Do you often wonder if there’s anything you can do to relieve your stress?
Are you being a bit too overwhelmed by juggling work, family, and other commitments?
Do you feel like you are on the verge of burnout?
Well, with your hectic schedule you are bound to feel anxious and stressed out. On top of that, the pandemic of covid-19 seems to be taking the best of our life, adding further to our stress and anxiety levels. In this busy world, it is hard not to get overwhelmed by your work commitments, family, and other responsibilities in your life. Everyone is dealing with stress and anxiety in one or the other form to the point where it can act as a massive hindrance in your life and your goals. So, how to deal with stress at this age and time?
Stress is a reaction to a situation that seems to be out of your control. It is a form of emotional or physical tension that can arise from situations that tend to make you frustrated, angry, and helpless. It can make a person feel threatened, anxious, and emotionally unstable. Stress can prove as a source of motivation to get things done but if you are suffering from chronic stress that is where things get complicated. Too much stress is bad for you. It can harm your physical and mental health to great degrees.
The Effects of stress on the body – according to science
Research has shown that a short burst of stress can help boost your energy, making you more efficient, and can train your mind to become sharper. However, another study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that dealing with long-term stress can affect your body to greater lengths, having ill effects on every organ of your body. From having increased craving to weight gain, stress can prove to be quite disastrous for your health.
According to the sleep foundation, stress and anxiety can disrupt your sleep cycle leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. Moreover, stress can lead to certain vascular changes in your body increasing your chances to have a headache or migraine. It can lead to hair loss, pregnancy complications such as a premature or low birth weight baby and can even increase your chances to have stomach problems, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels.
So, you may question yourself what is the best way to relieve stress? From deep breathing exercises to counseling, I am going to provide you with some amazing tips to manage your stress levels and to lead a healthy stress-free life. By following these steps you are bound to feel less anxious and happier in your life.
6 Incredible Ways to Manage Stress in Life
1. Take a break to manage your stress
Taking a break from time to time is essential to relieve stress and anxiety. You are bound to feel stressed out due to work, your studies, family commitments, and certain other responsibilities in your life. Overworking yourself and not taking enough rest to rejuvenate your body every day can lead to mental exhaustion to the point where you are unable to cope with it anymore. As stated above chronic stress can result in mental and physical illness, anxiety, and depression. It can cause changes in every part of your body affecting every aspect of your life.
Giving yourself breaks from time to time has been linked to decreasing your stress levels, in turn increasing your performance. Moreover, recovering from stress and anxiety can restore your energy levels indirectly decreasing your chances of development of fatigue, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. It can further decrease the likelihood of you having to suffer from headaches, migraines, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels.
Research has shown that taking short breaks throughout the day increases your performance, boosts up your energy levels, and decreases your stress levels. Taking a social break or a relaxing break has been proven to more beneficial in decreasing your exhaustion and stress from your work. A relaxing break resets your mood and promotes your physical and mental well-being.
A question may arise in your mind like how do I take a stress break? Well, for starters plan your day and make time for short breaks every now and then. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of your break time. Use post-it notes or a journal to track your day. Plan something enjoyable in your break time that will motivate you to take a break.
2. How to deal with stress – exercise daily
Exercising daily can act as a stress reliever, boosting up your energy and your sense of well-being. Exercise in any form will benefit you in one way or the other. It can keep you distracted from your daily worries and can improve your good-endorphin levels. Physical activity increases the level of a neurotransmitter – endorphin in your body. This neurotransmitter is mainly responsible for your brain to feel good. Aerobics such as running, hiking, or a game of tennis is more likely to increase your endorphin levels, further decreasing your stress levels.
Exercise protects you from the harmful effects of stress on your body. It decreases your chances of suffering from any type of cardiovascular, digestive, and immune-related diseases, leading to positive changes in your body. When you start to exercise daily, you start to focus on the task at hand, this will help you stay calm, optimistic, and with a clear head and mind, resulting in increased energy levels. So, exercise basically acts as a meditation in motion.
Physical activity improves your sleep and once your sleep schedule is all good, you feel relaxed, confident and your stress levels decrease to greater levels. Once you incorporate exercise in your daily life you will have control over every aspect of your life. Exercise also decreases your body’s stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, further reducing your chances of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Start a successful exercise program by following these steps
How to start a successful exercise program? Consult with your doctor if you have any health issues or you have not exercised in a while. Do the type of exercise that you love. Almost any type of exercise will benefit you whether it be swimming, jogging, running, or even going to the gym. Build up your fitness level gradually. Start easy and slowly move forward such as walk before you run. Lastly, stick to it daily and try to be as consistent as you can.
3. Eat healthily to deal with stress
Eating healthy food can certainly reduce your stress levels and can help you cope up with your anxiety and depression. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet will lessen your anxiety levels, improve your mood, and will help you have a strong healthy body that can deal with any situation at hand. it can improve your immune system further decreasing your chances of having to suffer from different diseases. A healthy diet is likely to decrease your blood sugar levels and will regulate your blood pressure.
According to the maxim:
“You are what you eat”
It is true indeed. The food you eat plays a significant role in how you feel. Whatever you eat reflects on your physical and mental health. It builds up the emotions inside your body and becomes a part of your identity. According to the Journal of Clinical Investigation, your body-mind relationship is modulated by the food you eat and your stress levels. This connection seems to be upset in obese individuals. You tend to eat certain comfort foods while under stress such as chocolate which helps elevate your mood.
