Stress is seenin every corner of the world and which occurs to
everyone.People use the term stress to describe the feeling they have
when it all seems too much, when they are overloaded and don't feel
that they are able to meet all the demands placedupon them. A child
burdened with heavy bag right from Schoolto the Managerof Corporate
world, stress has become a new lifestyle disease.It has become
predominantand people have come up with balanced monitored
concepts to minimise stress.This paperproceedsto explainstress, the
causes and the ways to minimise stress.
WHAT IS STRESS?
3. Researchers define stress as a physical,mental, or emotionalresponse
to events that causes bodily or mental tension. Simply put, stress is any
outside force or event that has an effect on our body or mind
The term "stress",as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in
1936,who defined it as "the non-specific response of the body to any
demand for change”In attempting to extrapolate his animal studies to
humans so that people would understand what he meant, he redefined
stress as "The rate of wear and tear on the body"
According to Richard S Lazarus,
“Stress is a condition or feeling experiencedwhen a personperceives
that demands exceed the personaland socialresources the individual is
able to mobilize.”
Stress & Youth
Stress has an impact on physicaland mental well being so it is important
for each of us to know what causes us stress and how to manage it.
Knowing what feelings or symptomsarise when stressedcan help us to
identify stressors.Feelings or symptomscan be both physicaland
mental. Many times we notice the physicalsymptomsfirst but it is just as
important to pay attention to the mental symptoms.
4. Youth, just like adults, face many stressors.Becausestress is a result of
a person’s perspective,what is stressfulto one person may not be to
Sources of stress for youth
homework deadlinesand tests
expectations of parents/teachers/friends
relationships with parents
death or illness in the family
divorce or separation
bullying and abuse
parents losing their jobs
lack of money
Physical and mental signs of stress
body aches and tense muscles
trouble thinking clearly
not able to make decisions
overly tired or exhausted
overly emotionalor trouble
generalfeeling of being unwell
difficulty in breathing
thoughts of running away
increased heart rate
5. When we don't pay attention to what is stressing us certain behaviours
misuse of alcohol
compulsive gum chewing
being overly critical of others
excessivetime in front of the TV, computer,or video games
unable to get things done
compulsive eating or not eating
grinding our teeth
taking unusual risks that can have negative consequences
Stress is a normal part of life, a part of being human. But left unchecked
stress can have a long lasting negative impacton our lives. One of the
bestways to not be stressed is to avoid the stressor,but this is hardly
reasonable,after all we can't always control the situations or people
that surround us. But we can decide how we are going to react. First pay
attention to how you feel. Then identify the stressor.Take steps to
reduce your stress reaction.
Ways to take control of your stress include the following:
Slow things down with long deep breaths. This can help you gain
perspective,come up with creative solutions to problems,and reduce
Regular aerobic exercise which can include walking or biking, for 30
minutes or more, 3 to 5 times a week releasesendorphins that improve
mood and increase tolerance to pain. Regular exercise also improves
circulation, physicalstrength and stamina needed to cope with stress.
Stretching exerciseshelp to reduce headachesand back pain.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK
A well nourished body will give you the resources to manage stress
• Start your day right – have a good breakfast.
• Reduce your caffeine intake (e.g., coffee,tea, cola)
• Drink 5 to 6 glasses of water eachday, dehydrationcan cause you to
be tired during the day.
• Decrease the amount of salt and sugar, saturated fats, refined
carbohydrates inyour diet.
• Eat fruits and vegetables;5-10 a day will help build your immune
We are more plugged in than ever before and it is taking a toll on our
sleep.New researchshows that getting enough sleep at night is critical
for well being. Adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep and teenagers
7. need at least 9 hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has
• it improves concentrationand helps you think clearly
• it improves your ability to complete complextasks
• it improves your mood
• it improves your immune system so you can fight off illness and
handle stress better
Not getting enough sleep? Try these solutions:
• Get lots of light EARLY in the day.
• Abstainor limit use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
• NO caffeine after 4 p.m.
• Limit your screentime in the evenings (e.g., TVs, computers,smart
phones, video games).
• Try and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Every time you laugh the positive energy increases and your body
releases natural chemicals (endorphins)that help relieve stress.
Laughing increases your circulation, decreasesanxiety and tension, and
helps you look at life more positively.A sense of humour is one of the
most important life's skills in finding balance and perspective in life.
PLAY AND HAVE FUN!!!
Play is part of being human. The mind craves fun, and play is one of the
bestways to get in touch with others and your own creative thoughts
and skills. Play inspires happiness and eases stress.Your play might
include music, sports,hobbies,theatre, dancing, singing, board games,
8. art, puzzles,etc.
One of the best ways to work through life's struggles is showing
compassionfor others. Helping someone elsecangive you a sense of
accomplishment;it can help you focus on what really matters to you.
Through helping someone else you have the opportunity to share your
unique gifts and make change in a positive way
CALM YOUR MIND
It has been proventhat meditation and relaxationhas many health
benefits including improving heart health. Deep breathing, reading,
stretching, and a warm bath are all ways to train your mind and body to
relax while taking some time for yourself.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
It's true, researchshows that taking the time to focus on the positive
things in your life has a healing affect. For example,expressing
gratitude, appreciation,or love will energize your mind, body and spirit.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
Emotions are essentialfor our survival. Strong emotions serve as
signals to pay attention to what is going on; this includes uncomfortable
emotions like anger, fear, sadness and jealousy.Left unchecked,
negative emotions will damage ourbody, mind and spirit. If these kinds
of emotions are taking overyour life, take the time to honestly examine
what is behind these feelings and then work on finding solutions. Being
able to forgive others and yourself will help you to find meaning in
9. difficult experiences.If you are having trouble identifying and managing
feelings on your own, seek help.
Stress is not all bad.
Stress helps you to deal with life’s challenges, to give your best
performance, and to meet a tough situation with focus. The
body’s stress response is important and necessary. However,
when too much stress builds up, you may encounter many
physical and emotional health problems. If you don’t deal with
stress, the health problems can stay with you and worsen over
the course of your life.
We cannot eliminate stress from our daily lives at our work places,
but studies have proved that there is much we can do to reduce it.
Therefore establishment of stress management for every individual is