While we cannot avoid stress, you can take steps to manage stressful situations and be at your best. Getting better at coping with stress is an excellent way to be more resilient, which is good for mental health. Those who cannot handle stress properly are prone to depression and other mental issues. So, here’s a guide to dealing with stressful situations and protecting your mental health.
What is stress?
Stress can refer to worry or mental tension, which happens when we face a difficult situation. It is our body’s way of responding to challenging situations, prompting us to address difficulties. Everyone will experience stress, as it’s a normal part of life. However, people deal with stress differently. It affects both mental and physical health in varying intensities.
Studies show that stress can also be good for us in some ways. It helps us to be more resilient and perform better during difficult situations. But it can only be beneficial if it’s short-lived. Prolonged or excessive stress can negatively affect our mental health and may lead to depression and anxiety.
When faced with situations where you feel threatened, your body will respond by creating a stress hormone. It can lead to numerous physical symptoms, even changing how you react. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. Sometimes, it can cause us to respond with more intense emotions.
How to identify the signs of stress
No one wants to live stressed, but if we fail to recognize it and take proper measures to prevent or manage it, overcoming stress will not be possible. Each of us has different ways of handling stress. So, it’s worth knowing that not everyone has the same symptoms. But here are some of the most common signs of stress.
- Negative Mood – it can include feeling irritable and angry. It can also encompass feelings of frustration and guilt. When you start to inhibit these feelings, you must come to terms with your stress and deal with it accordingly.
- Anxiety – anxiety is not always considered chronic mental health. You can perform de-stressing exercises to help you overcome it. If you’re struggling with anxiety, you could also suffer from physical pains like headaches and abdominal cramping. If these persists, it may be best to see a counsellor or a doctor.
- Depression – depression is a mental health condition often linked to anxiety. It can involve feeling inadequacy, extreme sadness, and an empty mood. It can also manifest feelings of inability to accomplish tasks and goals.
- Decreased Mental Function – if you’re feeling stressed, your capacity to think critically could significantly decrease. You will feel sluggish, unable to make the right decisions, and constantly forget things.
- Addictive Behaviours – some people will turn to defence mechanisms when feeling stressed. It can include increased appetite or sugar cravings and addictive behaviours such as excessive tobacco and alcohol consumption.
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Knowing more about mental health
Knowing more about mental health allows us to be more equipped to handle stress and stay mentally fit, regardless of the situation. You will find plenty of free courses online that can teach you about mental health. These courses can help you to be better prepared to deal with stress and recognise triggers.
While it’s always a good idea to turn to professionals for help in dealing with stress, it would help if we educate ourselves about stress and the proper way to handle it. Learning some strategies can help foster resilience during life’s challenges, and that’s the key to maintaining good mental health.
The online training courses about mental health explore various aspects of dealing with stress, mental health issues, and the causes of mental disorders. These courses will also teach you about proper treatments and when to seek help and support. Since we all deal with stress, it can apply to anyone but are best suited to those struggling with mental illnesses or caring for a family member with mental health issues.
You can also refer to online resources to learn more about properly dealing with stress. Read up on the latest research about mental health. Refer to websites that raise awareness about mental health since these are the best places to learn more about the subject.
Tips for managing stressful situations
Again, we all deal with stress differently. What may work for you may not work for others. But here are some tips to help you better manage stress.
- Positive thinking – always aim to think positively regardless of the circumstances. Positive thinking can help relieve stress, so always focus on the good things in your life, even when faced with stressful situations.
- Open up to someone – turn to someone you can trust and talk to them about what’s stressing you. You can also get in touch with a helpline or a professional therapist.
- Be more active – exercising can help burn off the energy that causes you to feel anxious. When you exercise, your body will produce endorphins. These are brain chemicals that act like natural stress relievers.
The importance of a good network
Studies show that having a support system can help build resilience, making it easier to manage stress. Getting support from people you trust can help make stressful situations easier to manage. A good support network can also help improve well-being and coping skills while minimising depression, anxiety and stress.
A support system refers to a network of people you trust who can offer emotional support when struggling with stress. Having them means you have people to rely on during difficult situations.
While support systems are critical to have, you must make sure to choose the right people to become your support system. Sometimes, the people we trust can become the source of our stress. You want only the right people to be there for you when faced with difficult situations in life.
If you live far from family or friends, there are many ways to build a good support network. Consider joining a workout group or sports team. Having people to interact with can help boost your mood and improve your overall mental health.
Top photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash