Stress is one of those inevitable things of life. It’s a physical and mental response to life activities. Stress can be positive and negative. Positive stress, eustress, is a feeling of confidence and excitement about a result one hopes to achieve. Negative stress also known as distress occurs when a person can’t handle a situation.

The focus on this post is the negative stress. It’s a mental strain that comes at you when you’re trying to put your best into something and it isn’t working out or when you’re being pressured. It makes you overwhelmed and when it becomes frequent, your body system or mental health can be affected. Some of the other effects of stress include insomnia, headaches, anxiety and high blood pressure.

How exactly do you know you are being stressed?

Stress doesn’t just affect the physical aspect of life as people presume, it also affects emotions, behaviors and thinking capacity. Stress symptoms vary because people handle stress in different ways. However, here are some common stress symptoms:

Physical symptoms

  • Pains and body aches
  • Nervousness
  • Low energy
  • Headaches

Emotional symptoms

  • Frequent irritation
  • Difficulty in quieting the mind
  • Low self esteem
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Depression

Behaviorial symptoms

  • Change in appetite
  • Procrastination
  • Increased use of drugs (in some people)

Cognitive symptoms

  • Inability to focus
  • Disorganization
  • Constant worrying
  • Being pessimistic

In as much as stress is a part of life, you need to take a little break when you start feeling tensioned. It’s important to keep your body and brain relaxed. It helps you recover from the stress. If you’re in doubt of how to calm down, here are six ways to relax when you’re stressed.


Just breathe. Find a quiet place to sit or lay down, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Do this slowly five times and while doing it, focus on the breaths. This helps you gather your thoughts. Breathing naturally helps the body to calm down and release some of the tension that you feel.


It’s good to let your thoughts out when you’re feeling stressed. This is where writing comes in. Whether it’s on a piece of paper or in a notepad on your phone, write down your feelings. Pay no attention to if what you’ve written makes sense or if the words rhyme. Just focus on expressing yourself in the best way you can.


Social media is another world on its own. Despite its numerous benefits, there are a number of negative effects caused by its usage and stress is one of them. Social media is quite addictive, affects self-control, reduces physical interaction and deprives you of qualitative sleep. All these are somewhat unhealthy and not needed when you’re already being stressed from your daily activities. So, it’s best to leave that ‘world’ for a day or two just to clear your head.


I don’t mean get dressed and go out to a party or restaurant with friends. No! Go out and take a short walk. Observe your environment and allow yourself to be lost in the beauty of nature.


Exercising isn’t just for keeping fit. It also helps to reduce stress level. Take some time out of your day to do some simple exercises like pushups, squats, sit-ups and planks.


Music has a well-established soothing power. It really helps to manage stress. Listening to music, especially slow, quiet classical music, can have a tremendously relaxing effect on you. When you need to calm down, plug in your headphones and play music that’ll keep you at peace.

With this modern lifestyle, there’s bound to be pressure from various aspects of our life such as family, school or work, friends and relationships. When it all gets tough, try to relax and relieve yourself of the stress a little. It helps you become more productive and focused.