17 Things You Should Know About Stress!

We are all affected by stress at some level or another, though we don’t like to admit it. Stress can be positive when it helps you achieve your goals, or implement a change in your lifestyle. But it’s obviously negative when it results in anxiety, depression and illness. This article can help you identify, prevent and deal with stress.

CAUSES OF STRESS
Most common causes of stress are:

  1. Work-related: This includes deadlines, overload of work, conflicts with the boss or co-workers, job insecurity, lack of recognition etc.
  2. Money-related: Financial crisis, credit card debt, mortgage, loss of job or just lack of money to do the things you really want
  3. Relationship-related: Lack of communication, understanding and trust with your partner, parents, kids or close friends
  4. General lack of fulfillment: Unfulfilled dreams and ambitions; failure in job or relationships
  5. Attitudes that cause stress: Certain traits and ways of seeing the world can cause stress. E.g. Pessimism, perfectionism, addictions, poor communication, anger, obsessing and other such negative behavior.

SYMPTOMS OF STRESS
One or more of the following symptoms could mean that you are going through stress:

  1. Headaches: Certain types of headaches can be related to stress.
  2. More frequent colds or flu: There’s an inverse relationship between stress and immunity, so if you’re under too much stress, you may be getting sick more often.
  3. Sleep problems: There are many ways that stress affects sleep. Too much stress can rob you of sleep and make the sleep you get less restorative.
  4. General anxiety: Anxiety does serve an important function for survival, but if you’re feeling anxious much of the time, it could be because you have too many stressors in your life.
  5. Fuzzy thinking: Your body’s stress response pumps your body with hormones that make it possible for you to fight or flee quickly. But when triggered in excess, this stress response can actually cause you to think less quickly.
  6. Feelings of frustration: If you’re faced with many demands at once, the natural result for many people is increased frustration and irritability.
  7. Lowered libido: If you’re too tired for sex, or can’t seem to find the time for your partner, this can be due to stress in your life as well.

MANAGEMENT OF STRESS
Once you know what causes your stress, the obvious thing is to avoid the cause. But it’s not as simple as that. We can’t eliminate difficult situations from our lives, so we must learn how to deal with them. Few tips and attitudes:

  1. Let go of the past: Forgive everyone who had said or done things that hurt you. Maybe they didn’t mean to. Ask forgiveness for the things you have done to others. Make peace with your past. Also stop living in the ‘good old days’ – they were good because you lived in the present then.
  2. Stop worrying about the future: Most of the things we worry about never actually happen. On the other hand, setting goals and planning for a better tomorrow can actually help reduce stress.
  3. Be grateful: There are hundreds of things you can be grateful for – waking up alive; being healthy; having the senses to enjoy the beauty of life; food and water; a place to live, clothes, job; people you love, people who love you; your ability to read, write, create, think and more… This is only possible when you live in the present and acknowledge the good things in your life, right now. It’s difficult for someone with this attitude to get stressed out easily.
  4. Differentiate between situations and problems: Situations are things you cannot control or change e.g. weather, traffic, sickness, death, people, law, the world. The only choices you have are accept them or fight with them. Problems are things you can control or change e.g. health, relationships, skills, job, your attitudes, yourself. For me, this has been the single most powerful strategy for a happy life!
  5. Take time out: Sometimes getting away, even for a short while, can help change the focus. Take time to read, breathe, meditate, pray, exercise, or whatever provides a break from the stress. For me, it’s swimming, long walks, a good book or writing something that can help enhance lives.

How do you manage stress? Please share your tips through comments.

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13 thoughts on “17 Things You Should Know About Stress!

  1. Dear Mush

    This is a very complete article on ‘STRESS’
    I request everyone to read it and also IMPLEMENT.

    I usually manage stress by writing and reading. I write down all the possible reasons which I think are causing stress.First in points and then I write detail paragraphs for each point. Then I read each point again and again very carefully. Finally I start crossing out the points.Most of the time I am able to cross out all the points and find no reason left to remain stressed.

    “He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.”
    -Confucius

    Thankyou and God Bless you Mush

    Parveen Rizvi

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  2. hi mush ! I’ve actually learnt to fight stress from you . I either listen to soft music or read a good motivating book and mostly what i do at difficult situations is , i go to a silent place and CRY. Once i’m done trust me i feel relaxed, find a solution and just move on. Trust me stress will never back once u r able to let your feelings out. I don’t even remember the last time i was stressed or de-motivated.

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  3. Hi Mushtaq,

    Your article is very good,managing stress is better said than done but in the end it has to be dealt with otherwise your health is effected,stress is a very subjective thing,what circumstances make me stressed out could be insignificant to others but they still bug me and stress me out !!! So it is me who has to realize(quickly)by doing things mentioned in your article and try to unwind.
    I believe once you start getting the hang of looking inside from the outside(btw thats a Dylan song) one may be able to solve the stress problems quicker.
    Hey you forgot to mention laughter as a means to reduce stress, a good joke and friends with good sense of humar always releases my stress.

    Cheer
    Abbas

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  4. hi,

    One of the ways i have dealt with in the past is simply spend time doing something you love and are passionate about. It could be meeting old friends out in a cafe , playing your favorite sport/game or simply watching that movie which you always wanted to. Being surrounded by friends and family while working on your favorite activity is a great way to step out of that “stress zone” and get back to normal.

    At work, taking time out to prioritize and plan with your manager has helped a great deal.

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  5. i feel writing in my diary or talkin one of my close friends helps me look at things from a different perspective. a coffee & blueberry cheesecake with a good friend is the best stress buster for me! As when thoughts are spoken out loud and shared they seem to get a different angle for me, nd then i can take a step back, look at them, and try to work out a solution. Sometimes there is no easy solution and u have to ride it out and let time and nature and faith take its course, just remembering all the while that things happen for the best!
    If and sometimes when none of that works a good long cry in a secluded spot does the trick, and if even then it doesnt go away then I just make myself sooo busy in the daily small stresses of life that u dunt have time to focus on the big issue!

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  6. Mush, back in feb 2002, i was travelling with you in a cab from the Delhi Habitat Centre to the airport and you spoke about, forgiving everyone who had said or done things that hurt us. You spoke about Making peace with our past.You also said, most of the things we worry about ( that may happen), never actually happen. That ride was the best stress management class for me. Thanks Mush, for touching so many lives.

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  7. The 17 things you should you should know about stress is a great tool. A few years ago I had an inflammation on the bottom of my feet and I was told it would never heal by the doctor. That I would have to live with it. I believed him.
    During that year I was struggling with a loving kindness meditation which always ended up with my anger. Despirited I asked for advice which I tried with this meditation and it imroved. 10 months later, Iwas at a week long retreat and suddenly my meditation came alive to me; I was nolonger the driver. All the people who had let me down and betrayed me showed up one after the other; all this in my mind.
    Tears rolled down my face as I stayed after the others left the meditation room. Everyne wanted to know what happened. I chose to share it with one young person I had met and that was it.
    Two months later my problem with my feet disappeared. I was astonished. I thought I must have been walking with a pounding step which might have caused it. I am not a buddhist, like duality too much. Despite this I will never forget that meditation. Love & metta, Caroline

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  8. This works by having the resin fall through one or several filters installed into
    the bottom of the pollenator. These people told that their sex life is
    improved as they have either stopped smoking completely or reduced
    the frequency of smoking. Instead of acting as a physical or mental stress reliever it actually increases them.

    Like

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