Do You Know How to Manage Your Stress Levels?
Almost everyone deals with at least a small amount of stress in their lives. For those who deal with a lot of stress, it can be very overwhelming. Chronic stress has been linked to many health consequences such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce your stress before it wreaks havoc on your health.
5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress
Keep Track of Your Stressors
When you get overwhelmed with stress, every new thing you have to confront just seems to add to your stress. It can be very hard to handle, especially if you can’t address the cause of your stress. To pinpoint exactly what is causing most of your stress, find a way to keep track of the things that stress you out. You can do this by keeping a stress journal. Keep track of the time of day, what you were doing that triggered your stress, how you reacted to that stress, and how you coped with the stress and your reactions.
This information can help you see patterns in the things that stress you out. It can also help you develop a better plan for dealing with stress. When you know what might cause more stress, you can mitigate it before it causes a problem.
Take Care of Yourself
When we are stressed, one of the first things we stop doing is taking care of ourselves. It is important that we remember to exercise, get enough sleep, and take care of our overall health.
Even if you only exercise 20 minutes per day, you can reduce your stress and greatly benefit your health.
Your exercise doesn’t need to be very vigorous to be effective. Going for a walk or throwing a ball around can be just as effective as going for a long run. Lack of sleep also reduces our ability to handle daily stress. You should not neglect regular health checkups, such as visits to the doctor or regular teeth cleanings with a dentist. These things can help you stay healthy so you can deal with the things that are causing you stress.
When you find yourself dealing with a stressful situation, you should take a break from it and take the time to breathe. Taking deep breaths will instantly lower your stress. It will also reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
Furthermore, taking deep breaths can lower your cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels not only raise stress levels, but they can also trigger inflammation. Practicing meditation or relaxation techniques can help you learn to breathe deeply and properly in a way that will allow you to relax. Meditation and relaxation exercises also allow you to focus on something other than the things that are causing stress in your life.
Get Social Support
Humans are social creatures, and we all need at least a little bit of social interaction and support. It is a lot harder to deal with stressful situations when you are alone. That is why you should seek out the support of your family members and friends.
Sharing your concerns and feelings with another person can instantly alleviate your stress.
If you aren’t sure how to confront a problem, talking to someone else can also give you ideas for dealing with your problem. If you cannot talk to a family member or friend face-to-face, then you should call them or send them an email. If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in a family member or friend, consider seeing a counselor or therapist. In addition to being great listeners, they can also give you suggestions to manage your stress.
Do Something That You Enjoy
A busy lifestyle can leave little time for the things that you enjoy. However, it is important to make time for the things that you love. Enjoying your favorite hobby makes it easy for you to relax and reduce your stress. Creative activities such as writing, drawing, or baking can help alleviate stress.
Finding a hobby that challenges you without overwhelming you can give you a better sense of control over your life. You can also volunteer with an organization that focuses on things that you enjoy. Focusing on others has been proven to lower stress and helps us see the world from a different perspective.
You can’t eliminate stress entirely from your life, but you can keep it from taking over your life and your relationships. It can be hard to take the first steps, but it is manageable. Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends, or from professionals.
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