Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure and pressure becomes stress when you feel unable to cope.
Everyone reacts differently to stress. Common stressors include work, relationships, and money. It can affect how you feel, think, and behave. It can also impact how your body functions.
However, there are ways to manage stress and improve your health, which include the following:
Exercise can relieve stress, reduce depression and improve your cognitive function. Exercise also releases endorphins, chemicals that trigger positive feelings.
2. Get a massage
Massage therapy can help reduce stress. A massage is a great way to relax and to minimize the physical and emotional tension you are experiencing.
You can give yourself a massage by massaging your neck, forearms, and palms, ask a friend to give you a massage, or even go to a professional masseuse.
3. Eat well
Maintaining the right diet is the key to reducing stress. Well-nourished bodies are better able to cope with the physical and emotional side effects of stress. If you want to reduce the pressure in your life, then you should pay particular attention to your diet.
4. Incorporate stress-relieving herbs and teas into your daily regimen
A number of herbs and teas can have a calming effect and reduce stress-induced insomnia, anxiety or anger. Always make sure to consult your physician or other health practitioner before using any new herbs or supplements.
5. Improve your sleep schedule
Improving your sleep schedule will go a long way in helping you reduce stress, since sleep affects your memory, judgment, and mood.
Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep a day to get a healthy night’s sleep. Sleeping too much or not enough can make you feel groggy and unable to deal with your responsibilities.
Place a warm heat wrap or cloth around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes as you shut your eyes. Try to relax your face, neck and shoulders.
Reading is a great way to calm your mind and to gain knowledge. It’s also a wonderful way to wake up your mind in the morning and to help yourself fall asleep at night.
Keep a good light source nearby to protect your eyes, but dim the lights around you as you read to make yourself more calm and ease yourself into relaxation and rest.
8. Think positively
Be a positive thinker and to take more pleasure in your everyday interactions. Think everyday about 3 small things that you are grateful for; this will help remind you of all of the positive elements of your life even when you are feeling exhausted. Positive thinking can help you keep a little perspective.
9. Laugh more
Laughing has been proven to reduce stress. Laughing releases endorphins, brain chemicals that enhance your mood.
10. Practice deep breathing
Focusing on deepening your breath is one way to invoke the relaxation response to stress. Deep breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration.
Deep breathing encourages full oxygen exchange, meaning the trade of incoming fresh oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. This helps to slow the heartbeat and stabilize or even lower blood pressure.
11. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness exercises are ways of paying attention to the present moment in order to help people adjust how they think and feel about their experiences. Mindfulness helps people manage and reduce stress and often uses techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga.
12. Let go
Recognize that you can’t control everything. There will always be stressful elements in your life, but you can minimize the stress in your life by eliminating what you can and learning to cope with the rest.
13. Address stressful situations head-on
Though you may not be able to single-handedly eliminate all of the things that are making you feel exhausted, you may be able to alleviate them to some degree and, most importantly, prevent them from worsening and having increasingly adverse effects on your mental and physical well-being.
14. Get organized
Getting organized, planning ahead and being prepared can reduce stress levels.
Organize your short-term plans. If you’re stressed at the thought of an upcoming trip, try to hammer out the details as early as you can so there are no x-factors.
15. Take control of your commitments
While there are a lot of commitments you cannot control, there are a lot that you can. One reason that many people feel stressed out is because they feel over-committed and like they don’t have enough time to pursue their interests or spend time with their loved ones.
16. Make time for relaxation
Make time to relax for at least an hour each day, especially in the morning and in the evening before bed.
Do something you enjoy every day, whether it be a short play of the piano, stargazing, or doing a puzzle. Such activities will remind you of some of the things you like about your life.
17. Use problem-solving techniques
Instead of thinking “X, Y, and Z are really stressing me out,” shift your focus to what you can do to alleviate these problems. Shifting your perspective from the problem itself to what you are going to do about it can help you reassert control over your life.
For example, if you know that traffic stresses you out because it is boring and wastes your time, ask yourself what you can do to change your experience of being in traffic. Come up with a range of solutions (such as listening to music or books on tape or getting a co-worker to carpool with you) and try them out.
18. Surround yourself with positive social support
People who experience major life stresses, such as the loss of a partner or job, come out the other side of the ordeal more easily if they have a network of friends and family on whom they can draw and rely.
Spend your time with people who are positive forces in your life, who make you feel appreciated, valued, and confident and encourage you to be your best possible self.
19. Identify the causes of your stress
Before you can move forward, you need to be able to identify the causes. Take some time to be alone and get out a notepad or journal. List everything that may be contributing to your feelings of stress. Once you have a better sense of what is causing it, you can make changes that will help you cope with it.
20. Reflect with the help of others
You don’t have to deal with your stress alone. You’ll feel much better if you open up to a friend, family member, or even a professional. If you share your feelings, chances are that you’ll be able to get some helpful feedback and a fresh perspective on your problems.
In addition, the very act of talking about your stress – saying the words out loud – might help you clarify what exactly it is that you are struggling with.
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