• Marietta Pangan

10 Effective Techniques to Manage Stress

Updated: Oct 14

What is Stress?


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According to Oxford Languages and Definitions," body stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

WHO defined stress as feeling troubled or threatened by life.

According to National Cancer Institute, "stress" is the body's response to physical, mental, or emotional pressure in medical terminology. Stress causes chemical changes in the body that can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. It may also lead to frustration, anxiety, anger, or depression (NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms - National Cancer Institute).


Stress is when the body produces physical and mental responses when the person experiences changes or challenges (stressors). The body's autonomic nervous system controls the individual's heart rate, breathing, vision changes and more. Stressors are all external vents that create extreme demands on us. Our bodies (particularly our sympathetic nervous systems and endocrine systems) are mobilized into action (WebMD,2012).


When the body experiences an immediate and vigorous alarm reaction and reaches high levels, physiological changes prepare the body to defend its survival. This built-in stress response or "fight-or-flight response" helps the body face stressful situations.


POSITIVE Effects of Stress on the Human Body

Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it.

  1. Stress responses help the body adjust to new situations.

  2. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger.

  3. Stress response might help the body work harder and stay awake longer. However, stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation.

FIVE STAGES OF STRESS

According to an article from the University of Southern Queensland, the human body undergoes five stages of "Stress.


1. Alarm (fight-or-flight). When a stressful situation triggers the body, it creates a chemical reaction, releasing adrenaline and cortisol hormones. This stage is called the acute stress response, widely known as the fight-or-flight response (Young Diggers, 2019).

2. Resistance. The body is more likely to have a greater capacity to cope with the situation causing a stress reaction once moved into the resistance stage.

3. Coping (Recovery). Recovery is integral to bouncing back from a stressful period, returning to a state of equilibrium, taking a day after an intensive period when one had to juggle all of life's priorities. How a person experience stress and how to control or cope with it requires commitment and time management—life at once.

4. Adaptation (what happens when you do not take time to recover). When the body gets exposed to constant stress, it has long-term adverse effects such as lower energy levels, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, an unhealthy change in weight, and difficulty managing emotions (Cole, 2018).

5. Burnout. Manifestations of burnout include severe exhaustion, cynicism, feeling drained, lacking positivity, experiencing destructive thoughts, and detachment from others (Robinson, 2015).


STRESS AND HEALTH: THE SILENT KILLER

How strong is the link between stress and personal health? The answer, according to medical experts, is "powerful, indeed. Stress plays a role in stress anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of all forms of physical illness. Some of the most severe and life-threatening ailments are known to medical science.


Adverse Effects of Stress on the Human Body:

When a person has long-term (chronic) stress, continued activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body. Physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms develop.

Chronic "Stress" may lead to several symptoms, which include:


1. Physical Symptoms: Weak immune system, aches and pains, chest pain or a feeling like the heart is racing, exhaustion or trouble sleeping, headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure, muscle tension, jaw clenching, digestive problems and rouble having sex.


2. Emotional and Mental Symptoms: Anxiety, irritability, depression, panic attacks and sadness.


3. Behavioural/Social Symptoms: unhealthy behaviours such as drinking too much or too often, gambling, overeating or developing an eating disorder, participating compulsively in sex, shopping or internet browsing, smoking and using drugs.


Effective Techniques to Manage Stress


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Everyone has an opportunity to protect themselves against the adverse effects of stress. Although stress has stemmed from various factors and conditions, eliminating them in individual lives is impossible; however, there are ways to reduce and minimize their harmful effects.

1. Eat a healthy diet. Reducing intake of salt and saturated fats and increasing consumption of fibre-rich fruits and vegetables are steps that can significantly increase the body's ability to cope with the physiStressal effects of stress.

2. Be physically fit. People who exercise regularly obtain many benefits closely related to the resistance to the adverse effects of stress.

3. Take a Break. A brief period of delay is known as a time-out. Time-out can involve taking a short break; going to the nearest restroom to splash cold water on one's face yields a few moments of breathStresspace. Such actions interrupt the cycle of ever-rising tension that accompanies stress and can help to restore equilibrium.

4. Relax and meditate. Companies are now adopting techniques to help their people become more productive by assisting them to cope more effectively with stress. One technique used in this regard is meditation, the process of learning to clear one's mind of external thoughts. Adopt stress responses are vital to remember to take time out to recover and give permission to enjoy some "me" time, whatever that may be.

5. Create A Positive Self Talk. A technique such as repeatedly repeating a single syllable (known as a mantra) is being implemented in everyday hurdles, sufficient to produce beneficial change increase stress resistance. Also, try keeping a stress journal. Make notes of most anxious times, determine a pattern, and then find ways to remove or lessen those triggers.

