Stress is the number one killer in the world. It compromises our immune system, inner peace and happiness. Stress causes acidity in our body and makes us vulnerable to major diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, depression, and insomnia.
The following are eight secrets of success to stress management:
- Self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s desires, feelings and weaknesses. It is the ability to do what is right, which often implies compromising short-term pleasures for long-term gains. Developing self-discipline requires deepening self-awareness, understanding one’s weaknesses, changing self-limiting beliefs, removing temptations, setting clear goals, persevering, and creating new habits until they become a new way of life.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps to lose excess weight, decreases the risk of disease, improves the quality of sleep, makes us happier, strengthens muscles, bones, heart and lungs, increase energy levels, improve skin, improve memory and brain health, improve love life, and increase longevity. Try relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga, or tai-chi.
- Sleeping. We should understand our sleep patterns and ensure that we have a sufficient sleep. Recommended daily sleep is between 6-8 hours. It is a healthy habit to go to sleep early and get up early. We should avoid eating late and eating food which may disturb your sleeping, for example, heavy food and drinks containing stimulants such as sugar, coffee, alcohol, etc. It is recommended to take a long walk before sleeping, avoid watching horror movies or reading negative news.
- Food. When we are stressed, we should eat light food, or even better to not eat at all until we relax. Fasting is a great way to manage stress. When we are under stress, we look for comfort, and unfortunately, we find it in food. We then overeat, we feel heavy and struggle with indigestion, which causes even more stress, leading to a vicious cycle of self-destruction.
- Mental model. Our thoughts rule the world. What we think we become. With our thoughts, we choose happiness or stress. Worries, fear and negative thoughts cause stress, while positive thoughts cause happiness, peace and contentment. Keep a positive attitude. Try to be assertive instead of aggressive. Practice detachment and accept that there are events which are beyond our control
- Spiritual practice. Spiritual practices such as prayers, meditation, and singing spiritual songs, invoke thoughts and feelings of love, compassion and gratitude, which helps to manage stress. Remind yourself of your higher purpose and a greater perspective on life.
- Balance. Living a balanced life is of paramount importance for sustainable stress management. Optimal human development requires a holistic approach, i.e. developing our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual capabilities. For example, sitting in front of the computer the whole day, with too much intellectual activity, and a lack of physical activity will eventually cause stress and disease. Time should be allocated daily to our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development, and followed through with rigorous time management discipline.
- Service. When we serve others, we transcendent our own problems. When we give unconditionally, we receive abundantly. We get happiness from serving others, and our own stress disappears.