In today’s world, feeling stress is pretty much the norm. There’s no avoiding it, but living with constant stress is not ideal – it’s actually harmful.
Very often we are asked to do more and more with less time each day, and our responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming.
Does this sound like your typical day?
You get up in the morning and rush to work. But you deal with traffic and get a serious case of road rage when people cut you off. You finally get to the office, in a crap mood. Your desk is covered in piles of paper, and your inbox is overflowing. You start multitasking, but keep getting interrupted. You snap at people because your boss is expecting a report by 11 a.m. that you haven’t even started working on yet…(even if you get it done, you know he won’t be happy.)
I think I’ll stop here since you get the idea…
Man, life is stressful. It’s exhausting, fast-paced, and demanding. There’s just no escaping the pressure, and all of this stress is only causing your blood pressure to sky rocket!
I believe most of the stress we feel is unnecessary, and that it should be deleted from our lives. I’m thinking you agree or else you wouldn’t be reading this.
Some people like to say they thrive on stress, but at some point stress becomes a problem. A BIG problem that affects your health – mentally and physically. One study found that chronic stress contributes to mental health issues due to it literally changes the structure of function of your brain. Not good…
You should probably do something about your stress…
The problem is most people don’t think about it until it’s too late and they’re on the verge of burnout. But you’re not like most people though, are you? Of course not.
You can eliminate some of the stress you feel right now!
Through good stress relief habits that I’ll share with you today, you can end up with a relaxed and stress-free life. There’s even an additional resource at the bottom of the article to provide additional stress relieving techniques.
THE EFFECT STRESS HAS ON YOUR HEALTH
Do you ever wonder what kind of effect stress is having on your body?
Research shows that a little stress every now and then isn’t bad. In fact, there may even health beliefs (score). However, chronic stress can have the same effect on your health as secondhand smoke! It can even change your genes!!!
Here are 10 ways chronic stress affects your health:
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain from emotional eating
- More belly fat
- High chances of heart attacks
- Memory loss
- Hair loss (beyond you pulling out your hair)
- Risk of stroke
- Decreased mojo aka sex drive
- Decreased sex appeal
Um…that’s a horrifying list…
My goal wasn’t to stress you out more, but with so many health problems being caused or influenced by stress, it’s important to see how you can positively impact your life by getting serious with managing your stress. Coz I don’t know about you, but I want to keep my hair for as long as I can.
And my sexiness…rawrr
10 WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS
People get overwhelmed thinking stress management means eliminating stress completely from their lives.
If this is you, relax — you’re not trying to cut out all stress. Even if you could, that wouldn’t be a smart idea. It’s actually been found that some stress in your lifestyle is good for you (just look at the graph below if you don’t believe me).
It’s a different story though when stress gets excessive and you’re overloaded with it. Learning how to cope with stress properly can go a long way for your everyday health, and the following strategies can help. The resource at the end can also help you to effectively manage your stress.
I know that lack of time adds to stress, and you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time for this.”
The good news is what I show you below don’t take a lot of time – not even for someone as busy as you!
1. One thing at a time
Whether it’s at work, in school or in your private life, you should work on one thing at a time. With so much to do and so little time, people turn to multitasking as a solution. However, it’s part of the problem.
Instead, you should single-task. This will allow you to focus on a task, do a good job, and get it complete. Crossing things off your list is a great stress relief.
2. Prioritize your todos
We look at our huge todo list and feel overburdened by everything we think we have to get done. Accept that you cannot do everything at once and prioritize your tasks. I guarantee there are things on your list that you shouldn’t bother with.
By editing your overwhelming and unmanageable todo list, you break it down into a series of smaller, manageable tasks spread out over time. Make sure to add buffer times for those unexpected and emergency tasks, and, more importantly, include time for your own relaxation and well-being.
You don’t have to do everything on your schedule. There are unnecessary things filling up your time, and you should figure out what they are and eliminate them. What could you stop doing altogether with no or very small consequences?
Reevaluate what you do in a day or in a week to see if there is anything you can stop doing right now that are wasting your time. Free up your time and energy for what matters in your life.
But don’t be rude, make sure to give these things a goodbye gift…
4. Learn to Say ‘No’
A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time to do it. Rather than saying no to all the additional junk, most people just agree to take it all on. Learning to say “no” will help to reduce your level of stress. As an added bonus, it’ll also help you develop self-confidence because it shows you value your time.
At first, saying “no” is going to feel weird. You want to be helpful and don’t want to come off like a jerk. Here are some phrases you can use to let other people down gently:
- “I am sorry, but I have other priorities at the moment, so I can’t commit to that.”
- “Now is not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. Why don’t you ask me again at….?”
- “I’d love, but …”
- “I can do that, but that means I can’t do [something more important]…”
Remember, if you want to take control of your life, you’re going to have to say “no” to unimportant things, so you can say “yes” to important ones.
5. Be here
When you spend too much time in your head, it’s easy to stress out. Choose to spend more of your day and time in the present moment.
One simple technique to get you in the moment is to focus on something tangible around you for a couple of minutes. Sit or stand still and take in everything that is happening around you at this moment. See it. Hear it. Smell it.
An easy thing to focus on is a plant. Focus on its leaves, the soil, how it grew, etc. You may get some confused looks, but you’ll be calm and relaxed. Fair trade-off, in my opinion.
6. Stop being a perfectionist (unless you’re doing heart surgery)
Having low self-esteem leaves you vulnerable to stress. Chronic stress will erode your self-esteem over time. A major factor that connections the two is the desire to be perfect.
When you measure yourself to a perfect standard then you’re just making it impossible to feel good about yourself. That’s going to do wonders for your self-esteem (not). Shoot for excellence and “good enough” instead. By setting manageable goals and expectations, you’ll not only experience success, but you’ll boost your self-esteem and lower your stress levels.
The truth is, you’re already perfect. Don’t take my word for it – take Bruno Mars’!
Taking deep, slow, full breaths when you’re stress has a profound affect because the nerve that’s responsible for relaxation runs through your diaphragm. When you breathe deeply, you activate it.
Not only does breathing have any effect on you physically, it can reset you mentally. By focusing on your breath, you connect with the present moment. This releases the stress and calms your mind and body.
So the next time you feel stress, take five deep breaths and see if you feel any better.
8. Take time to do what you love
Don’t get lost in what I call “have-tos” – I have to do this, I have to do that…
Prioritize what really matters to you and carve out time to do what you love. Whether it’s reading, running, painting, or playing guitar, block off time for it regularly in your schedule. When stressful situations leave you feeling powerless, routines let you take back control over parts of your day. Per Christy Matta, author of The Stress Response:
“Our bodies naturally crave routine, and by focusing on these consistent rituals you increase your body’s ability to deal with the physical aspects of stress.”
Because few things will relieve stress and energize you like an activity you love doing, don’t allow the “have-tos” to steal that time. Protect it like a goalie protects the net.
9. Ask for help
Talking to someone about how you feel helps either distract you from your stress or by releasing pent-up tension. You can talk to a friend, parent, partner, or even someone you do not know that well for a helping hand. You don’t have to tackle your stress alone.
Don’t just hang in there…get a helping hand!
10. Get in a rhythm
Do you ever find yourself in a loop of negative thoughts in your head? That’s because stress likes messing with you! Well, it’s time to mess with stress.
To do that, immerse yourself in an activity that puts the focus on your hands or body. This could be exercise, playing an instrument, or knitting. When you get into a rhythm, your brain starts to unwind.
Hit the mute button on stress – be a part of a rhythm nation.
So there you have it – 10 ways to manage your stress.
Want a bonus tip? Reduce your stress by watching a video of cute animals.
According to research, watching sweetie animal videos will reduce your heart rate and blood pressure in under 60 seconds. So if you’re feeling stressed, watch the video below. (Even if you aren’t stressed, you should still watch it.)
THEY”RE SO FLUFFY!!!
Anywho…you’ll find it easier to put these 10 habits into practice right now if you add techniques over time. As with any habit, starting with small, manageable steps is the secret to your success.
Don’t see something you do to manage stress on this list?
Share it below in the comments. (It may already be in our comprehensive list that you can get right HERE.)
Where to Go From Here
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney J. Harris
Chronic stress is an epidemic in our society where people have been overrun by demands, pressures, and crises. Feeling stress from time to time is normal. But chronic stress can kill you…literally.
Being under constant pressure just isn’t normal.
You have a say over how stressed you get or how often it happens. You can eliminate all of the unnecessary stress in your life and effectively manage the rest. This will prevent all of those nasty health effects, and will also lead to positive outcomes like increased productivity and happiness.
When you’re less stressed, you enjoy life more.
You can’t eliminate stress in a day. I’m still working on cut out more and more unnecessary stress from my life, and I’m sure it’ll be an ongoing effort. But developing healthy stress relief habits really does pay off in the long run.
Why choose to be stressed if you can do something to make you feel good? Don’t let stress control your life!
I hope you find a few favorites among these 1o tips to use in your own life to reduce your stress and live a calmer, more relaxing life.
So go ahead, break up with stress – you can do soooo much better!
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this, we’d love if you would share it to someone is probably stressing out right now.