What are the techniques, strategies, and activities for stress management?


The 21st-century lifestyle has an overwhelming abundance of everything. And with so many things to cope with, stress takes over most of our conscience leaving us unhinged and anxious. Stress is our body’s natural defence against predators and danger. It prepares us to fight or flight and releases umpteen amounts of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

A few symptoms of stress can range from physical, emotional and behavioral effects and hinder the productivity and the general well-being of a human being. Chronic stress can also lead to complications like anxiety disorder, depression, heart disease, blood pressure problems etc.

Stress Management Techniques:

  1. Exercise: Whether full-fledged workout plans or finding opportunities to just move your body, exercise is a great stress-buster. It releases hormones like endorphins that block pain, improve sleep and sedate you. It gives your body a euphoric feeling and when your body feels good, your mind follows. Running, swimming, dancing, walking, cycling, and cleaning are a few relaxing exercises.
  2. Diet: The benefits of eating healthy foods have paramount impact on your mental health. By eating healthily, you can eliminate stress, boost your immune system, reduce blood pressure, and level your mood. While junk food, alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can seem even more appealing when you’re under a lot of stress, lots of added sugar and fat can have the opposite effect. Antioxidants protect your cells from all the damage that stress causes. Complex carbohydrates, vitamin c, omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium are inherent stress busters.
  3. Prioritisation: Grinding at work and having an over-the-top to-do list may be a hustler’s identity. But sometimes, focusing on only high priority and time-sensitive tasks can bring more satisfaction than anything else. Bring your nerd out; organise your schedules, relax, and pursue your personal interests and hobbies. Prioritize yourself over anything that’s causing you much stress.
  4. Techniques:
    a) The slow movements, stretching, and deep breathing of Yoga evaporate magnanimous amounts of stress.

    b) The 5000-year-old cure of Meditation or the quiet exercise of paying attention to your breathing, allowing thoughts to come and go and living in your body than in your mind cures almost everyone.

    c) Deep breathing calms your nervous system which controls your ability to relax.

    d) Learning how to manage your heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure when stress hits through biofeedback can also help you recognize the sources of stress and eliminate them.

    e) When you laugh, you take in more oxygen. Your heart, lungs, and muscles get a boost and your body releases those feel-good hormones. Take Laugh Therapy or watch a comedy show!

    f) Simply ranting about what is stressing you out blows off a lot of steam. Talk therapy breaks down any negative thought patterns and gets it all out of your system.

    g) Dodge stress bullets by not over-committing yourself, sharing responsibility, acknowledging the problem, thinking through before responding, and simply saying no to things are likely to stress you out.

    Lastly, as the Stoics believe: “Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.” You cannot control what life throws at you but you can control how your mind responds to them. Be there for yourself and treat yourself like you’d treat somebody you love.

    If you think that your stress has become chronic and turned into a more severe mental health issue, you need to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Trust professional mental health experts at Sancheti Hospital, Pune, and get some respite from all the internal issues that you hesitate talking about.

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