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The Importance of Stress Management: What You Should Know

The Importance of Stress Management: What You Should Know

One common misconception is that stress doesn’t affect everyone. People usually associate stress with office workers working long hours, or full-time parents taking care of their kids. But the reality is that stress can affect anyone. This is why people need to be aware of the importance of stress management.

Properly managing stress can improve a person’s overall health, their relationships, and can make it easier for them to handle stressful situations in the future.

What Are the Effects of Stress?

The many negative effects of stress highlight the importance of stress management.

Stress can have numerous effects on the body1. Some of these effects might be readily noticeable, while other effects can even be mistaken for something else. One example of this is when a person experiences regular headaches, they usually chalk it up to just being a regular occurrence. However, it’s very likely that their chronic headaches might be related to stress.

Another effect that stress can have is insomnia. People under a lot of stress usually have many things on their mind, and they can also suffer from anxiety. This makes it difficult for their brains to “switch off” when they’re trying to fall asleep, and thus they can experience insomnia.

Stress can also cause people to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. Sometimes, people tend to use food as a form of therapy to deal with their stress. This can cause them to binge eat, which can eventually cause serious health problems.

Other unhealthy coping mechanisms are smoking, drinking, or even drug use. These behaviors, while they can provide temporary relief, are harmful to the body, and can lead to addiction.

Another possible effect of stress is an increased level of aggression. This is because cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can increase a person’s levels of aggression. This is also the reason why even people who are usually calm and laid-back, can sometimes be aggressive or even violent during stressful situations2. This can cause them to create rifts in their personal relationships, or cause issues in the workplace.

These effects of stress are just some reasons why people need to be aware of the importance of stress management.

The Importance of Stress Management

While some degree of stress is normal, too much of it can be harmful since it makes it difficult for people to live their lives how they want to. Too much stress affects a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. And this is where the importance of stress management comes in3.

Here are some things that you can do to help you deal better with stress4:

Find Out What’s Causing Stress

This step can be difficult, as stressors are not always evident. However, if you try to list down what could be causing you stress, then it makes it easier for you to address those concerns one at a time.

Knowing what causes you stress can make it easier for you to manage it.

Avoid, Alter, Adapt, and Accept

These are known as the 4 A’s of stress management. These are avoid, alter, adapt, and accept.

First is to avoid unnecessary stress, which means taking control of situations and knowing when to avoid situations or circumstances that cause unnecessary stress.

Alter means trying to change the situation in order for it to become less stressful. One example would be talking to a difficult coworker, or talking to someone whose actions might be bothering you or causing you stress.

Adapt means to try and adapt to whatever’s causing you stress. This involves reassessing your situation, and figuring out what changes you can make so a situation becomes less stressful. Being mindful of the importance of stress management can help you to identify and address stress in your life.

Lastly is to accept the reality that we can’t change everything. Sometimes, we just have to deal with the stress and take things in stride.

Key Takeaways

Stress is a normal part of life, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it. Knowing the importance of stress management allows us to take control so that we can better handle stressful situations in our daily lives.

Learn more about how to have a Healthy Mind here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
  1. Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987, Accessed October 20, 2021
  2. Stress and aggression reinforce each other at the biological level, creating a vicious cycle, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2004/10/feedback-cycle, Accessed October 20, 2021
  3. Stress management Stress basics – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495, Accessed October 20, 2021
  4. Stress Management – HelpGuide.org, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm, Accessed October 20, 2021
  5. How to manage and reduce stress | Mental Health Foundation, https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-manage-and-reduce-stress, Accessed October 20, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Oct 21
Fact Checked by Cesar Beltran