Stress can be defined as the reaction of the body to stressors (Seaward, 2006). Human beings are constantly exposed to emotions and physical threats. Failure to adjust to these threats effectively results to stress. Stress is important in life because it enables people to cope with challenges in life. However, stress can have negative effects on an individual. There are internal and external factors that affect stress. External factors refer to an individual’s interaction with his/her immediate environment which may include Job environment or relationships with other people (Merrill, 2010). The internal factors that affect stress are related to the body state and may include the individual’s health and fitness level, nutritional status, emotional well being as well as the amount of rest an individual gets.
Adaptation to stressors enables an individual manage stress. There are a wide range of symptoms that individuals experiencing stress usually display. These are; behavioral, cognitive, physical or emotional. They include excessive worrying, moodiness, dizziness, agitation and restlessness. It is important to note that failure to manage stress can lead to other emotional and health complications such as malnutrition due to lack of appetite or even death. Therefore one must be able to manage stress and learn how to cope with the stressors in order to avoid further complications.
Managing stress is not an easy task; however an individual can learn how to manage stress and avoid experiencing its negative effects. First, one must identify the source of the stress (Merrill, 2010). There are numerous sources of stress therefore one must take his/her time to determine the source of stress. Managing stress requires one to take charge of these situations and anticipate outcomes. Most of the stressors in the environment are recurring and therefore one can reduce the stress level the next time he/she encounters them. Stress management requires one to take control of his thoughts emotions, environment and the procedure of handling problems. The goal of learning how to manage stress is to ensure that one lives a balanced life and learns how to meet his challenges.
Once one identifies the source of stress he must also identify the current methods that he/she employs in managing the stress. This may include analyzing his /her immediate reaction after encountering the stressor (Burgess, 2000). Interestingly, most people deal with stress in ways that exacerbate the situation. Therefore it is important that one identifies the current coping strategies. Some of them are known to reduce stress in the short run but cause damage in the Long run. These stress coping methods include;
- Use of drugs such as cigarettes and drinking too much,
- Overeating and under eating
- Withdrawing from friends
- Procrastinating and taking out stress on others such as colleagues through angry out burst and violence.
The above mentioned coping strategies only exacerbate the condition. If the coping methods the individual is using are not helping the situation and promoting his health, he should look for better methods to cope with the stress (Merrill, 2010). However, individuals react differently to stress. This is because the situation in question and the stressor are unique to every individual therefore there is no universal solution of managing stress (Burgess, 2000). In managing stress, one can either change the situation or his/her reaction. He may alter, avoid, adapt or accept the situation. Therefore one should employ a strategy that helps him be cool or calm, this should not involve use of drugs because they solve the problem in the short run.
If stress is not managed it can lead to serious health problems which may result to death. An individual experiences stress after an interaction with a stressor. Managing stress requires one to find the source of the stress and its solution. A person experiencing stress may also consider visiting a physician to help him manage stress. The physician will help the patient learn how to cope with stress and manage other life issues. In case of serious stress the physician will help the patient recover and return to normal life.