As the world becomes more and more developed, stress gradually becomes an unavoidable feature of modern society. “Stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, demand or resource related to what the individual desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important”. Stress occurs in a lot of events in our everyday life, such as everyday events (suddenly sees a red light), exciting events (having a baby), scary events (watching a horror movie), and many more. Among the different types of stress, job stressors have been generally accepted as a universal phenomenon.
Experts at University Health and Counseling Services at Northeastern University believe that it is easy to make this your New Year’s resolution to kick out stress. With that in mind, here are a few tips to reduce stress.
- Take care of your basic needs: balanced sleep, healthy eating, and consistent hygiene can lower your stress levels.
Avoid, or at least reduce, your consumption of nicotine and any drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so, it will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated as this will enable your body to cope better with stress.
- Keep in mind that both our thoughts, as well as our environment, are highly influential; therefore, remain mindful of your automatic beliefs (meaning your immediate, first thoughts) and the way you talk to yourself as well as the environment in which you choose to study and live.
- Remain connected to family and friends, and reserve time for activities that you enjoy.
Just talking to someone about how you feel can be helpful.
Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it.
Stress can cloud your judgement and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.
- Be active—it can be anything from walking to kickboxing. Find something that works for you.
When you feel stressed and tensed, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.
- Keep things simple and balanced, and consider these ideas:
- Create achievable goals and schedules
- Use self-encouraging statements and give credit where credit is due
- Practice mind/body relaxation techniques
- Live in the present moment
- Set priorities