8 ways to cope with stress
Every day, people ask themselves, “why do we experience stress” and “how do we cope with it?” And for many, the answers can be hard to come by. However, to discover the answers, we must first look closely and understand what stress is. Let’s see below:
“Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires action to a dangerous or undesirable situation. This response can also be described as a change in your body’s hormone levels that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain, which is commonly referred to as the fight-or-flight mechanism.” – Healthline
In reality, stress can have massive implications for your life. Too little stress can leave you vulnerable to sudden changes, whereas too much stress can lead to what we know as chronic stress. As such, the way you choose to respond to stress can make a massive difference to your overall health and wellbeing.
Now that you understand why we experience stress, do you need some tips to manage the stresses in your personal and work life? Luckily, our trusted advisors over at Pacific Prime Singapore have put together a list of 8 ways to cope with stress in Singapore. Read on to learn about them!
1. Think positive
Try starting the day thinking positively, and let the good energy carry you through the rest of the day. For example, you could begin by feeling grateful that you have an opportunity to start something new.
If you start negatively in the morning, this can cause you to begin stressing before your day has even begun. Thus, always look for the silver lining and set out a list of things to do to make you feel optimistic for the day to come.
2. Set realistic goals
Having realistic goals can set you up for success during that day or period ahead. For example, if you have three work assignments to complete by tomorrow, realize that you may struggle and develop stress as you try to meet the deadline. Instead, you are encouraged to assign sufficient time for each assignment and seek help from your employer. You could suggest some flexibility with your manager or employer, who are likely to be lenient if you address the concern directly with them.
3. Learn to manage your time well
If you are working from home, remotely, or solely taking care of your children in Singapore, then learning to manage your time well will help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Time management is an important skill to have when juggling numerous projects and roles. Along with giving yourself sufficient time to complete a task, prioritize what needs doing.
Sometimes, we get carried away doing things that are not important at that moment in time. And this means we can often cut those things out and use the available time to do the more important things, like completing an assignment or making a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet
When managing your time, be sure to allocate enough time to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals. Of course, the meals you prepare will vary depending on your preference, likes, and dietary needs. However, they should include plenty of fruits and vegetables and food that are high in complex carbohydrates. An ideal meal also has moderate amounts of protein and low in fat ingredients.
The next time you prepare your healthy, well-balanced meals, you could meal-prep in advance, making good use of your time. If you know you have a busy schedule to follow, then meal preps can be a good idea. Not only are you saving yourself time for other activities, but you are fueling yourself with healthy food. A win-win!
5. Exercise regularly
After piling on healthy food, exercise is also one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life. And combined, your fitness goals can indeed be reached in no time.
It’s essential to remember that exercise in any shape or form is good for you as long as it doesn’t cause you pain or trouble. You may prefer to join a fitness club or work out from home if the COVID-19 situation in your area hasn’t improved. Just be sure to exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes a day). Allow yourself to enjoy whatever exercise you are doing without getting distracted by others around you. It’s your time to work up a sweat, so make the most of the experience and see your results!
6. Listen to your favorite genre
Whether you are doing some work, exercising in the living room or park, or cooking yourself a healthy meal, it’s also great to put on a favorite music genre to listen to. Music can positively affect the brain and body, lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, which is a hormone linked to stress.
Combined, you’ll feel relaxed and more at ease. Some may find that rock music has a good effect on them, or pop and reggae, while classical music can also have a calming effect on the mind. Everyone’s preference is different, so find out what yours is today, and get listening!
7. Talk to a friend you trust
Reaching out to a friend in your support network is another recommended way to cope and relieve stress. Talking to a trusted friend about your problems will help you speak about your anxieties and be heard simultaneously. It’s not ideal to bottle all your stress, so having a friend nearby can be a huge stress reliever. A friend’s voice during a phone call or a friend seeing you in person, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
8. Practice deep breathing exercises
When you feel stressed, it’s good to remove yourself from the environment you are currently in and find a quiet space to spend time alone. There you can put yourself into a mindful state and practice deep breathing exercises. If you are feeling stressed and find that your heart is pounding against the wall of your chest, then taking a deep breath and counting to ten can help bring your level of stress or anxiety down.
Once you have brought yourself back to baseline, imagine your stomach like a balloon and follow with a deep inhale through the nose. This will expand your chest and inflate that imaginary balloon. As you exhale through your mouth, place your focus at the center of the stomach and acknowledge what you are doing as the stomach contracts. Keep repeating these steps until you feel calm and mindful of what you are doing. This is also known as mindfulness meditation and should be practiced as often as possible.
The bottom line to coping with stress
Although stress and anxiety may arise in your workplace and personal life, there are many simple ways to reduce the stress you feel. If left untreated, chronic stress can have a detrimental effect on your mental and physical health and trigger health problems like stroke, heart disease, and even cancer. For this reason, many locals and expats in Singapore secure individual health insurance to cover such unexpected medical situations.
According to a recent report: “Chronic Stress: Are we reaching health system burnout?”, Singapore spends roughly SGD $3.1 billion, or 18%, of its total healthcare expenditure on illnesses related to stress annually. This is a substantial amount and can be costly for Singaporeans and expats if they end up paying out-of-pocket. Children can also be affected by stress, so parents need to know how to talk to their children about mental health as well.
- 18% of health costs in Singapore are related to stress
- Stifling stress in Singapore
- How to reduce work-related stress
- Health insurance for children in Singapore
Protect yourself against stress with Pacific Prime Singapore
Need protection against stress? Pacific Prime Singapore can help you! For over 20 years, our experienced insurance experts have been offering effective health insurance plans to cover people from all walks of life in Singapore and other regional locations across the globe. We are a reputable global health insurance broker for international health insurance, family health insurance, business insurance, and more.
To discover the latest insurance solutions for stress and other health concerns, contact us today!