Updated: Jul 5, 2022
To manage stress, we need to understand what stress is. Although we cannot see it, there is nothing mystical about it. However, we are so much exposed to a negative stress that it became the number one public enemy. It is considered that stress is the one responsible for all bad things that happen to our body and mind. Truth to be told stress is nothing else than our natural response to a change that occurs in a sudden way. Due to the fact that it’s a natural response, it means that it cannot be eliminated from our life.
It is a physiological and psychological response to external or internal inputs that influence the way we feel and behave. The final result of this process is that your body will have a huge quantity of energy at its disposal that unfortunately, most of the times, is not consumed as it should be. There is a positive and a negative stress, but the one that is putting us to challenge is the negative one.
We experience stress and anxiety on a daily basis, but what makes it good or bad is the way we respond to it. This is why it is important to accept it as part of our daily life and learn different ways to manage it.
Here are 5 ways to deal with everyday stress:
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.” Bertrand Russell
1. Move Your Body Consistently
Studies have shown that being engaged in physical activities helps reduce stress and can improve sleep. As we are evolving technologically, we create different devices that are used to transport our bodies faster from one point to another. That means that we are using less of our body and therefore less energy is needed for typical activities. If you add this energy generated by stress, you have a great deal of energy that is unused and has to be consumed somehow. In order to consume the energy given by stress and reduce your anxiety level you can try different activities like going to the gym or taking longer walks or taking dance classes…the idea is that it doesn't have to be exhausting but it has to be on a regular basis. Choosing an activity that is pleasant for you and creates a state of wellbeing gives you a better chance to do it on the long run and have more control on your stress and anxiety level.
2. Have A Balanced Diet
What you eat and what you drink is very important for your overall health. Nevertheless, latest studies are showing that our health is affected also by how and when we eat and drink. Overeating is one of the results of stress and usually in those moments your diet is based on highly processed food. There is no magic formula on how, what and when to eat and drink. Each and one of us is different and this is why you have to observe yourself and how you relate to different types of food. In any case start eating more vegetables, fish, fruits, beans, and as often as possible, organic food. You can try some raw food from time to time or introduce a different eating habit like intermittent fasting. The final idea is that by observing how you relate to different foods and drinks you will create your personal diet style that works for you.
Sleep is important for your stress level. On one hand, it is a response to your actual stress level and on the other hand, the lack of it influences your stress level. Good sleep is not about a lot of sleep but about the quality of it. Sleep can affect your memory, immune system, language, attention and understanding. How much sleep we need is different for every person. However, it is considered that an average adult should sleep between seven to nine hours a night. To get the best of your sleep create a good environment in your bedroom. Remove distractions like TV, gadgets, computers and get rid of the habits of looking at your phone’s screen or eating in bed at night. Actually, your last meal should be at least three hours prior to going to sleep and you should stop looking at any screen at least one hour before going to bed. The ‘blue light’ of these devices suppresses melatonin production which is the hormone that helps you fall asleep. Set the temperature of your bedroom so you feel comfortable, not too cold but not too warm either. I suggest you listen to a progressive relaxation in order to focus on your body and relax so you can easily drift into sleep.
4. Do Not Talk About Your Problems! Talk About Solutions!
One of the causes of stress are challenges throughout the day that we sometimes call problems or issues. The common thing is that we tend to stay in that situation physically, mentally, and emotionally. Even after the stressful situation has ended, we have the tendency to continue fighting in our mind and to emotionally repeat it which creates more stress and more negative energy. It’s like a never-ending story. We continue by talking to our friends about the stressful situation we have been through with a lot of emotions as if it is actually happening right in that moment. Every time we do that, we generate stress. In order to get out of it you have to stop thinking about it. You have to stop complaining. You have to stop judging yourself and others. It is not that easy, but you can start by focusing on the positive outcome you desire instead of reliving what happened in you past. Start using some positive self-talk instead of judging yourself and others. Negative self-talk increases stress and that is exactly what we do not want to happen. When you start using positive self-talk you will observe how easily you will calm down. With practice you will shift from negative to positive thoughts that will help you reduce stress and focus on solving problems instead of staying in them.
Meditation is my favorite way of releasing stress. It has so many positive effects that it is hard to count them. Also, it's the simplest way to release stress. Meditation, even if it’s a short one, helps you with reducing stress and anxiety symptoms. It helps you anchor in the present moment rather than being in the stressful past. The only real moment for our brain and mind is the present and from here we can focus on positive outcomes that we desire to become our reality. It will help you boost your mood, your immune system, and your overall health. You will improve your executive decision making, you will increase your creativity, learning ability, memory and finally you will increase your ability to manage stress and anxiety or even increase you ‘immunity' to stressful situations. There is a wide variety of Meditation and Mindfulness practices. If you are new to meditation just start with short ones and in time increase their length and frequency. I prepared for you a Free Guided Meditation For Quick Relaxation. Just click the button bellow and you'll find it in your Inbox.
In the meantime, although stress is part of your life it can become your friend. Use these tips and you will start managing and using your stress to get better results every day.