Stress: the affliction of our times

You can only alleviate stress if you know you are suffering from it

You can only alleviate stress if you know you are suffering from it You can only alleviate stress if you know you are suffering from it

We often talk in a way that trivializes stress, incorporating it into our everyday lives as a normal phenomenon, but stress is not a joke.It begins with early symptoms such as sleeplessness or headaches but can quickly lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Detecting it in time and taking steps to control it will be very beneficial for your health. Try exercising every day, finding time for recreation, spending time with family and friends and, above all, having a good sense of humor.

If you apply the recommendations included in these Golden Rules, you'll be able to keep stress in check. Don't let stress control your life. Act now.

  1. Knowing how to disconnect at some point during the day and, especially, at the end of the working day and over the weekend is crucial to managing stress successfully.
  2. Practice an intensive sport regularly. This will allow you to release accumulated tension and avoid the negative consequences of stress such as anxiety. If it is impossible for you to exercise, doing relaxation, yoga or meditation exercises on a daily basis are other available options.
  3. Stress can be reduced if available resources are increased. For this, you need to stop and analyze the situation.You'll need to invest time in finding the necessary resources or support (or build them yourself, such as, for example, training someone). What seems like a delay will become the solution.
  4. Stress often results in the loss of mental dexterity and capacity for analysis, which makes solving problems more difficult. To reduce this effect you can:breathe deeply, spend time in contact with nature, write about your problems or talk to others frequently.
  5. Stress diminishes our capacity for enjoyment, which results in a significant decrease in emotional positivity. To counteract this effect it is important to follow small enjoyment routines (e.g., reading, walking, listening to music, indulging in little treats) as well as monitoring your level of positive emotions so they don't disappear.
  6. Stress sometimes makes us more negative or pessimistic. When this happens, you can counter this effect by monitoring your thoughts and getting rid of ones that are biased while increasing positive emotions.
  7. Stress can lead to problems related to sleep such as difficulty falling asleep or awakening too early. This is a sign telling you that your stress levels are elevated and that it's time take action. Before consulting a professional, you can try talking more frequently with others about your problems or using relaxation techniques before going to bed.
  8. When a period of intense and lasting stress ends, our problems don't go away: sometimes we continue to be overstimulated and can feel insecure, afraid or hyperactive (the need to be doing something all the time). Doing physical exercise and relaxation exercises can help reduce this overstimulation.
  9. We can also reduce stress by better organizing our time.Planning the goals of the day each morning or the previous afternoon can be a great help in avoiding procrastination and mental blocks.
  10. If a person feels that her work is a calling, that is, she feels personally invested in it and it gives her life meaning, the negative effect of work-related stress can be greatly reduced.

Gonzalo Hervás
Professor of Psychology
Universidad Complutense de Madrid