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Stress Management: The Happily Way



. 4 min read

Experience that strange overwhelming feeling when you’re under pressure or threatened? Here’s what it may look like: your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and everything feels too much! Well, this is stress. We usually experience stress when we don’t feel in control of certain situations or feel unable to manage them. Busy times at work, managing finances, losing a loved one – stress surrounds us all and is everywhere. Stress management is a necessity of this hour.

But small amounts of stress are normal and healthy too. For instance, when you’re trying something new for the first time or when you have a deadline approaching. In such situations, a little stress can actually prove to be helpful. It can give you the energy and motivation needed to accomplish the job!

However, intense stress levels or stress that lasts for extended periods can be a problem. You see, our bodies are equipped to handle small doses of stress. But long-term chronic stress? It can have serious repercussions on our health.


Symptoms of Stress

There’s no denying that stress affects us all in some way or the other. Physically, mentally, and emotionally – it can take a toll on our overall well-being. However, as different people handle stress differently, the symptoms of stress can vary. 

Here are a few signs of how stress can affect us:

  • Physical symptoms:

    Difficulty in breathing
    Panic attacks
    Disturbed sleep or insomnia
    Muscle aches
    Weak immune system


  • Emotional symptoms:

    Irritable and angry
    Feeling overwhelmed
    Feeling of dread
    Low self-esteem


  • Cognitive symptoms:

    Racing thoughts
    Poor judgement
    Constant worry
    Unable to focus


  • Behavioral symptoms:

    Change in appetite
    Avoiding responsibilities/procrastination
    Increased use of alcohol and drugs


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Ways To Manage Stress

While you cannot completely eliminate stress from your life, you must know that there are ways to minimize it and make it manageable. Let’s look at some stress management tips.


  • Look after your well-being

    Let’s start with prioritizing yourself and being kind to yourself: one of the most important ways to relieve stress. Even something as small as rewarding yourself for your achievements, taking breaks in the day, walking amidst nature and developing your interests and hobbies could help manage stress.

    In addition, you can also make the following lifestyle changes. These changes are long-term, but believe us, taking good care of your body will allow you to handle stress much better!


  1. Exercise

    We all know daily exercise to be linked to several physical and mental health benefits. But did you know it can also help relieve some stress? By releasing endorphin hormones, exercise can help elevate your mood and make your feel less anxious. Swimming, running, dancing or taking a short walk – your dose of stress relief is an activity away!


  2. Eating Healthy

    The benefits of a healthy diet extend far beyond its external impact. A well-balanced, nutritious diet can also improve your immune system, lower your blood pressure, level your mood, and ultimately reduce the effects of stress. In fact, research has found that consuming the following foods and nutrients can help fight stress: green tea, nuts, dark chocolate, vitamin C, vitamin E and fish, among others.


  3. Sleep

    Trouble falling asleep at night? It could be a symptom of stress! Poor sleep can also add to your stress level resulting in a cycle that only gets exhausting and energy-depriving. Incorporating better sleep habits can help. This involves exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed, setting a sleep schedule and minimising the usage of electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime.


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  • Relaxation Techniques

    You can also try a few relaxation exercises to manage stress better. Let’s see what these are.


  1. Yoga

    Yoga that involves slow movements, deep breathing and stretching is recommended for stress reduction. It encourages mental and physical relaxation while the postures promote flexibility, relieve tension and alleviate stress. The Cat-Cow pose, Child Pose or Corpse Pose are a few Yoga poses you can get started with to reduce stress!


  2. Meditation

    In addition to improving sleep, energy levels and mood, meditation can also help lower stress and anxiety. A simple practice that has been relevant for thousands of years, meditation enables you to focus your attention and eliminate any jumbled thoughts that could be crowding your mind and cause stress. Guided, mantra, mindfulness or any other form – start meditating daily and notice how you can manage your stress so much better!


  3. Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing, aka the body’s natural ability to relax, involves creating a state of deep rest. It involves focusing on each breath, the rise and fall of your chest and indulging in full deep abdominal breathing. This helps slow the heartbeat as well as lower or stabilize blood pressure.

    Each of the above routines has its own benefits. You can try them all to find out which one works best for you. Choosing a special place to relax, indulging in daily relaxation activities and not trying too hard to get them “right” are a few tips to keep in mind!

  • Build Meaningful Connections

    Spending quality time with a friend, family member, or even a peer at work can be a natural, calming way to deal with stress. Those that keep you calm, make you happy, offer emotional support and help you relax are people you should stay connected with and spend time with more. Moreover, having a good support network helps build resilience, making stress easier to manage.


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  • Identify Stressors and Eliminate Them (When You Can)

Identifying what causes stress to you may not necessarily mean you can avoid it, but it does indeed make you better prepared for it. Whether it’s situations that come up often, one-off events that occupy your mind or ongoing stressful situations – reflecting on these circumstances can help.

You can even try to eliminate something from your overall stress load. This may mean ending a toxic relationship or even learning to say no to additional responsibilities when you’re too busy or stressed. We know we know, this is easily said than done but relieving yourself of one stressful situation can help you effectively manage all your other stress better!


We hope you found the above stress management strategies helpful. Always remember, a little stress is a part-and-parcel of life. However, long-term chronic stress can severely impact your health and worsen preexisting health conditions. If you’re someone who has been experiencing stress for a long time and notice it interfering with your daily life, we recommend discussing it with a doctor or a healthcare provider. 


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