good to be informed but hearing about traumatic events constantly can upset your mind. Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from the phone, TV, and computer screen for some time.
  • Stay connected – Building connections with people is important to feel supported. Finding a sense of community, whether at work, with a religious organization or through shared activities is important to your well-being. Enjoying a shared activity allows you to find support and foster relationships that can be supportive during difficult times.

To deal with stress, you need to first figure out the main factors causing it. Identifying the key causes of stress can help you find ways to deal with it. Make note of things that can make you anxious and see whether you can determine a pattern, and then find ways to remove or lessen those triggers.