According to a Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey done in 2019, a staggering 92 per cent of working Singaporeans report feeling stressed. 8 per cent higher than the global average at 84 per cent.
In dealing with stress, there is a need to separate individual and organizational stress; each will have its own layer of challenges to deal with. At an individual level of stress, at times, it may involve other parties (e.g partners, family, friends) or personal situations (e.g. financial, loss of jobs, no time for self) which results in stress despite having time off from work. Individuals who are capable of handling stress have built coping skills as they meet stressful situations.
Here are the 5 techniques to manage your individual stress!
Technique #1: Acknowledge The Signs Of Stress
The first step in any form of intervention is to acknowledge that there is stress in the first place. In many instances, you might have had a tendency to cope with stress by hiding it from your loved ones, friends and family. This way of coping does not make the stress diminish, it increases the latent stress that has been present for a long time. The list shown below was adapted from SingHealth and it shows various signs of stress as follows :
Physical: fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle aches/stiffness (especially neck, shoulder and low back), heart palpitations, chest pains and nausea.
Mental: decrease in concentration and memory, indecisiveness, mind racing or going blank, confusion and loss of humour.
Emotional: anxiety, nervousness, depression, anger, frustration, worry, fear, irritability, impatience and short temper.
Behavioural: pacing, fidgeting, increased eating, smoking, drinking, crying, yelling, blaming and even throwing things or hitting.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or combination of the signs, it would be useful to acknowledge that you are indeed experiencing these signs.
Technique #2: Analyze The Situation With Your Best Friend
The main challenge with stress is that we may not know immediately that we are experiencing it, until it becomes too late. Confiding and analyzing your stressful situations with your best friend may proof to be useful as there is a third-party effect.
What is this third party effect?
The third party effect is defined as an objective evaluation of an item/situation through the lens of a neutral party. If your best friend is involved in the stressful situation, you will need to confide in others whom you trust. With your neutral third party, share with them about your situation and allow them to give an objective evaluation of your stress levels on a scale of 1-5 ( 1 -being not stressed , 5 -begin extremely stressed) . The next part is for them to help analyze "What is the one thing that stresses you the most in the situation?". This is the most crucial bit as there bound to have many other distractor symptoms that may appear as the main cause. Example : Kelly lost her job recently and finds it tough to find a job especially during the pandemic. She feels highly stressed and does not know what to do.
In a third party perspective, the main cause of stress could be the ability to find a stable source of income. Now knowing upon Kelly knowing this, she can then concentrate on finding resource for the ability of finding a stable source of income rather than just focusing on finding a job.
Technique #3: Practice Coping In Low-Stress Situations First
This technique can be self initiated through taking on tasks that may be challenging for you, like being about to craft your resume in 45 minutes, or learning the basics of the Korean language in half a day and many more. This technique allows for your mind and body to start adjusting to accomplish tougher and more complex situations or tasks.
In most cases, when situations are simple and straightforward, people tend not to fret much about how to solve or get out of the situation. In more complex situations, we tend to see that stress levels build up.
As you become more well-versed to handling challenges and obstacles, your mind and body will thank you for teaching them coping skills which thus helps to reduce your stress levels. Subscribe to our Alvigor blog, be a member if you like our articles.