We’ve all got busy lives and issues that weigh on our minds, and we all handle day-to-day stress in different ways. Too much stress actually triggers a physical response within our bodies, releasing hormones that help us to cope with the immediate situation, but have long term negative side effects. Weight gain, aging, cardiovascular problems, and mental issues have all been linked to stress, so it’s essential that we learn how to manage stress in a healthy way.
A good stress management plan will address the problem on two fronts: reducing the stressors in your life, and relieving stress quickly when it does come along. HealthGuide.org recommends the following tips for reducing stress:
Avoid Unnecessary Stress: Carefully consider your personal limits, and learn how to say “no” to events, people, or situations that will push you too far. Simplify your to-do list and commit to living within a schedule that is healthy for you.
Alter the Situation: Even if you do a great job at simplifying your life, stressful situations are going to come up. Learn how to manage them through time management, expressing your feelings, taking control of your life, and being willing to compromise.
Adapt to the Stressor: Your perspective can make all the difference in how you handle a stressful situation. When one comes along, remember to focus on the big picture, not on this single blip in time. Focus on the positive, and adjust your standards to be realistic for the situation.
Accept What You Can’t Change: Sometimes the best way to reduce stress is to just let go. You can’t fix everything, so be forgiving, accepting, and willing to move on when things just aren’t going to go your way.
Even those who are the best at stress stress management are going to find their stress levels rising from time to time. Finding ways to reduce stress will protect your health and wellbeing from the damaging effects of high stress levels. No matter how hectic things get, make time to participate in things you enjoy. Spend time with the people you love, relax and get plenty of rest, and engage in activities that make you feel happy.
Living a healthy lifestyle that includes eating right and regular exercise are also effective ways to combat the influence of stress. Work regular exercise sessions into your schedule, and plan out healthy meals to keep you properly energized all week long. Skip the extra sugar and caffeine, since these can cause boost and crash cycles that increase stress.
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