Basic understanding of stress
Previous research on stress
Description of possible stressors
Stress and Stress Reduction
Being under pressure is a natural phenomenon. Stressful circumstances may have a positive or negative effect on our lives. Working under duress has the advantage of motivating people to meet their objectives on time. It is important to remember, however, that undue stress caused by work pressure can contribute to mental disorders. Stress has been linked to mental disorders such as depression and suicide in the past (Griffith et al., 2008). An individual who goes through too much stress may opt to end his or her life as a way of coping up with the stressors. In as much as stress might be a normal part of life, many people find it difficult to cope with it. Several people resort to excessive alcohol intake to make them feel relieved from pressure. Therefore, the research aims at understanding the concept of stress and outlining some of the possible interventions towards coping with stress.
Even though people may feel that it is normal to live with stress, it is not a good idea. Living with high stress levels puts the entire well-being of an individual at risk. High levels of stress do not only wreak the havoc on an individual’s emotional equilibrium but also interferes with his or her physical health directly (McCray & Agarwal, 2011). Stressors narrow down the ability of a person function effectively, think clearly, and enjoy life to the optimum (McCray & Agarwal, 2011). On the other hand, effective management of stress helps people in breaking the hold that stress has on their lives, making them healthier, happier, and productive. The overall goal of stress reduction is to have a life that balances relationships with work and relaxation. Stress management also helps in developing resilience to cope with pressure and embrace the challenges within an individual’s environment (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Even so, it would be important to be cognizant of the fact that a particular strategy might work for an individual but fail for the other person as far as the stress reduction interventions are concerned.
One of the roadmaps towards stress reduction is identifying the source of stress in one’s life (Rainforth et al., 2007). Whereas it might be easy for a person to pinpoint some of the possible reasons, why they are stressed such as family issues, work-related issues or changing to a new environment, it is always confusing to identify the real causes of chronic stress (Rainforth et al., 2007). Usually, there might be some confounding factors behind normal stressors, which people might not see. For instance, somebody might be worried about meeting deadlines at the workplace when in real sense it is the nature of the job. Therefore, it is important for people to scrutinize their habits, excuses and attitudes as the first step towards managing stress (Baer, Carmody, & Hunsinger, 2012).
The other important way of reducing stress is replacing the unhealthy coping schemes with the healthy ones (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Most people resort to harmful strategies such as drug abuse, procrastination, suicide or taking out their stress on others as a way of relieving themselves from stress. Nonetheless, all these might end up worsening the situation. Instead, people should focus on what can make them feel calm or bring them into control such as regular physical exercise, hanging with positive friends, listening to music or seeking guidance and counselling from professionals (Linnemann et al., 2015). Finally, yet important, people should focus on self-assessment as a strategy towards reducing and managing stress among themselves. Understanding oneself is significant towards relieving stress.
Baer, R. A., Carmody, J., & Hunsinger, M. (2012). Weekly Change in Mindfulness and Perceived Stress in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(7), 755–765. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21865
Griffith, J. M., Hasley, J. P., Liu, H., Severn, D. G., Conner, L. H., & Adler, L. E. (2008). Qigong Stress Reduction in Hospital Staff. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(8), 939–945. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2007.0814
Linnemann, A., Ditzen, B., Strahler, J., Doerr, J. M., & Nater, U. M. (2015). Music listening as a means of stress reduction in daily life. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 60, 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.06.008
McCray, C. J., & Agarwal, S. K. (2011). Stress and Autoimmunity. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iac.2010.09.004
Rainforth, M. V., Schneider, R. H., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J. W., & Anderson, J. W. (2007). Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-007-0094-3
Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(July 2015), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587214543143