Try to eat healthy to reduce your stress levels and to deal with anxiety. Try to reach out for fatty acids found in fish, meat, eggs and nuts, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins. Incorporate healthy snacks into your diets such as oatmeal, Greek yogurt, fresh fruits, and fresh salads. Anti-oxidants are also essential to your diet. The three major antioxidant vitamins are vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotenes, all of which are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Certain other superfoods that will help you relieve your stress are Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids. In conclusion, to deal with stress it is important to have a healthy, nutritious diet.
Related: Are you what you eat
4. Practice the 4 A’s to deal with stress
Stress is an automatic response of your nervous system to certain unwanted situations in your life. You can decide your reaction to the stressful situation that you are facing although there are certain limitations. Some stressors tend to be predictable and can arise at an anticipated time. In this case, you can decide how to react and your mind and body will follow through with your decision. You can choose your reaction by keeping in mind the 4 A’s that I am going to tell you about.
What are the 4 A’s
The 4 A’s are: Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept. So the first option is to avoid a stressful situation that you might be facing but bear in mind that avoiding such situations that need to be addressed can be quite unhealthy for your mental and physical well-being. On the other hand, avoiding unnecessary stressors plays a key role here. Eliminating such stressors from your life will help you be at peace and avoid stress and exhaustion. Try to avoid such people who stress you out or even better cut them off to lead a peaceful life. Moreover, learn to say no when it is necessary. This will help you dodge unnecessary stress in your life.
Related: How to learn to say no
The second option is to alter the stressful situation. Try to change your perception and your mindset regarding the stressful situation and transform it into a situation from which you can benefit. Let’s say you have a friend that is stressing the hell out of you because of their unnecessary demands and expectations of you. Instead of bottling up your feelings try to communicate with your friend regarding their behavior in a respectful manner. This will help you deal with all the unnecessary stress bottled up inside you.
Adapting to a stressor is another one of your options. It involves changing yourself, your behavior, and your attitude towards the situation at hand. Try to reframe the problem you are facing. Let’s say you are stuck in traffic instead of fuming at it and increasing the overload of stress in your life, adapt to the situation. Listen to your favorite song or any podcast that you have been wanting to listen to for so long and enjoy your time.
Finally, accepting the things you cannot change is your option in situations that are out of your control. You encounter several situations in your daily life that are beyond your control such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness. Accepting such situations is your only option in such cases. Acceptance can be quite difficult but it is better than dealing with unnecessary stress from an unavoidable situation.
5. How to deal with stress- Get some “me” time
A good self-care routine will make you more resilient to stressful situations in your life. Taking care of your body will nourish your mind and your soul, making you physically, mentally, and emotionally strong to deal with any sort of stressor in your life. Taking care of yourself will help you stay happy, healthy, and content with your life. A good self-care routine involved taking care of your sleep, diet, and exercising regularly to reduce stress in your life and to feel good about yourself.
Taking good care of yourself and pampering yourself on a daily basis can help you feel relaxed. It triggers the relaxation response required to reverse stress. This relaxation response is the counterpart to the fight or flight response that occurs in times of perceived danger. It acts as an off-switch to your body’s tendency to react to overwhelming situations making you relaxed and stress-free.
Make time for fun and relaxation in your daily routine. Do not get too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life rather spend some free time to de-stress your mind. Set aside some leisure time and take rest when necessary. Try out relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, and meditation to relieve stress and anxiety. Pamper yourself by taking good care of your skin, your diet, and your sleep schedule. Last but certainly not the least make time for things you truly enjoy whether it be painting, reading a book, or even just going out for a walk. After all nurturing your body, mind, and soul is not a luxury rather a necessity, helping you out to handle life’s stressors.
Related: How to love self
6. Connect with others to stress less
Having positive relations with the people around you can lower your stress levels and stress hormones. Spending quality time with the right person can help you feel safer, improve your mood, and can help you de-stress. Humans are inherently social beings. Connecting with other people and socializing is an important component of your life. Socializing with the right people is helpful in stress reduction and anxiety management.
Connecting with the people around you and having the right social balance in your life is essential for your hormonal balance. Having the right social support is associated with increased levels of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system activating the relaxation response. It also decreases anxiety levels and boosts your confidence levels.
How to deal with stress – improve connection with people
So how to improve connection with people? Start off by reaching out to your loved ones. Lean on them and let everything out. When you cage up your feelings and do not let them out, you are bound to feel resentment and be bitter in every situation that you face. Volunteer. Pick a cause that you feel truly passionate about and work on it like volunteering at the dog shelter or give out charity. Take a class or join the gym. This will help you make new connections. Spend time with your family and confide in them. Have lunch with your friend and talk your heart out. This will surely help you manage your stress and will improve your mood.
Building a healthy social support system will surely elevate your mood and reduce your stress and anxiety levels. On the other hand, watch out for such toxic people that add to your stress and are likely to drain your energy. Try to avoid such negative people who are overly critical of everything and tend to increase your stress levels. Investing your time to build the right social support network is essential for your physical and mental well-being. It can help you through the stress of tough times and even improve your longevity.
Stress is a component of your life in today’s world whether you like it or not. Dealing with too much stress can be harmful to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Stress being a part of your normal life is very tough to deal with. Moreover, you are not born knowing how to deal with stress rather you slowly learn it over time. Stress and anxiety can bring on a variety of health issues in your life which is why it is very important to learn how to cope with them.
Understanding what is happening inside your body due to stress is important to combat the negative impacts of everyday stressors. The key here is to follow the steps I have provided you with, find your groove, and make it a practice. Once you break this stress cycle, you will feel motivated, uplifted and will be able to deal with any form of stress in your life.