Does working for long hours make you feel burned out? Does constant worry about the health of your significant other make you physically ill? Well, stress is something we all experience regardless of who we are or how much money we have. Although we may feel the effects of stress, not everyone understands how to deal with stress the right way. When we are stressed, it is very easy to resort to food, alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy coping mechanisms. If we do not manage stress, it can erode our physical health and diminish our joy to live. Additionally, stress can negatively affect our emotional and psychological well-being.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Anger, irritability or frustration
- Burnout due to work or school activities
- Inability to cope with difficult life experiences
- Inability to function optimally
Why Do We Feel Stress?
Socio-cultural stressors such as
- financial difficulties
- time constraints
- work deadlines
- relationship difficulties
Physiological stressors such as
- poor nutrition
- getting old
- sleep disturbances
- giving birth
Environmental stressors such as
Psychological stressors such as
- negative thought patterns
- unrealistic expectations
- negative self-talk
- low self-esteem
10 Stress Relief Tips
1 – Find Out the Source of Stress
Knowing exactly what produces stress is the first step to feel relief. Instead of blaming a general situation for our stress, it is helpful to point out exactly what is bothering us the most. Furthermore, the more specific we are, the more likely we are to be able to change that specific circumstance.
2 – Listen to Music
Music can tremendously influence your emotional well-being. It is a fast and easy way to deal with stress in the moment. What’s more, music can help our mind and body relax. With that in mind, the right choice of music, particularly slow, quiet and classical music, can help you sleep better.Listening to sad songs can make the situation worse. With that being said, it is important that you listen to songs that uplift your mood, and cheer you up.
3 – Engage in Creative Activities
Visual arts and writing can help you relieve pent up emotions and relax your mind. Through writing, you are able to express how you feel without being judged, which is therapeutic.
4 – Take Care of Yourself
Maintaining a healthy body can help you cope with stress.With that in mind, be sure to sleep for 8 to 9 hours, eat a balanced diet, and hydrate. Additionally, it is important that you engage in regular exercise, and reduce the intake of alcohol and caffeine. Inadequate sleep, for instance, can affect your ability to concentrate.
5 – Lower your Expectations
High or unrealistic expectations can make us feel like running endlessly in a hamster treadmill.Assess the tasks that need to be completed in a given time frame and decide what can be realistically accomplished under the current circumstances. Focus on one task at a time and take a break before engaging in the next project.
6 – Relaxation
Stress tends to cause muscle tension. Therefore, stretching your arms and legs can help loosen your muscles. Additionally, spending time in a peaceful and quiet environment can help you relax.
7 – Deep Breathing
Taking deep breaths can ease your stress. With that in mind, you can do simple breathing in and out exercises. This not only replaces the oxygen in your lungs, but it also helps to improve your blood circulation and alertness. It is imperative that you continue breathing in and out until you feel calm. Mastering deep breathing and using it with purpose will help diminish intrusive thought patterns that no longer benefit you.
8 – Take a Technology Break
Spending an entire day on our phone or computer tends to overstimulate us, which can worsen our stress levels. We use our computer or phone for almost everything from looking at maps, engaging in social media, and getting updates on topics of interest. Therefore, it is important that you try to minimize your phone usage, or watching too much TV. Instead, you can engage in other beneficial and constructive activities like exercising or reading.
9 – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an effective way of managing and minimizing symptoms of stress. Focus on the present by using your senses. Concentrate on the task at hand without worrying about the past or the future
10 – Keep a Gratitude Attitude
Even in the middle of a stressful situation keep in mind what you can feel grateful for. You may be grateful for the opportunity or demonstrate your skills at work, or taking care of a loved one, or learning something new. Keeping a grateful attitude will help you to keep calm and see the big picture instead of complaining and feeling grumpy.
These 10 tips will help you manage your stress at work and at home. If you are feeling overwhelmed with so much stress, I hope you will definitely try those tips and over come from your stress.