Stress Level Out of Control?
Stress can seriously take you down and cause physical aliments. It’s time to take control of your stress level with these simple tips that will help you cope! Check it out!
How to cope with your stress level
If you are feeling stress, you are not alone.
According to WebMD, 75–90 percent of all visits to a doctor’s office are stress related.
This includes visits for headaches, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. A chronic and persistently high stress level has been linked to many diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure.
Stress happens when our bodies are forced to adapt to an unexpected circumstance or situation, and carries physical symptoms such as elevated cortisol levels and increased heart rate. Over time, these can harm our health. Stress almost always comes from a feeling of not being in control of a situation; that things are “happening to” us, rather than because of us.
When all is said and done though, we will find that feelings of stress are almost always something we can control if we will follow certain simple steps. Indeed, stress is usually a result of how we perceive and react to a situation, rather than the situation itself. Here are 5 proven ways to decrease your stress level.
Avoid unnecessary stress
This sounds obvious, and I’m sure you’ve already thought of it, but have you actually changed anything in your daily routine? If you find yourself under constant, chronic stress, then you’re probably doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. And we all know what that means. So learn to control what bothers you.
- Avoid toxic people and those who cause you stress. If this means that you need to think about changing your work environment or ending a relationship, then that is what you must do.
- Learn to say no. A great deal of stress will arise from trying to please everyone. You can’t be all things to all people, so you learn to be a bit selfish, and say no to people and activities that no longer serve you.
- Control your environment. Turn off the TV. Stop watching the news. It’s negative for a reason. “If it bleeds, it leads” is an old newsroom slogan, and who wants that in their life? Ignorance is bliss, and a lot of stress can come from worrying about things you can’t control.
Adapt to the stress that is unavoidable
Some stress is unavoidable. If you are alive, you will feel stress. Some of it cannot be avoided, so you must learn to adapt.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of progress, and sometimes you need to say it’s “good enough.” You’ll accomplish much more, which in turn will make you feel and be more productive. All those little things that you’ve been putting off will suddenly get done, and imagine the sigh of relief you’ll breathe then.
- Learn to prioritize. Everyone has the same 86,400 seconds each day. How you spend them is up to you. Spend them on things that move the ball down the field. Establish a daily routine of the 6 most important things, and then live by it.
- Set a specific time to answer emails and return calls. Think about it: your inbox is full of other people’s agendas, not yours. So why do you make email a priority? Stop doing it. Unless you are awaiting urgent news, check it once in the morning and again in the evening, and that’s it. Communicate this so that clients, friends, and family knows this about you. Do I even need to mention checking Facebook and YouTube?
Take care of yourself
This means getting enough sleep, staying active, and watching what you allow into your body.
- Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night. If you find yourself tossing and turning, invest in a quality mattress such as a Purple mattress, which will allow you to sleep all night without waking to turn over because of hot spots or a sore back.
- Start working out. Begin where you are at. If you can barely walk up a flight of stairs, then start by doing that. Join a gym or hire a trainer. Begin a yoga practice. Learn to meditate. The possibilities here are endless, but the point is that you do something kind for your body. Your muscle and soft tissue is currently what is holding in all that accumulated stress, and exercise will release it.
- Limit alcohol. I know that it feels relaxing to have a few drinks, but the after-effects are anything but. Alcohol attacks every system in your body, dehydrates you, and totally disrupts melatonin production, which will prevent deep sleep. All of alcohol’s effects end up increasing your stress levels, not reducing them. So limit it, or better yet, call off alcohol for good.
Socialize and reach out
It is no coincidence that those with the largest networks are also the happiest. You don’t need to go all extrovert, either. Just take a few steps to expand into a new area. Having someone to talk to about problems is a huge factor in your ability to eradicate them
- Take a class to learn something new. Pottery, painting, art, photography… Everyone has that one thing that they want to try. Well, go and do it! You’ll meet some amazing people who have the same interests as you, which is bound to lower your stress levels.
- If you know of a cause that is close to your heart, volunteering to support it is a way to get the benefits of the best antidepressant, with the side effects of improving the neighborhood, someone’s life, or the planet. Can’t go wrong there.
Learn to let go of negative feelings
It’s too easy to nurse old grudges and allow them to influence your daily life. It’s easy to slip down the rabbit hole of saying “If so-and-so had only done this instead of that, things would be different.”
Jobs are going to change. Politicians will lie and start wars. People you care about sometimes disappoint and do horrible things. In short, life is going to happen, and sometimes people aren’t that great. Learn to forgive, not for them but for you.
Forgiveness is what heals you. You do it for yourself.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make you better.
Learning how to control your stress level and not allow it to dominate you and make you sick isn’t something where you just read an article and now you’re all better. You must take these steps and practice them daily. Some of them may take a significant amount of time to change, like if you need a new career.
But so long as you make an effort and are consistent, they will become habits, and one day you’ll look up and realize that you’re no longer living according to an external set of influences.