Studies describe stress as, “any situation which tends to disturb the equilibrium between a living organism and its environment.”
Stresses commonly faced nowadays include pressure at work, studies, health issues, social situations, finances, future planning, and career choices among others.
Stress is emotional tension or a type of mental distress that many of us experience in our modern day, hectic lives. However, according to experts, not all stress results from negative experiences. Occasionally, even good news may lead to unexpected anxiety and stress as a result of our overthinking about the outcome of such news. What’s more, in small doses, stress can even help us perform better and get things done on time; but certain types of stress can also bring about life-threatening issues.
Emotional stress itself can be difficult to deal with and can make sufferers feel miserable, pained, and uncomfortable - and it’s a type of stress that offers no particular benefits.
What Causes Emotional Stress?
Whatever type of stress you’re dealing with, the only way you can effectively control it is by first determining the root cause. Identifying the root cause of your stress is the first obstacle that needs to be overcome when dealing with emotional stress. Some of the most common causes are interpersonal relationships. Emotional stress brought about by a relationship creates strong internal emotional feelings in its victims and has a severe impact on their lives. While a happy and healthy relationship keeps everyone happy and hopeful, dysfunctional relationships can wreak havoc on the emotions of those involved.
Apart from personal relationships, things like workplace tension, financial problems, and career issues can also contribute to emotional stress.
Dealing with Emotional Stress:
Though recovering from a stressful situation may not be easy, emotional stress can certainly be managed and reduced. Here are a few ways that can help you effectively cope with emotional stress:
- Accept Things for What They Are: Thinking you can control everything around you is unrealistic and only leads to more stress. Accept the fact that things don’t always go as planned, that there are certain situations over which you have no control. Learning to accept certain things for what they are is vital to reducing emotional stress levels.
- Distract Yourself from Emotional Pain: Many people advocate sharing painful and unpleasant experiences as a way of coping with emotional pain – and most of us have done so with mixed results. To some extent, this advice holds true as bottling up emotions can have serious consequences on a person’s mental, and sometimes even physical, health. However, studies have shown that distracting yourself from emotional pain and engaging in emotionally healthier activities is a better way of dealing with emotional stress. You can go to the movies, hit the gym, or even take a vacation – anything that distracts you from your emotional pain will help you feel better.
- Take Up Meditation: Meditation is a great way to deal with emotional stress. In fact, it can help you recover from a variety of stress-related issues. Meditation helps in eliminating emotional tension and diverts your thoughts towards better alternatives. Over time, regular meditation can even improve your focus and boost your self-confidence.
- Look for Positivity: Oftentimes, being surrounded by the wrong company or being in a negative environment can contribute to emotional stress, rather than help you manage it. The environment in which you live has a great deal of influence over your personal stress levels, so living in a positive environment is paramount. When dealing with emotional stress, it’s imperative that you immerse yourself in a positive environment and surround yourself with people who bring positivity in your life and make you feel good. Depressing and pessimistic people can only add to your pain – avoid interacting with negative people as much as possible.
- Diet and Exercise: Something as simple as a balanced diet can also contribute to reducing stress levels. At the very least, don’t skip meals. While it’s understandable that food would be one of the last things on your mind during a stressful time, an empty stomach can never make you feel good. It’s also worth remembering that a fit body means a fit mind. Studies have shown that regular, light to moderate exercise helps keep stress levels low.
- Seek Professional Guidance: If you feel that it might help, consider visiting a professional therapist or counselor. Many times, if you feel like you’re overwhelmed or that things are only getting worse, a professionally trained therapist or counselor can help you find and overcome the root cause of all your stress.
Emotional stress, regardless of the cause, is something that almost everyone faces at some point in their life. Following the above tips can help you cope with and overcome emotional stress, but ultimately, it’s you who’s in control of your own life and it’s up to you to take those first steps toward a new, stress-free life.