Stress management can seem like an overwhelming problem when you feel like it’s taking over your life. In reality, however, stress management isn’t as hard as it may seem – it just takes the right approach to put you back in control of your life and relieve stress levels.
Whether it is at work, at home, at school, or in our relationships with people, stress can prevent us from feeling and performing our best mentally, physically, and emotionally. No one’s life will ever be completely stress-free, so it’s important to know how to manage and cope with the stress to live life to the fullest.
These ten simple stress management strategies will help you manage stress, and you’ll be feeling more relaxed in no time at all!
1. Laugh More
Laughing has shown to release endorphins, which help relax your muscles and decrease anxiety. There are plenty of ways you can incorporate laughter into your everyday life. Watch a comedy show, read an essay by someone like Tina Fey or Jon Stewart, or spend time with people who make you laugh.
The effects of exercise on your brain are more pronounced than those of any pill you can take, including antidepressants. As an added bonus, it’s free! To reduce stress, try exercising for at least half an hour every day.
It doesn’t matter what type—just make sure you sweat (it sends a signal to your body that it’s not in danger). Working out is especially effective when paired with other stress-management techniques, such as yoga or deep breathing.
3. Spend Time With Friends
Spending time with friends is a great way to keep stress levels low. It might sound odd, but being around people you trust and who make you laugh can actually reduce your level of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Laughing will also get your body moving, which also helps manage stress. Also, consider hitting up a comedy club or attending other events with friends for similar results.
4. Stop Worrying About Little Things
I know that most of us spend a lot of time thinking about things we can’t change. However, worrying over small things won’t change anything and it only serves to make you more stressed out. Instead, focus on solutions rather than problems, so you have something productive to occupy your thoughts.
It may seem easier said than done, but in reality, it’s very easy to do when you think about it—it just takes practice! First of all, identify what worries you and why.
5. Sleep More
If you’re tired, you’re more likely to be stressed. The more tired you are, in fact, the less energy and attention you have available for dealing with stressors, so it becomes even more difficult for you to handle them.
This is why many sleep experts recommend getting at least seven hours of shut-eye per night; doing so helps ensure that your body and mind will be better equipped for handling day-to-day stressors.
6. Be Grateful For What You Have
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a great way to relieve stress. We often worry about what we don’t have, but by focusing on what we do have, we can start living more positively and feel less stressed out.
It’s also helpful to recognize that some things you think are bad—like your job or commute—may not be as terrible as they seem, so give yourself some time to adjust before panicking.
7. Take Breaks During Stressful Tasks
In high-stress jobs, people get burned out quickly because they’re constantly pushing themselves. But pushing yourself too hard is unhealthy and leads to burnout. To make sure you’re not overdoing it, take breaks in between stressful tasks.
Go for a walk around the block or even just refresh your email inbox and clear out new messages. Getting your mind off of work will help you avoid burnout from stress and exhaustion.
8. Listen To Music
Music is a wonderful tool that can promote wellness and help you overcome many of the obstacles you face in life. Music has been shown to help us reduce blood pressure and also build serotonin in the brain.
Seriously, sometimes all you need is the right music that can have a very relaxing effect on your body and mind. Soothing music can induce the relaxation response in your body, thereby helping in stress management. Music can change your mood and relieve your stress within seconds. So, put on some headphones and let the music flow.
9. Take A Deep Breath
Sometimes all you need is to breathe. Deep breathing is a technique that allows you to calm your mind, focus on your body, and become more present. Deep, controlled breathing can lower the heart rate and reduce stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of a deep breath can help restore balance. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose.
10. Clean Your Surroundings And Home Office
The physical environment in which you work and relax can have a big impact on your stress levels. When your space is clean, well-organized, and tidy, it is easier for you to stay focused on what’s important and get into a productive mindset.
The better condition your home office or workplace is in, the more energized you will feel. This motivates you to get things done and reduces your chances of feeling stressed out by cluttered surroundings.
Remember, if you are feeling stressed for a prolonged period it is always best to seek advice from your health caregiver.