About stress and its reduction

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It’s natural to be under pressure. Stressful scenarios may have a positive or negative impact on our lives. The positive thing about working under pressure is that it will help people meet their goals in a timely manner. It is also important to remember, though, that undue stress from work pressure can contribute to mental disorders. The previous study has revealed that stress can trigger mental disorders such as depression and suicide (Griffith et al., 2008). An individual who experiences too much stress may opt to end his or her life as a way of dealing with the stressors. In as much as stress might be a normal part of life, many people find it difficult to cope with it. Some people resort to excessive alcohol intake making them feel relieved from pressure. Therefore, the research aims at understanding the concept of stress and outlining some of the possible interventions towards coping with stress.

Even though people may feel that it is normal to live with stress, it is not the standard of life. Living with high stress levels puts the entire well-being of an individual at risk. High levels of stress do not only wreak the havoc on an individual’s emotional equilibrium but also interferes with his or her physical health directly (McCray & Agarwal, 2011). Stressors decrease the ability of a person function effectively, think clearly, and enjoy life to the optimum (McCray & Agarwal, 2011). On the other hand, effective management of stress helps people to break the hold that stress has on their lives making them healthier, happier, and more productive. The overall goal of stress reduction is to have a life that balances relationships with work and relaxation. Stress management also helps to develop resilience to cope with pressure and embrace the challenges within an individual’s environment (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Thus, it would be important to be cognizant of the fact that a particular strategy might work for one individual but fail for the other person as far as the stress reduction interventions are concerned.

One of the roadmaps towards stress reduction is identifying its source in one’s life (Rainforth et al., 2007). Whereas it might be easy for a person to pinpoint some of the possible reasons of their stress such as family and work-related issues or adapting in a new environment, it is always confusing to identify the real causes of chronic stress (Rainforth et al., 2007). Usually, there might be some confounding factors behind normal stressors, which people might not see. For instance, somebody might be worried about meeting deadlines at the workplace when, in real sense, it is the nature of the job. Therefore, it is important for people to scrutinize their habits, excuses and attitudes as the first step towards managing stress (Baer, Carmody, & Hunsinger, 2012).

The other important way of reducing stress is replacing the unhealthy coping schemes with the healthy ones (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Most people resort to harmful strategies such as drug abuse, procrastination, suicide or expressing their stress on others as a way of relieving themselves. Nonetheless, all these might cause worsening the situation. Instead, people should focus on what can make them feel calm or bring them into control such as regular physical exercise, communicating with positive friends, listening to music, or seeking guidance and counselling from professionals (Linnemann et al., 2015). Finally, yet important, people should concentrate on self-assessment as a strategy towards reducing and managing stress among themselves. Understanding oneself is significant for relieving stress as well.

References

Baer, R. A., Carmody, J., & Hunsinger, M. (2012). Weekly change in mindfulness and perceived stress in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(7), 755–765. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21865.

Griffith, J. M., Hasley, J. P., Liu, H., Severn, D. G., Conner, L. H., & Adler, L. E. (2008). Qigong stress reduction in hospital staff. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(8), 939–945. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2007.0814

Linnemann, A., Ditzen, B., Strahler, J., Doerr, J. M., & Nater, U. M. (2015). Music listening as a means of stress reduction in daily life. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 60, 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.06.008.

McCray, C. J., & Agarwal, S. K. (2011). Stress and autoimmunity. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iac.2010.09.004.

Rainforth, M. V., Schneider, R. H., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J. W., & Anderson, J. W. (2007). Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-007-0094-3.

Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(July 2015), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587214543143.

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