Tips To Manage Stress
In todays society, stress and change often are thought of as the same thing. Stress is a physiological and psychological response to situations the body and mind find to be overwhelming. We often ask ourselves how we should manage stress. There are many ways people manage stress and reduce the overall stress of day-to-day activities. With the fast pace of work and home, and being constantly inundated with technology and still wanting to have time to connect with those around us, our lives can feel overwhelming and stressful at times.
Manage how you live with these five tips to feel less stressed:
1. Use guided meditation.
Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. There are many guided meditations available on the internet that can help you find 5 minutes of centered relaxation.
2. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the bodys response to a perceived threat. Deep breaths taken in to a count of five seconds, held for two seconds and released to a count of five seconds, can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce the overall stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
3. Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition.
4. Manage social media time.
5. Connect with others.
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Practise Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Also called a body scan, this technique helps you to focus on yourself and release tension youre holding in your body.
Breathe in and tense the muscles in your face, squeezing your eyes shut. Clench your jaw and keep your face tensed for five seconds. Gradually relax your muscles over the time it takes to count to ten, then take a deep breath. You can say relax as you relax. Next, move on to your neck and shoulders, and gradually move down your body. Be careful with any injuries or pain that you have. Get more info on how to practise progressive muscle relaxation here.
What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
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Write A Letter To Yourself
Colangelo recommends future writing, a technique to envision a time beyond the stress of here and now, to help you calm down. Mindfulness is great until we get stuck in the present moment, she says. Writing to your future self can be cathartic and start to bridge the gap between the stuck-ness of here and now and the excitement for what good might come down the road.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Almost everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point in their lives. Approximately 70% of American adults say they feel stressed or anxious every day.
Taking action is the only way to improve the situation. Even if you take small steps, it could make all the difference. You do not have to resort to any drastic measures.
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Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Here Are Some Action Strategies For How To Relieve Your Stress And Anxiety:
1.Get a biofeedback device. You can use a biofeedback device to learn what your body does when it gets anxious. It will record your actions, such as increased heart rate, perspiration, temperature, and strained muscles. These are things you dont normally notice. When you get these readings from the biofeedback device, you get to know your body better and youre then more able to counteract these symptoms and relax.
2.Talk with friends. Feeling anxious can also make you feel quite alone. One way to combat this is to remain open about your feelings and communicate with other people. Make time for your friends or family.
3.Seek counseling. It is up to you to tell whether you have mild stress and anxiety problems or life-altering issues. If your anxiety is showing interference with your daily life, seek the advice of mental health professional.
4.Meditate. Meditation is certainly an action strategy even though it seems like quite the opposite. Your choice to be inactive is an action in itself. Try to meditate by taking deep breaths in and out. Doing so will relax all of your muscles in the process and your problems will begin to fade away.
5.Exercise. Start an exercise routine. Exercise gets the endorphins pumping and will relax you. When you engage in regular exercise you get your body into a healthy rhythm. Youll have a built-in break from anxious situations when you make time for exercise.
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Identify And Learn To Manage Your Triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.
Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.
When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you cant limit it like if its due to a stressful work environment that you cant currently change using other coping techniques may help.
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
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Try 6 Meditations To Help Reduce Anxiety
Looking for more meditations to help you feel calm? The Headspace app offers subscribers several courses and single meditations on topics related to anxiety, including:
Managing Anxiety 10-day course. Cultivate a new perspective on fear and anxiety.
Unemployment Anxiety single meditation. Recognize and release stress about job loss and the future.
Letting Go of Stress 10-day course. Enjoy a healthier mind by developing your awareness of stress and learning how to reframe negative emotions.
Stressed single meditation. Notice what you’re holding onto and how to drop the preoccupying storyline.
Why can’t I sleep? single meditation. This exercise will help you practice calming the mind and body during the day, so you feel more ready for sleep when bedtime comes.
Difficult Conversations single meditation. The prospect of a difficult conversation can drive feelings of anxiety and fear, but by lesseing habits of reactivity and developing a calmer, more patient mindset, you can both listen and express yourself more clearly.
