Everyone does say that laughter is the best medicine. Your medications are just a supplement.
Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals- we cannot give you a diagnosis or medication advice. Please speak to a health professional for this. If you are in crisis please contact one of the hotlines on our page.
First, it is important to recognize stress
Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behaviour are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress.
Stress Management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people, and events make excessive demands. What can you do to manage your stress? What are some strategies?
- Look around: See if there really is something you can change or control in the situation
- Set realistic goals for yourself: Reduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the circuit overload
- Exercise in stress reduction through project management/prioritizing
- Remove yourself from the stressful situation: Give yourself a break if only for a few moments daily
- Don’t overwhelm yourself: By fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide
- Learn how to best relax yourself: Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.
- Selectively change the way you react but not too much at one time. Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to it/him/her
- Change the way you see your situation; seek alternative viewpoints: Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of viewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours. And perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.
- Avoid extreme reactions: Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?
- Do something for others to help get your mind off your self
- Get enough sleep: Lack of rest just aggravates stress
- Work off stress with physical activity, whether it’s jogging, tennis, gardening
- Avoid self-medication or escapism: Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don’t help deal with the problems
Begin to manage the effects of stress
This is a long range strategy of adapting to your situation, and the effects of stress in your life. Try to isolate and work with one “effect” at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. for example, if you are not sleeping well, seek help on this one problem.
Try to “use” stress: If you can’t remedy, nor escape from, what is bothering you, flow with it and try to use it in a productive way
Try to be positive: Give yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be. “Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe. Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory.”
Most importantly: If stress is putting you in an unmanageable state or interfering with your schoolwork, social and/or work life, seek professional help.