Do’s and Don’ts of Defeating Stress

S Sharanya

November 12, 2021

Stress management seems like a challenging process, particularly in a scenario when you are fighting with your emotions & thoughts and fail to find a way to escape your day-to-day challenges. Stress can make you feel like a cruise lost in the ocean that struggles to find its way out. It forces you to enter a helpless state of mind that not only obstructs your thoughts but makes you feel very vulnerable and directionless. The burden of stress affects all walks of life and increases the risk of fallacies and failures. Prolonged stress deteriorates mental well-being and triggers a psychological crisis that threatens your happiness, body functions, and performance at work. Stress also reduces your memory, learning skills, critical thinking ability, and immunity by multiple folds. 

Table of contents

What is Stress?
Causes of Stress
Stress – Do’s and Don’ts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Stress?

Stress is a response of the human body to extrinsic and intrinsic stimuli that disturb its overall balance and activities. Stressful environments not only increase the risk of your mental illnesses but also reduce your resistance. Continued stress/Prolonged stress decreases your coping skills and ability to deal with work and family responsibilities. Stress mostly affects your emotional strength and gives you a sense of worthlessness. The commonly reported effects of stress include muscle fatigue, chest discomfort, sleeping problems, aggressive attitude, weak memory, irritability, anxiety, and indigestion. Stress also increases your risk of mood swings, depression, and other serious mental health problems.    

Causes Of Stress

  • Stress becomes harmful when it is prolonged, with no effective tools to cope with/in situations when you are unable to defeat it through your willpower. 
  • Stress is a type of biological response that your body generates after sensing the signals of threat and danger. 
  • Your stress responses produce elevated levels of adrenaline that increase your blood pressure and heart rate. 
  • Stress also adversely affects the functionality of your brain and cardiovascular system. It usually emanates under the impact of disease burden, personal issues, financial problems, social isolation, and an unfriendly or challenging work environment.      

Stress – Do’s and Don’ts

You must at least identify, understand, and comply with the following do’s and don’ts for increasing your ability to overcome stress and its potential complications. 


#1 Make Active Social Connections

Make Active Social Connections

Socialization is the key to live a meaningful life. Socially active people enjoy every bit of their moments and develop the worth and courage to get rid of stress outcomes like regret and passive thoughts. Their high mental capacity helps them cope with their adversities and untoward situations. Being socially active does not require a specific skill or ability. You merely need to wake up and reach out to your well-wishers, and their responses will surely comfort your stress hormones.

#2 Change Your Negative Attitude and Unhealthy Habits

A disciplined life not only helps you to achieve your goals but also helps you overcome the stress of unpleasant circumstances. You should adhere to a self-made schedule to satisfy your daily commitments while giving no chance to the stress of unaccomplished jobs. You need to eat on time and never skip any meal to maintain your energy levels. You require adopting an optimistic attitude to realize the half-filled glass of water while ignoring its emptiness. Your positivity in approaches will suppress your tantrums and help you to adjust to your awkward situations at the workplace. 

#3 Trust On A Healthy Diet

Trust On A Healthy Diet

Your body requires proper quantities of nutrients to survive stressful situations. The consumption of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and omega proteins is highly necessary to boost your immunity. You can rely on fruits and green leafy vegetables to maintain a high level of immunity. The intake of nuts, fish, eggs, yogurt, avocados, olive oil, green tea, bananas, oranges, berries, whole grains, oats, and dark chocolate effectively improves your stress-fighting ability. 

#4 Say No to Social Media at Work

Social media engagement for long hours at the workplace not only reduces your productivity but also increases your negative thinking pattern. It also disturbs your focus and increases the risk of performance issues that eventually increase your stress levels. You need to create a work-life balance and meaningfully use social media only in your leisure time to connect with your social circle. 

#5 Exercise Daily to Remain Vibrant and Active

Exercise Daily to Remain Vibrant and Active

You must not prefer rest above exercise, no matter how much engagement you have in your day-to-day activities. Regular exercise is the key to fitness since it improves your endurance, muscle strength, and stress management ability. People who exercise daily can promptly deal with their interpersonal, social, situational, and environmental factors. However, if a tight schedule is your restriction, 35 minutes of brisk walking per day is the best approach to improve your fitness and desired levels of stress-fighting hormones. 

