How to deal with long term stress? Find the best psychologist in Bangalore.
Stress is an inevitable human experience. And an optimal amount of it is even necessary to keep us motivated or driven. Stress simply put, is a call for adjustment by the mind or the body. It is a reaction that causes a momentary shut down of mental faculties, because it is perceived as a matter of life and death by our primitive brain. Evolutionarily, it was meant to protect us from life threatening circumstances. However, in the current scenario, it can be interpreted as a threat to well-being.
Every individual has a novel way of coping with everyday stressors. Our bodies and brains are also hard wired to fight against stress. The stress reaction begins with the situation/incident/circumstance that is unusual or rather something that doesn’t belong in the commonplace of everyday experiences. And once the stress causing factor has subsided, the body, the brain and the person as a whole return to baseline levels, the subjective ‘normal’.
However, when exposed to continuing stressors for a prolonged period of time, returning to the baseline becomes extremely challenging. After all, the body’s stress response system is also limited. Consequentially the individual experiencing this becomes subject to a whole host of physical and mental health concerns.
Dealing with long term stress:
We cannot undo or change the existing situation but can take steps to reduce the impact the events have on us. So below are some strategies to cope effectively with long term stress:
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat healthy
- Sleep sufficiently
- Exercise at least 4 times a week.
These fundamentals will ensure that there are enough internal resources to draw energy and comfort from.
- Conscious relaxation:
- Simple relaxation techniques: 4-5 yoga postures that could help in calming the mind and body down, guided imagery/guided relaxation (lot of content available on YouTube and other platforms).
- Breathing exercises: Pranayama, box breathing, simple deep breathing (minimum of 5 breaths).
- Journal writing: This aids in reflection and ventilation of accumulated difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Social anchor points:
This simply means to have a confidante or two that could aid in cushioning difficult experiences. Friends and family serve as anchors to a ship in a storm. “Burden shared is burden halved”. Talking through many things reorganizes and rearranges the chaotic mind to a more stable one as opposed to being inside our heads and causing more derangement. It is natural to withdraw from our favourite people assuming we would burden them in times of stress but deliberate efforts to go against that will definitely go a long way.
Hobbies serve a very important role in our day to day living. It engages us in ways that nothing else would. It will help channel energies into a productive path and bring in massive changes in levels of energy and mood in general.
Mindfulness, the ability to stay in the present moment can play a soothing role in our everyday experiences. The practice of mindfulness facilitates the training of the ‘monkey mind’. It has to be noted that most mental health concerns begin with not being able to stay in the present moment.
There are many ways in which one can practice this, but for a simple exercise, one could choose a chore in the day where a conscious attempt is made to keep the mind on the chore/activity in question as fully in it as possible. This means that despite distractions one would attempt to try and bring the focus back repeatedly. It may be challenging to begin with, however over a period of time can have long lasting benefits!
Thinking and perception:
This is a very crucial element in being able to get through difficult times. Because, it is most often not the event in itself that causes problems, but it is our perception of it.
- Acceptance: We more often than not are in the pursuit of change; of not wanting things to be the way they are, not wanting to feel a certain way etc. Remember, that ‘it is what it is’. There is no way of changing ‘what is’. Acceptance simply means knowing that some things cannot be changed and vice versa, and doing whatever can be done by taking charge.
- Generating alternative thoughts: There is a huge chance that we get stuck with the thoughts and feelings of doom that consequently make us feel stuck and helpless. However, we all have the integral power of psychological flexibility. It can be helpful to think of other possibilities in a certain situation. Take help of a loved one if need be.
- Identifying thinking traps and faulty thinking patterns: Thinking traps are basically patterns of thought which prevent us from looking at things the way they are. Some examples for thinking traps are over-generalization, personalization, catastrophizing etc. Identification of the same creates awareness and with awareness, it is possible to bring in the necessary modifications in line of thought.
We go through the motion of life despite the everyday exhaustion. And if we do not rest when times are tough, we would lead ourselves to burnout. Therefore, it is imperative to take ‘cool off periods’ on an everyday basis. This can be achieved through:
Seek help if things become unmanageable. Listing down one of the best organizations/institutions for residents of Bengaluru:
Mpower -The Center, Indiranagar
For best psychologist in Bangalore, please visit- https://mpowerminds.com/ourteam
You can also visit the centre nearest you- https://mpowerminds.com/contact
Also read, De-stress the stressors of life. Seek help from a mental health
counsellor near you.
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