Stress is a part of our lives and seems to stem from everything. Whether it’s caused by a toxic boss or for being too responsible for a loved one, lengthy exposure to deep stress can physically harm you. So let’s learn how we can deal with it.
Handling stress involves two methods: thorough mental activities and by tweaking lifestyles. Remember, they’re not always mutually exclusive.
Handling Stress: Mental Activities
Let’s start with mental activities that help you in relieving stress.
Stress is strengthened by emotional imbalance and the best way to counter that is to develop a positive attitude, being thankful for what you have. Consider and say out loud the good things you have in life right NOW, even if it seems silly. Substitute negative sentences with positive ones for instance, say “I’ll do my best” instead of “I don’t think I can do this”. Start the day by saying what makes you the happiest.
Organize yourself and make a checklist for things you need to do. Don’t forget to squeeze in some relax-time. Prioritize your goals and handle them from the “hardest” to the “easiest”. You MUST know your limits otherwise you’re simply inviting in more stress. Focus on quality instead of quantity.
Identifying the “stress agents” is important. For instance, if it’s a person with whom you’re not related professionally tell them why they make you stressful. If you’re not comfortable with sharing such information, keep the meetings short if you can’t eliminate them completely. Point is if you CAN eliminate the source, do it in any “harmless” way possible.
Do NOT worry about things that you can’t control. For instance, if the national economy is taking a downfall your financial condition might go the same way. When it’s of course a matter to be concerned about, remember that you can’t actually control it. Undoubtedly, it’s hard to do but it’s also logical.
Be more responsible in making your own life-decisions. If others set goals on your behalf, you find yourself doing something that “needs to be done” and not something “YOU want and need to do”.
Lean on your loved ones. Friends or family, they’re there for a reason and it’s not to make your life more difficult.
Handling Stress: Healthy Lifestyle Tweaks
Now that we’re done with the psychological techniques, let’s see how we can handle stress “physically”.
Studies show that people who maintain a regular exercising routine stress less. This is because exercising helps in maintaining a proper level of endorphin hormones, which are responsible for you being “happy”. Doing simple cardio exercise, like jogging, for 150-200 minutes a week drastically reduces your stress level in addition to adding extra 3 or 4 years to your lifespan.
You MUST get enough sleep. “Enough” here means about 7 or 8 hours in every 24 hours. It’s our natural recuperation system than restores our energy level. Our brain cells cannot regenerate properly if we don’t get enough sleep. Our stress hormones substitute for the absent energy which is NOT a good thing when happens regularly.
Eat healthy. Drink lots of water or more specifically, about 8 glasses a day. A dehydrated body is forced to produce various stress hormones including cortisol. Lower your caffeine intake and if possible, stop taking alcohols completely. Also avoid edible items that create “substance dependency”. Make sure your dietary plan includes lots of vitamin A.
Relax. Meditation or reading, do whatever makes you feel relaxed. Take some time to do things that you actually ENJOY. Your physique will follow suit.
Don’t forget to laugh. And don’t believe that you can’t develop a sense of humor. Remember, there’s nothing better than a good laugh to relieve stress and tension.