On the night before her wedding, a bride-to-be throws tantrums at her long-cherished friends. A student who has very well prepared to give her speech in class is feeling tense; feeling of a knot tied in her tummy. Kodjo’s favourite TV show is on but he can hardly hear a word from the presenter because he keeps thinking about the job he just lost. All these people have one thing in common-STRESS.
The truth is when we are all stressed, there is some sort of change or reaction our body goes through; seen or unseen.
What then is stress? Stress has been defined as the body’s response to a demanding situation. This is why when we are stressed we usually feel our heart beat faster, a tense in our muscles, we breathe faster and sometimes experience headache.
While a certain amount of stress is good for us to either move you to action or meet a deadline, prolonged stress can be harmful to your health.
It is therefore important that we talk about how to cope with stress!
Set realistic goals
It is often said that you can never meet a perfect human. And rightly so, we can’t expect to get things done perfectly from imperfect humans. So take your time, and set goals you can meet. As you would not expect to meet unrealistic goals, do not expect others to meet such goals.
With a mindset as this, you will hardly get stressed when things go wrong or when others do not meet your expectations.
Identify your stressor
Knowing one’s self is a great advantage to coping with stress. Why? A deeper understanding of who you are can help you identify what stresses you.
Identifying what stresses you takes you a step further in knowing more; such as how you respond to stress.
Interestingly, what may cause you so much stress may not be stressful to another at all.
Consider this: could it be that you are analyzing the stressing situation with a ‘difficult’ lens. Let’s go back to the scenario of the student who is stressed because of the upcoming presentation?
Could she see this situation a little differently? In a positive lens? If she thought to herself, ‘We are all amateurs in the class and are only learning to become better’, could that allay her fears of making mistakes? I bet so.
Rest, Rest, Rest
A lot of things rob us of the rest we really need- over-working, technology among others.
Unless circumstances that require you to attend to work and technology, learn to keep these in their place.
Cherish the moments of taking a nap, taking a view of nature, and having wholesome conversations with friends and family.
Make your health a priority
Taking care of your health improves your body’s response to stress. A little exercise, a healthy meal and the avoidance of unhealthy habits such as smoking can go a long way to help you deal with stress.
Meanwhile, if your stress seems unbearable, one great option is to consult your doctor.
The power of family and friends’ support
The popular phrase ‘no man is an island’ is perhaps not a cliché when considering the importance of family and friends in dealing with stress.
Sharing your anxiety with a confidant can help lessen the burden and probably bring a solution to what is causing the stress.
Friends, let’s try these tips and see how our stress can be lessened.