We all need some stress in our lives to move and to function. Stress, in the form of challenges, helps us to flourish and grow. This is why stress management is more important than stress elimination. Finding the right balance between too much and too little stress is an essential part of your overall well-being. So, what is the right amount of stress for well-being? What can you do to manage stress levels? Keep reading to explore some of the answers to these questions.
What is the right amount of stress?
If some stress is good for you, how much should you allow in your life? Determining the right amount of stress can be tricky because it varies from person to person and is rooted in perception. Just as riding on a roller coaster might be delightfully fun for one person but terrifying for another, having many demands on you at once may make you feel energized but overwhelm someone else.
If you wonder whether your stress level is right for you, consider the following signs.
The optimal amount of stress:
- Makes you feel motivated, inspired and focused on doing your best
- Gives you energy, ambition and enthusiasm
Too much stress:
- Harms your health and well-being, causing symptoms such as headaches, stomach discomfort or insomnia
- Makes you feel frazzled, frustrated, upset, out of control or overwhelmed
- Makes even simple tasks become difficult or impossible to accomplish
Stress management tips
What if you find your stress level is too high? Managing stress is all about taking charge of what you can control and learning to become flexible regarding the things you have no ability to influence or change. To manage stress when the demands pile sky high, be sure to identify what causes you stress and resolve to make realistic, healthy changes. It is important that you:
- Get the right amount of sleep.
- Schedule time for relaxation each day.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and exercise regularly.
- Cultivate supportive relationships.
- Have fun and try to laugh more. Laughter is a great stress reducer and has the added benefit of increasing social support.
Military OneSource offers stress management resources
Military life is stressful. In addition to the usual daily life stressors, there are multiple deployments, frequent moves and separations from family and friends. At these times, the demands may be too many and your stress level may seem too difficult to manage. Because of this, Military OneSource offers several options for helping you to learn how to thrive in the midst of stress. Sign up for the online self-directed "Living Easy" Stress Management Course, partner with a Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coach, or do both in order to design a vision for managing stress effectively. To sign up with a Military OneSource health and wellness coach, call 800-342-9647.