Individuals of all ages battle stress – usually on a daily basis. Finding healthy and enjoyable ways to cope with stress can improve your overall health and well-being.
Many people underestimate the healing power of a good night’s rest. It’s becoming more prominent for young adults to stay up all night cramming for college exams and the working class to force themselves awake to finish a work project only to gulp caffeine in the daytime to keep their eyes open.
Getting a good night’s rest promotes a constant state of relaxation and alertness throughout the day. You may stay more focused and thus you will find yourself more efficient with your tasks. This causes less stress for deadlines since you’re able to focus on your task at hand rather than dozing off while in the middle of a meeting.
Take a break!
It’s okay to step away from a situation when you see feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. This will help you get back on track with any task you may be enduring. Excusing yourself for a quick 5-10 minute break to ease your mind can ease your stress level and allow you to return with a more clear and balanced mindset.
While taking a moment, be sure to focus on your breathing. When we are feeling stress, we can also trigger anxiety so focusing on your breathing to take control of your bodily response to anxiety can help lower your stress levels. Take deep, full breaths and allow yourself to repeat a mantra, affirmation or try to quiet your mind and listen to the surrounding sounds. This will help slow and calm any stressful and anxious thoughts.
Often when we are feeling immense stress, we tend to close off from leisurely activities and distance ourselves from our friends and loved ones. This can cause more stress and pressure on your mental well-being since you may trigger other emotions such as loneliness. There are immense benefits in taking time to reconnect with your friend group or involve yourself in social activities. Ask a friend to lunch or to the gym. Make a phone call to a family member. Volunteer at your local church or animal shelter.
Managing your time is an effective step to take when attempting to manage your stress levels. The worst thing for your stress is procrastination. This increases your stress tenfold! Stay organized by using a planner and calendar to track your tasks.
Some may find it more practical to use phone apps to track their tasks to keep organized. Others may find more practical use with a physical planner and calendar. These resources can help keep your day on track and make sure that you are focused on what’s most important so that you do not develop stress due to disorganization. Staying organized by documenting your tasks can lower stress levels because you are not relying on your memory throughout the day to finish your projects. You will have an alarm set in your calendar to remind you and a list in your planner to keep track of your progress.
You are what you eat – isn’t that what they say?
Starting your day off with a healthy, balanced and nutritious meal can keep you energized and alert throughout your day. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can greatly improve concentration. Avoid large, greasy meals. Large meals can promote lethargy and tiredness which cause us to become distracted from our tasks. This can also be a source of stress.
Instead, keep nutritious snacks handy. Nuts, small fruits such as grapes, crackers, and yogurts are great go-to snacks to keep you uplifted and energized.
Of course physical health also involves bodily activity. Be sure to stay active. Take a short walk around the neighborhood, take the stairs rather than the elevator, stand on your break rather than sit down. Investing in a gym membership comes in handy! When you’re feeling riled up from a stressful day, a workout will help to release pent-up energy which also helps stimulate a more restful sleep and calm mind for the next day.
Managing stress is a day to day process and it may take time to see what works best for you and your lifestyle. Keep at it! The more time spent focusing on calming your mind and body will inevitably decrease your stress level. Finding what works best for you and incorporating those tactics into your life can help you manage and reduce your stress for the long run.