How to manage and reduce stress

Stress is usually understood with a negative connotation. We tend to associate stress with unpleasant experiences that we would rather avoid. However, stress has a positive side to it.

Before getting into that, let’s first understand what stress really means. 

Stress is a biological and psychological response that is experienced after being in a situation that we consider threatening, and hence, we perceive that we do not have the necessary resources to combat it, thereby causing a physical and emotional tension. A stressor can be a divorce, a pandemic, an exam, a lost job, etc. But no situation can be objectively considered stressful as such. For example, for those who are stressed by an exam, it may not be stressful for other people, and vice versa. 

In a stressful situation, the body is the one that responds and reacts to that threat.

And therefore stress can produce: 


Physical symptoms: 

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Decreased defences
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Physical exhaustion 


Behavioural symptoms:

  • Biting nails
  • Procrastination 
  • Changes in diet (eating too much or too little)
  • Bruxism



Psychological symptoms:

  • Anguish
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Mental fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Fear


The positive side of stress

Having a moderate amount of stress can help you cope with a challenging or even threatening situation. It encourages you to face it and go through it, for example, finishing an assignment, etc. Or it encourages you to live moments where there is a risk but we know that we are going to enjoy it, such as a travel or sporting adventure, getting married, etc.


The negative side of stress 

Although stress can be beneficial in some cases, it should be temporary, because prolonged stress can have psychological, physical and emotional consequences. And it could condition the person’s behaviour since the body does not return to its normal state and continues to remain in constant alert.  

Not facing up it at the right time can have an even more negative psychological impact. 

Prolonged stress could condition a person’s behaviour since the body does not return to its normal state and continues to remain in constant alert.

How to manage stress

The key is not to avoid it, but to be able to identify and understand which situations generate stress for one personally and how one reacts to them. There are many different techniques to combat stress. The main ones are: 

* Be aware of your breathing: find moments to do it and be conscious of the present.

* Do physical activities, sleep well, eat healthy.

* Do pleasant activities you enjoy: dancing, painting, drawing, listening to music, etc.

* Share your emotions with others.

* Change your perspective. Find alternative approaches that allow you to see the situation from another place.

* Register your thoughts and emotions. 

* Psychological therapy


We all experience stress at some point in our lives. Stress can be managed or reduced by modifying or adjusting the way we see things and think.


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Constanza Canónica
Constanza Canónica

Nuna's psychologist. If you need advice to find a therapist, I can help you choose the most suitable one for you!

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