#6 Appreciate Every Moment of Life

Life is the most precious gift of nature that needs appreciation by human beings. The sense of gratitude for life increases positive energy and emotional strength to deal with inadvertent and stressful circumstances. An emotionally-stable person has at least the desired strength to defeat the negative vibes. You should, therefore, develop a thanksgiving attitude for life to have better control over your emotions and positive energy. 

#7 Practice Simple Mindfulness Techniques

Practice Simple Mindfulness Techniques

Since stress affects our muscles and weakens them, adopting a simple muscle relaxation technique can keep the stress hormone at bay. Practicing deep mindful breathing can help in centering the focus and allow you to gather much-needed thoughts and insights to get through a stressful situation.


#1 Avoid Alcohol and Illicit Drugs 

Avoid Alcohol and Illicit Drugs

Alcoholism and substance abuse predominantly affect the immunity and cognitive functioning of individuals, making them weak and dormant. While frequent drinkers have the risk of liver failure and cancers, the use of illicit drugs deteriorates mental health and disease-fighting abilities. A body weakened by these substances loses its strength and ability to defeat stress. You should promptly seek the help of a rehabilitation counselor in case you suffer from substance abuse or alcohol dependence. 

#2 Avoid the Rat Race

You should keep your aspirations and unrealistic desires under control to sustain your peace of mind. The way you relax and enjoy your life has a profound impact on your health and wellness. You must avoid competing with people for the sake of material satisfaction. A state of thankfulness for whatever you have will ease your mind and pave your way to a stress-free life.   

#3 Never Compromise with Your Sleep 

Never Compromise with Your Sleep

Sound sleep for at least 6 hours at night is highly necessary to improve your healing mechanisms that effectively increase your stress management potential. A reduction in sleep below the recommended hours compromises your immune system and decreases your critical thinking skills. A disturbance in sleep pattern disturbs your circadian rhythms and motor activity of the brain. Sleep deprivation also reduces your decision-making ability that directly affects your stress-coping skills. If the call of duty forces you to work at night shift, you should manage a standard sleep of 8 hours in the daytime to support your stress-fighting ability.  

#4 Never Self-Medicate for Stress Management 

You should never self-treat yourself through medicines in the absence of medical supervision. The stress of acute and chronic disease conditions needs the supervision of an expert physician. You should at least call your physician to understand the clinical causes of your stress, particularly when you experience a disease condition.  

You must select the right approach and direction to deal with your stress and its causative factors. The do’s and don’ts for stress reduction rely on rational thinking and meaningful strategies that help you follow the recommended steps and avoid the harmful interventions for improving your immunity. You must carefully manage and adhere to these do’s and don’ts and maintain your quality-of-life, if you seriously aspire to overcome your stress and its deleterious manifestations.                

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How can stress lead to infections and other diseases?

A. Stress disrupts the functionality of your immune system that eventually increases your risk of infections and a range of debilitating disease conditions. You should at least follow the basic stress management guidelines to maintain your immunity. 

Q. Does stress affect only diseased people?

A. Both healthy and diseased people experience stress at various stages of their life. However, their stress coping skills reveal their ability to combat the harmful effects of stressful situations. 

Q. Is stress not at all beneficial?

A. Stress is the physiological and natural response of your body to dangerous circumstances. It increases your oxygen supply in the brain that helps you think faster to overcome the panic of threatening conditions. The stress of examination helps students to prepare well for their academic development. Stress becomes adverse only when it exceeds the threshold, and the affected individual fails to handle its load.  

Q. Can someone die out of stress?

A. Stress alone is not a causative factor of death. However, its interaction with diseases, life processes, and environmental factors directs its outcomes in different individuals. For example, the stress of an exam, job, abuse, or violence may force a person to give up on their life. Accordingly, the root cause analysis of stress-causing factors and their physiological or psychosocial implications is highly necessary to understand their adverse effects in human populations.

About the Author

Sharanya Swaminathan holds a post-graduate degree in Psychology from Christ University in Bangalore and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. Sharanya is invested in making mental health the new normal through an evidence-based eclectic approach. She is one of the few certified Prevention of Sexual Harassment members that is empaneled by the Government of India. Sharanya is ecstatic that HealthifyMe shares the same belief that overall well-being can be achieved only when physical and mental health work in tandem.

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2 responses to “Do’s and Don’ts of Defeating Stress”

  1. Article on stress is very good. It gives proper information on how to avoid or overcome the stress. Joblessness and to cope up the situation is a very big task. Including family members start advising as if person has not worked in the life time. Advise on financial planning, expenses, creates traumatic condition.This article gives some tip to face challenges and to stay calm.

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