6. Go Easy On Yourself. Accept that you cannot do things perfectly no matter how hard a person tries. Nobody can control everything in life. Do not forget to keep up a good sense of humour.

7. Make Time for Hobbies. Try to do something every day that feels good, and it will help relieve stress. It does not have to be a ton of time -- even 15 to 20 minutes will do. Identify relaxing hobbies incl and things like doing that takes away the mind from these stressors.

8. Eliminate Triggers. Figure out the biggest causes of stress, is it t the job, commute, or schoolwork? If eliminating them is impossible, at least reduce them. Finding ways to identify the leading causes of stress is the first step towards success.

9. Learn to react differently. When faced with stressful events, people often protect themselves from the rising tide of anxiety by adopting actions such as consciously modulating this aspect of their behaviour. Although we are constantly being told to 'suck it up,' the importaStressce of Stressaking the time to give yourself a break before you find yourself in the adaptation stage or, worse, the burnout stage is vitally essential for long-term productivity and wellbeing.


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10. Enroll in a stress management program. A growing number of institutions have introduced stress management programs designed to help individuals reduce and prevent stress through therapeutic massage. Massage therapy benefits include reducing stress and improving immune function. It also helps in improving circulation, alertness, increasing relaxation and energy while lowering heart rate, blood pressure, reducing pain, muscle soreness and tension.


Besides the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it helps in comfort and increases connection and expression of care.

Massage Therapy is increasingly being offered and standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.


Graduates of AGA Academy 24- Month Advanced Massage Therapy Diploma can help release signs and symptoms of stress. This program has prepared licensed therapists to perform massage therapy to treat dysfunction, injury, pain, and physical disorders. If you are interested in furthering your career build on the knowledge and gaining more techniques, why not consider inquiring more about Massage Therapy ( Diploma Program).



AGA Academy is one of those Institutions that Welcome, International Students. AGA Academy is dedicated to assisting local, diverse and international students to achieve their academic goals by providing the necessary resources to plan for their studies in Canada. They ensure that students will be given clear and accurate information about the study and work options while in Canada, from the Canada Study Permit to Canadian Permanent Resident Status.

For more information regarding all your requirements, please

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References:

Definition of stress - NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms - National Cancer Institute

Face-to-face employee counselling services | Health Assured

https://www.healthassured.org/blog/stress-counselling-at-work/

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/benefits-of-talking-therapies/

Oxford English Dictionary (oed.com)

Stress: Ways to Manage and Reduce It (webmd.com)

The 5 stages of stress every student needs to know (usq.edu.au)


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Marietta B. Pangan

Kaizen PRESS Services -CREW | Facebook

Marietta Pangan is the owner/CEO of Your Best Option Marketing & Promotions, Kaizen PRESS Services and Rekados (The Main Ingredient) Consultancy. She is a Filipino-Canadian and an advocate of the "Pay It Forward" System. Her goals are to inform, educate and inspire. She is also passionate about showcasing good deeds, talents and skills, current events, food, nutrition, travel and discoveries. Marietta has enjoyed a fair share of Marketing/Mentoring/Coaching and Sales/Customer Service for a decade as an entrepreneur.


If not chasing Northern Lights, Marietta is dedicated to adding value to the community. She has continuously been involved in dozens of engagements as an Event Planner/ Consultant/ Advisor/ Facilitator for marginalized and ethnic communities and visible minorities in Alberta. Marietta is currently volunteering as the Executive Director for Diaryo Alberta Society, an Alberta-operated non-profit organization. She has spearheaded and initiated several projects and covered hundreds of Events in Alberta.


Marietta never leaves the house without a camera and an extra battery in her pocket to find inspiration. Photography is where she finds balance after more than 25 years of extensive experience combined in technical, scientific and news writing. She writes/blogs about factual news and inspirational stories. Her expertise also includes editing and proofreading.


As a professional Dietitian and seasoned Food Service Supervisor & Manager, Marietta finds the kitchen therapeutic. She has a wide range of experiences in Research and Development, Public Health, Menu, Food Product Development & Standardization. Marietta performs cooking demonstrations and feeding programs, part of her social responsibility, teaching organizations feeding coordinators in the Philippines.


To breathe, Marietta leaves a day of every week for her faith, family and "me time." Marietta has set a cardinal rule once a year when she unplugs everything and retreats with nature. Anyone can easily guess her age by the number of hours she spends in solitude, communes and gives back time with the Creator.






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