Stress is a condition experienced almost regularly by everyone—adults, teens, and even children. It is not surprising that it can have negative impacts on your body and mind, such as diabetes, hair loss, acne, eyestrain, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, lack of focus, exhaustion, overeating or undereating, etc. There are numerous pieces of advice on how to minimize stress. The majority of advice focuses on developing long-term habits, such as practising yoga, eating a good diet, maintaining a journal, and sleeping more.

But what do you do when you are overcome with stress at your desk, in a meeting, or at home? You may have received negative feedback from a client, been given a new task, or had a disagreement with your boss, apartment owner, family, etc. Your relationships with people, yourself, and others are impacted by how you respond to and manage problems.

Psychologist Dr Malini Saba shares seven effective strategies for handling stress at the moment.

Understand and accept your stress indicators

Develop the ability to understand the indicators of stress. Your neck may stiffen, your stomach may clench, and your hands may sweat. All of these are the impact of what is occurring within your body. When you're stressed, your pulse, heartbeat, and hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) increase. Stress damages your immune system as well as your capacity to relax.

Facing stress is an opportunity to reset your thoughts and take it as a chance to progress. The brain is reorganizing and trying to learn from the experience so you can manage it differently next time. When you recognise the symptoms rather than dismiss them, you should focus to address the source of the stress.

Stop and breathe 4-7-8

In stressful circumstances, it's better to pause to let your brain catch up. This allows you time to appraise the situation and plan your next move. Do the 4-7-8 breathing technique four times. It will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxing. Before you begin, let all the air out of your lungs and then take a deep breath, inhaling for the count of four. Once you've inhaled, sit still and hold your breath for a count of seven, then gently exhale to a count of eight. This will quickly reduce stress, anxiety, migraine pain, fear, grief, and rage.

Stress relieving activities

Find your stress-relieving activity

Hug your dog, say a prayer, go for a stroll, watch a funny video, listen to music, read, draw, knit, or run. It's also important to remember that everyone is different, so what might be a relaxing activity for you might not be so for someone else. Determine what helps to relax you, and have it in your back pocket for extremely stressful days.

Make a list

Writing a prioritized to-do list helps alleviate stress by enhancing concentration as writing enhances mental attention. Create a to-do list with your duties and due dates. If you waste all your time worrying about the circumstances and what might happen if you fail, you may never take a step, which will create tension because you've lost time and haven't planned to cope with the situation.

Use the third person

Conversation, whether with yourself or a companion, helps reduce your stress level. Yes, talking to yourself or about yourself in the third person is a way to build emotional self-control. This can help you separate from the distressing stress or circumstance.

Emotional freedom technique (EFT)

Tapping, or psychological acupressure, includes tapping energy flow points of the body and reciting phrases to help you acknowledge concerns and embrace yourself. EFT can be performed 2–3 times easily by identifying stressors, rating the issue from 0 to 10 (10 being the highest), and creating problem-solving phrases such as, “Even when I’m stressed, I accept myself entirely”. Tap the nine meridian points seven times (eyebrow, side of eyes, under eyes, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under arm). See if your final stress level is 0, if not attempt again.

Aura of calm

Have you ever noticed that when you speak with an anxious person, you too become agitated? This is because stress is contagious. When someone can feel your tension, they will respond. If you find yourself in a difficult conversation, try to keep your emotions in check. Force yourself to keep your voice soft and under control and talk decently and straightforwardly. If you maintain your composure, others will follow too.

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