We all have stress in our lives, from tests in school to projects at work, to a family member’s illness, and these worries can build up and start to affect our own health, both mental and physical. Too much or prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, and can also affect your relationships, lower work performance, and negatively impact your quality of life. That’s why it’s so important to manage the stress in your life in healthy ways before it becomes too much to handle. Below are six tips for managing and relieving stress:
- Understand why you’re stressed. Recognizing and understanding what parts of your life are causing you stress is a good way to figure out the best way to handle it. Understanding and acknowledging that some causes of stress are out of your control may help you feel less stressed and worried, and help you focus that energy on managing stress in other ways.
- Get enough sleep. Not only does getting enough sleep have a huge effect on your physical health, it can also contribute to your mental health. When you’re well-rested you are more focused and alert, allowing you to get more done and better handle the problems that are causing you stress.
- Maintain healthy relationships. Discussing your worries with a friend or family member can help ease your mind and reduce stress, and having people you trust can help make you more comfortable talking about stressful topics. Even just having a fun conversation with a friend can help reduce stress â€“ laughter is a great way to ease tension and help you feel more relaxed!
- Get some exercise. Any type of physical activity, from running to dancing to jumping rope, increases the production of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that reduce pain and make you happier. Focusing on your workout, whether it’s going for a run, shooting some hoops, or just dancing in front of your mirror, can also help you stay calm by distracting you from the things you’re worrying about.
- Stay organized and don’t overcommit. Even if your primary worries are not related to work or school, having too many commitments and tasks on your plates can definitely increase stress. Using a planner or calendar to stay organized and keep track of commitments can help you get more done and ease stress. Don’t overcommit and try to do too much â€“ prioritizing what you’re involved in can help you identify areas where you can cut back a little in order to spend more time on other parts of your life.
- Don’t expect perfection be kind to yourself! Of course we all want to do our best in what we do, but when we demand too much of ourselves and are hard on ourselves when we fall short, it is easy to become discouraged. Expecting too much from yourself can easily make you more stressed when you don’t live up to the expectations you set. Do your best, but don’t be too hard on yourself for mistakes — no one is perfect!
Take a deep breath and conquer the day! Don’t let stress get you down. <3