Six Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress
Practicing even a few minutes per day can provide a reserve of inner calm
We all face stressful situations throughout our lives, ranging from minor annoyances like traffic jams to more serious worries, such as a loved one’s grave illness. No matter what the cause, stress floods your body with hormones. Your heart pounds, your breathing speeds up, and your muscles tense.
This so-called “stress response” is a normal reaction to threatening situations honed in our prehistory to help us survive threats like an animal attack or a flood. Today, we rarely face these physical dangers, but challenging situations in daily life can set off the stress response. We can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives, nor would we want to. But we can develop healthier ways of responding to them.
One way is to invoke the “relaxation response,” through a technique first developed in the 1970s at Harvard Medical School by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson, editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.
Following are six relaxation techniques that can help you evoke the relaxation response and reduce stress.
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Tip : Identify Your Stress Response
Internally, we all respond the same way to the fight-or-flight stress response: your blood pressure rises, your heart pumps faster, and your muscles constrict. Your body works hard and drains your immune system. Externally, however, people respond to stress in different ways.
The best way to quickly relieve stress often relates to your specific stress response:
Overexcited stress response: If you tend to become angry, agitated, overly emotional, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
Underexcited stress response: If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing.
The immobilization or frozen stress response
Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration
Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.
Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.
Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?
The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.
Take a break from technology
Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.
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When To Speak With Your Healthcare Provider
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by your stress and none of the self-help strategies are working, speak with your healthcare provider to refer you to a psychologist or mental health professional. They can help you recognize, prevent, and cope with stressful situations to better manage your response.
Quick Stress Relief At Work
Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy, or take calls outside when possible.
On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Suck on a peppermint. Sip tea.
Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Chat with a colleague.
Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk or mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purpose it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. But lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties like anxiety and depression, or increased physical health problems.
A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness, says Dr. Borland. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
1. Eat and drink to optimize your health
Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. While consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help combat stress.
2. Exercise regularly
In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider noncompetitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.
3. Stop using tobacco and nicotine products
4. Study and practice relaxation techniques
5. Reduce triggers of stress
6. Examine your values and live by them
7. Assert yourself
8. Set realistic goals and expectations
9. Sell yourself to yourself
Listen To Relaxing Music
Forge a friendship with music and you will not regret it! Music helps in all sorts of phases and moods and all it takes to elevate your stress is a listen to your fave number. Go on, try it. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, consider joining a class of music therapy.
Pro Tip: Keep a playlist handy so you can fall back on it in a jiffy when the need arises!
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Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
Meditate And Practice Mindfulness
A main goal of meditation is full awareness of the present moment, which includes noticing all thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. This can lead to a sense of calm and contentment by increasing your ability to mindfully tolerate all thoughts and feelings.
Meditation is known to relieve stress and anxiety and is a primary facet of CBT.
Research from John Hopkins suggests 30 minutes of daily meditation may alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant.
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How To Tell Whether Youre Experiencing Stress Or Anxiety
Not sure whether stress or anxiety is behind your symptoms?
Take a step back and think of whats going on in your life right now. What kinds of things do you tend to worry about? Are they specific threats or events?
Consider car troubles. Maybe you know you really need new tires, especially now that its starting to snow. But you cant afford to replace them just yet.
For the next few weeks, you feel uneasy about driving. What if you slide on a patch of ice? What if you get a flat on your way home from a late-night shift on that stretch of road with lousy reception?
A few weeks later, you have a fresh set of tires and stop worrying about driving to and from work safely. In this case, your nervousness was due to stress, triggered by having old tires.
But maybe you get new tires and dont really notice a change in your symptoms. Youre still nervous about driving and feel a vague sense of unease that you cant quite put your finger on. Or, your tires were never an issue in the first place, but you can shake an overall feeling of nervousness about getting on the road. That would be anxiety.
If you can tie your feelings back to a specific trigger, theyre likely the result of stress. But if the exact cause isnt clear, or your symptoms stick around after the initial trigger goes away, it may be anxiety.
Stress typically happens in response to physical or mental pressure. This pressure might involve a big life change, like: