Stressed out? Find a natural therapist that can help with stress management today!

All You Need to Know About Stress & Stress Management

Last Updated Sep 07, 2022

All You Need to Know About Stress & Stress Management

Stress seems to be an unavoidable part of modern life but that doesn't mean that you have to let it rule your life. We've found some doable ways to beat stressful situations that are simple, easy to achieve and, best of all, actually work!

What is Stress?

Firstly, we need to understand what stress is. It can be defined as a physical response to a life-threatening situation that triggers the release of stress hormones in the body, such as adrenaline, which speed up heart rate and respiration and restrict blood flow to the extremities.

Ongoing stress causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. If the body is subjected to too much stress, physical symptoms start to surface, mildly at first but they can progress to being much more serious if the source of stress is not addressed. Some conditions which can be brought on by stress include:

What are the signs of stress & the best way to treat or prevent themSource: Mental Health Advise 

How stress affects people depends on individual circumstances – some stressors are easier for people to adapt to than others but stress will always have an impact on your health if it is experienced too often or for long periods of time.

In general, stress causes physical reactions such as palpitations or shortness of breath, high blood pressure, loss of appetite leading to weight loss or gain, insomnia and tiredness. In addition, untreated stress can cause a slew of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.

The Four Types of Stress

Stress has become a normal feeling in our everyday lives. We all experience stress at one point or another when faced with difficult situations. The four most common types of stress are as follows:

1. Acute stress

This type of stress is usually brought on by an immediate stressful event that is usually resolved quickly once the stressor that caused the flight-or-fight response is gone. For example, if you're walking down the street at night alone and someone startles you from behind, that would be considered acute stress because it's brought on by an immediate threat of danger. Once that person walks away, your body releases chemicals that help you relax again. Stress hormones that are released during stress help to focus your mind and body on the stressor.

2. Episodic stress

This kind of stress is brought on by an unrealistic reaction to a one-time stressor, such as a work presentation or appearance before a board committee. Episodic stress doesn't wear out the body systemically, and you will recover quickly from any stress-related illness or effect. However, if you allow the stressor to take control of your life when there are many ways to resolve it, this type of stress can cause physical and mental health problems over time.

3. Chronic stress

Any type of stress caused by long-term stressors, such as financial problems, an unhappy marriage or health issues that persist for an extended period of time, can lead to serious psychological and physical health problems.

4. Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is stress that occurs after a traumatic or distressing event like war, physical, verbal or emotional abuse, the death of a loved one or natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. It can be difficult for people to cope with everyday stressors after severe stress has taken over their lives, and this will cause more issues in the future.

Stress Management Techniques

Thankfully, there are many stress management techniques available, so it's just a matter of finding one that fits in with your lifestyle and budget! Here's a look at some common stress management techniques.

  • Breathing Exercises – these work quickly and can be done anywhere. Taking deep breaths oxygenates the blood, relaxes muscles and quietens the mind.
  • Meditation – use some elements of breathing exercises that build on this practice so that the mind focuses on "nothingness" and therefore reduces stress.
  • Guided Imagery – take yourself through a mental journey to a pleasurable place, leaving stress behind and relaxing the body.
  • Self-hypnosis – talk directly to your subconscious mind in order to help yourself give up bad habits, feel less pain and develop better habits.
  • Massage – the mind is closely linked to the sense of touch and touch is essential for the mind's wellbeing. Massage, alongside aromatherapy, can help improve circulation and release tension.
  • Music Therapy – listening to music can lower blood pressure, relax the body and calm the mind.
  • Physical Activity – daily physical exercise helps to reduce stress by helping the body to release endorphins, a "feel good" chemical, and lowering cortisol levels (cortisol is related to stress levels).
  • Set Boundaries – learn to say no so that you are not overwhelmed by your commitments.
  • Social Support – a network of friends and family will help you lessen stress by providing support when you are feeling low or stressed.
  • Distract Yourself – sometimes the best way to deal with stress is to think about something else. TV, movies, music, video games and so on can all provide ways to break the cycle of worry.
  • Natural Supplements - stress depletes us of magnesium and thus supplements, such as magnesium oil, can help replenish you and reduce your stress levels. Taking 5-HTP dietary supplements can also help improve the amount of serotonin in the brain, which boosts mood and promotes relaxation while reducing stress levels at the same time.
  • Herbal Medicine - several types of herbs can ease the feelings of stress. Ashwagandha reduces stress by balancing the body's hormones, while chamomile functions like an antidepressant drug without the side effects. It reduces stress and anxiety and induces relaxation.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and increasingly stressed to the point where the techniques above aren't helping, there is always professional help available. Certified health professionals who specialise in stress management can help you deal with your stress issues so that you can lead the happy, fun, fulfilling life that you deserve!

Originally published on Jul 09, 2007

FAQs About Stress & Stress Management

What are the 4 A's of stress management?

The 4 A's of stress management can make a huge difference in your life. The first A stands for avoid, which means ignoring little stressors in your life that deplete your energy. The second A stands for alter, which attempts to make a bad situation better. Accept is the third, and it means accepting what you can't change with an open mind and heart. Finally, the last A stands for adapt, which refers to the ability to shift your perspective on a stressful event in order to remain unaffected.

Why is it important to manage stress?

High stress levels can have a negative impact on both your emotional and physical wellbeing. We've seen how succumbing to stress has harmed people's health time and time again. Effective stress management allows you to free yourself from the grip that stress has on your life, allowing you to be calmer, happier, and more successful.

How do you handle stress and pressure at work?

Success and stress are strongly intertwined. There are very few people who have achieved success without dealing with a lot of stress at work. Staying calm and focused on your task, taking breaks and avoiding drama will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by stress.

Related Topics

Stress,  Breathwork,  Hypnotherapy,  Meditation,  Massage,  Sound Therapy,  Herbal Medicine

Related Services

Art Therapy,  Brain Gym,  Breathwork,  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy,  Counselling,  Educational Kinesiology,  EMDR Therapy,  Floatation Therapy,  Gestalt Therapy,  Holistic Counselling,  Hypnobirthing,  Hypnotherapy,  Life Coaching,  Light Therapy,  Mindfulness,  Neuro Emotional Technique (NET),  Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP),  Psych-K,  Psychology,  Psychotherapy,  Rapid Transformational Therapy,  Relationship Counselling,  Root Cause Therapy,  Sandplay Therapy ,  Schema Therapy,  Sound Healing,  Thought Field Therapy,  Time Line Therapy┬«,  Wellness Coaching


Our Rating