Blinking excessively, shaky hands, fidgeting, headaches and other various body pains are all signs of being overly stressed. Though many of these symptoms can be attributed to other illnesses and disorders, they are the most common ways the body lets one know it is taking on too much. Stress can be caused by a number of things and there is no set list because it varies from person to person. In most cases, mismanaged stress leads to psychological problems such as complacency, escapism which often results in addiction, and depression that can lead to suicide (Clift-Matthews, 2009). Fortunately, there are millions of different ways to cope with stress properly and resources that are readily available for anyone dealing with these problems.
There is no way to accurately state the best method of dealing with stress because, like the causes, the effectiveness of solutions are different for each individual. There are many factors of a human being that determine their reaction to assorted stress reduction procedures including, but not limited to, gender, age, cultural background, and current events in one's life. The Social Science and the Citizen section of Society expressed, in 1997, what is effective for males of certain ages to reduce stress. It stated that for most men, stress reduction comes with some sort of physical activity. 74 percent of men under 30 reduce stress by exercising or taking a walk and even older men meditate. Some of these solutions can work for women too but for those women who are too preoccupied with their day, like working mothers, have to find an "On-the-Go" method of reducing stress. For these individuals, stress diminution and alleviation starts in the mind (Clift-Matthews, 2009). In order to cope with stress while being continuously bombarded with even more throughout the day, one must mentally prepare him or herself with a positive outlook and the knowledge that the reaction to whatever comes along is his or her decision. Most importantly, relax. The more fun you are having in a day, the less stress you find.
In the winter of 1995, someone thought people needed to relax more so they listed 10 ways to have fun and not be so stressed out. To give an example of the hilarity put forth in this list number 6 was a suggestion to go shopping, buy everything. Sweat in it and return it the next day and number 3 was to fill out your tax forms in roman numerals. (Anonymous 2, 1995) Obviously, this source has no medical credentials to speak of and "have fun" has never been written on a prescription.
Although there isn't one set solution for stress or one full fool proof specific method to reducing it there are general steps that have been proven to aid in reducing stress. In order to begin the process of managing stress, one must first identify the things, "stressors" , in their life that cause it (Wallace, 2007). Once the awareness is there it is much easier to find ways to deal with whatever is causing the stress. Wallace writes about the different techniques people could use to reduce their stress such as writing in a journal, diaphragmatic breathing, even time management which puts some order to life allowing the conscious management of brain activities. Like Clift-Matthews, Wallace realizes that stress is mental so the general way to manage stress is by doing things that manage your mind.
But "who can fathom the mysteries of the mind and body?" asks Clift-Matthews in reference to the unexplained mood swings in human beings, especially in women. The problem with researching things that are mentally oriented is that there is still so much of the human brain that science still has not figured out. To say that stress totally in the mind makes it impossible to come up with one solution for the consumers in Wallace's article so there is only general statements that provide no real help at all. Basically it says, in an elongated fashion, that stress needs to be managed and tells the consumers to go find what works for them. The blessings of repressed anger gave more specific ways to deal with stress and showed how effective it was for other males of the same age group but the survey was given to Princeton students which, in 1997, would not have taken into consideration various backgrounds of males and therefore was the results were flawed and could not be generalized even if the reader was a male of that particular age group. The main dilemma with stress is that there are so many factors that determine what may cause it for some people and not for others so when taking into account these factors the generalizations for a solution must be very narrow otherwise they won't be accurate. The one piece of information that seems to be universal is that stressed is caused by a mental reaction to the world around us therefore in order to decrease stress, there must be control in the way we react to our "stressors" . Only then can stress be completely managed.
- Anonymous 1 (May/June 1997)The blessing of repressed anger Society, Vol 34, Issue 4, pp.6, 1/4p
- Anonymous 2 (1995) Just in case...10 ways to cope with stress Network News, Vol 15, Issue 1, pp.13, 1/4p
- Clift-Matthews, Victoria (October 1, 2009) Coping with Stress: its all in the mind British Journal of Midwifery, Vol 17, Issue 10, pp. 66
- Wallace, Edward V. (2007) MANAGING STRESS: What consumers want to know from health educators American Journal of Health Studies, Vol 22, Issue 1, p.56 58, 3p