a) Unhealthy ways of reducing stress
This strategy obviously releasing the stress temporally but it causes more bad effect in the long term user. In reality many adolescent and young workers have been attack by hedonism. Referring to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth edition. 2001, hedonism means the doctrine that holds the pleasure is the highest good. Today, the changes in the culture show the increasing in bad manner, like free sex, a lot of entertainment. Many statistics show that Malaysian workers obviously man, release their stress by smoking and unleashed their angry to others.
The statistic show, since 1988 till January 2005, 274,923 drug addicted have been traced in Malaysia. While in the year 2004, 38,672 drugs addicted is traced. From this statistic, 28,052 are young people or workers and the age is among 19 to 39 years. This statistics are from Berita Harian on 24 February 2005, in Carnival Enam Jahanam anjuran Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri dan Agensi Antidadah Kebangsaan. This attitude shows we lack of human sense and in dangerous manner. Furthermore, this also shows lack of releasing the stress among student and workers. All this action below is some of techniques of releasing the stress by unhealthy ways:-
Ø Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
Ø Being alone and didn’t communicate with other people
Ø Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
Ø Sleeping too much
Ø Using pills or drugs to relax
We didn’t want to discuss more on unhealthy way of cope the stress. This is because we as a human must do good attitude and prevent the bad ways to get a better lifestyle.
b) Healthy ways of reducing stress
There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change.
Basically the change is starts from the attitude or behavior of the person. Otherwise, we can either change the situation or change the reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four as: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.
i. Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief ( short term releasing stress)
The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in everyday stress levels and a boost in feelings of joy and serenity. Relaxation techniques also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s curveballs. Example of relaxations techniques are deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga.
a. Deep breathing
When concentrate to its fullest, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere especially workers in different environment.
The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel. The steps are:
Ø Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Ø Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
Ø Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
Ø Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
b. Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is another effective and widely used strategy for stress relief. It involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body.
This awareness helps you spot and counteract the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress. And as your body relaxes, so will your mind. You can combine deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation for an additional level of relief from stress.
Ø Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
Ø Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
Ø When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
Ø Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
Ø Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
Ø Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
Ø When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
Ø Move slowly up through your body — legs, abdomen, back, neck, face — contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
ii. Adopt a healthy lifestyle ( long term releasing stress)
Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
iii. Believing in The Creator and obey the rules.
Religious is a very important factor in handling the stress. Referring to World Health organization, Figures and Facts About Suicide, Geneva, WHO, 1999, percentage for suicide in Islamic country is very low nearly zero (0.1 per 100,000 people). In country where the people majorities are Hindu and Christian, the percentage is about 10 per 100,000 people (Hindu: 9.6; Christian: 11.2). Furthermore, in Japan county where majority are Buddha, 17.9 for every 100,000 people while in China where majority are atheists the percentage is about 25.6 for 100,000 person. In another statistic, the highest suicide happened in European country like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Islam actually comes from Almighty Allah and Muhammad is His final prophet. In Al – Qalam,4 , Allah said , He (Muhammad) has very high morals. So, all the Muslims must follow his characteristics to become good person. Michael H. Hart said in his books, The 100: Ranking of the Most influential person In History, “The chosen Muhammad is the Top one in my ranking might shocked and questioned by some of readers, I’m choosing him because he is the only person in the history have and excellence in spiritual and world. From normal person he can expand the most influence religion in the world and being the best politician. Today, 13th century after he die, his influence still very strong and still expanding”.
As a result this shows Muslim which has faith in Almighty Allah have influence a major factor for this problem. By believing in Allah, a positive attitude is shown in their life. Furthermore, by having faith in Allah they are able to reduce disappointed while there are testing. This shows the Muslim, convinced that in the middle of less justice and stingy they must be a legal and help from Allah.
Robert Briffault in his book, The Making of Humanity has praise Islamic civilization and said, “Renaissance have gone through in Arabic people and Islamic Spain and not in European people. Spain not the Italy is the source of renaissance”. While Marmaduke Picktall in his book, Islamic Culture said,“ While Islamic people go finding the knowledge in the name of Almighty God, we as Christianity demolished the knowledge in the name of Jesus”. All this show the westerners actually having a debt to the Islamic Civilization. Finally many researchers prove that, Islam is the fastest religious growth in the world.