Stress is what you feel when you have to tackle more than you are used to. Prolonged stress can lead to various Mental disorders. Stress not only impact your Mental health but also affects your physical & emotional Health. The best way to manage your stress is to opt for healthy coping strategies.
To conceptualize strategies for coping with stress, imagine two extreme coping styles. On the positive end of the spectrum is the Active Stress Manager who does what he or she can to plan, anticipate and respond directly to pressures and demands. At the negative extreme is the Passive Victim of stress who avoids effective action and makes the pressure and demands of his or her life into insuperable obstacles. Most people lie somewhere in between.
Coping Stress Anxiety
ACTIVE STRESS MANAGER
PASSIVE STRESS VICTIM
Puts energy into areas that can be managed
Anticipates and plans for the future.
Has a reservoir of time and energy for the unexpected, unplanned and crisis events.
Has an accurate perception of both threats and support from the environment.
Takes time to evaluate alternate strategies.
Adapts a strategy to reduce stress directly.
Takes care of self and body.
Avoids overloading capacity by pacing and relaxing.
Seeks help and support as much as possible.
Manages time by focusing on priorities.
Leaves many things to chance and fate.
Does not think ahead.
Faces deadlines by cramming at last minute.
Demonstrates little foresight or anticipation.
Takes on tasks that cannot be completed or are overwhelming.
Does not set clear priorities.
Lets problems accumulate.
Sees environment as threatening.
Has compulsive, stereotyped responses to all threatening, stressful situations.
Increases level of stress with his or her reaction.
Lacks pacing, self-care and diversion.
Works alone, does not call on resources.
MODIFYING COPING STRATEGY
With your awareness of your coping style assets and liabilities, and with the information about active coping with stress, you can consider and plan new ways to respond to stressful situations.
Key questions in Coping Strategy
How much control might I have over this situation? This is a multifaceted question. At first, you will be tempted to say that you don’t have much control. Yet in our experience, everyone underestimates their possible control. For example, you might look at a problem and decide that you can have no effect on it. However, you might gain control when you see that it isn’t your problem and that nobody really expects you to solve it. The sense of freedom comes from increasing control by making the decision that you don’t have to handle it. If you come up with other potential ways that you could manage the situation, you will have started to brainstorm about how you might handle it differently.
What are the obstacles to handling this effectively? There might be a lack of time or resources or a problem with another person who is also involved in the job. Careful analysis and exploration of the nature of the obstacles to responding to a problem are often illuminating. Think of some of the ways these obstacles might be diminished or neutralized.
Role of Relaxation as Tool
Role of relaxation techniques is critical to stress management.In simple terms relaxation stabilises the milieu interior ( internal environment ) primarily and of course rest of the body as well.
Mind as “headquarters” where the stress signals are processed and responded too is both approached first and then gained control over thereby preparing the individual to take on more and more of the challenges – without paying the price of impact on health.
The adjuvant benefits in short term and long term are far too many to count.
Of course,sustained practice is the key and incorporating it as an inevitable routine into daily routine – irrespective of challenges of the day holds .
Sleep and Intake
Having a sleep routine is the best stress management in itself.
A stable and regular sleep pattern enables best preparedness to meet the challenges of the day – both physically and mentally.
Regularity of the intake in terms of scheduling and blending the intake as per the demands and pressures of the stress situation ensures the impact of stress on health never crosses the risk threshold.
Dr Sastry is a post graduate medical professional ( M.B.B.S.,D.L.O.,M.S.) and has been a program leader for organizations belonging to every key sector of industry. Consultant in Stress Prevention and Reduction,Work Life Balance, Wellness and Lifestyle related programs and other inputs to over 250 major organizations in the corporate sector active for over 27 years.