How do you handle stress in your life?
Stress is something that comes into everyone’s lives. There might be times of the year or in your life when tensions grow high. When life is challenging, when you are faced with obstacles that seem too much to handle, or when you are simply just feeling stressed… these are the times to take extra care with your wellbeing.
Luckily there are ways to manage your stress so that you can get through tough times.
Stress is something that can affect not only your mind but your body too. Your health is a priority, and so stress management is an essential part of life for us all. Everyone should get in touch with their stresses and learn how to manage them.
What are the different types of stress?
Let’s take a moment to recognize the two main types of stress that impact our lives.
is a sudden fight or flight situation that spikes your cortisol and metabolism. Examples include a car accident or a confrontational situation.
is continuous stress and worries over things like money, jobs, and families. While these often get pushed off and not dealt with, this type of stress can have a significant effect on your health and wellbeing.
According to The American Institute of Stress, at least 77% of individuals regularly feel physical symptoms caused by stress. Given this statistic, it’s clear most adults’ stress is affecting their bodies.
The trick to staying healthy and feeling great is managing the stress that affects you. These stresses could come from your job, relationships, poor nutrition, or even sleep deprivation.
Here are some simple things to focus on to manage your stress.
1. Get adequate sleep
While this might seem like a no brainer, many of us, especially those working long hours, don’t make enough time for a decent night’s sleep.
Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night can reduce the tension you feel in your everyday life. Also, when you consistently miss out on adequate sleep, your risk of heart disease, weight gain, and depression increases.
2. Eat a balanced diet
When we feel stress, many of us turn to trigger foods such as sweets and comfort foods to feel better. But eating these foods won’t lessen your stress. Quite the opposite, they’ll leave you feeling sluggish and low energy.
Try instead to focus on a whole and balanced diet. Being well-fed with nutritious foods will not only help your body feel good but your mind as well.
Foods that have vitamin C, complex carbohydrates, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids are the best for stress reduction. These nutrients work to lower your cortisol (aka stress hormone) levels and your blood pressure. Making sure that you fuel your body correctly will help reduce your overall stress.
3. Get active
Activity is one of the best ways to reduce and manage your stress. Nothing helps ease everyday tension like the rush of endorphins that a workout can give you. Exercise is a proven mood elevator that will also benefit your physical health. Being active can help with better sleep, lower blood pressure, and a clearer mind.
4. Find your outlet
What goes along with exercise is finding an outlet for your stress. It could be something active, or something on the more creative side. A pastime or activity that is a distracting and fun task for you can give you the outlet you need to release your stress while enjoying yourself.
You may find creating art or music an expressive way to manage your stress. Or you might discover you prefer more physical activities like boxing or building something.
5. Write things down
While it may seem like a small task, writing down the things that stress you out can give you more space for your thoughts. Often the best way to make sense of something is jotting it down for yourself. It can also be beneficial to write down lists or notes to plan out things that might be stressing you out.
Ready to Manage Your Stress?
These five simple yet crucial tips can help you manage the stress in your life. Try including these in your daily routine and see how they affect you.
You might find that one of these areas can transform your life and the stress you experience.
What do you do to manage stress? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ideas.