How To Reduce Your Stress Level
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Published by TOP4 Team
Experiencing stress from time to time is now considered the norm, given how fast and how complex the world continues to be. And sometimes, stress is not entirely a bad thing. Many people have used stress to move and motivate them to make positive changes that transform their lives for the better.
However, it’s a different story when you’re plagued by stress most of the time. Chronic or acute stress can affect your physical, mental and emotional health, and sometimes the consequences can be permanent or life-threatening. When you’re living in a constant and continuous series of worry, anxiety, agitation and anger, it can translate to serious health conditions. Your headache, stomach cramps, heartburn, fatigue, sleeplessness, low mood and energy, even weight gain, depression or addition – all these may have all been triggered by stress.
What you need to remember is that there’s no easy way to combat stress, and depending on your situation, it may not even be possible to completely eliminate it from the normal course of things. But you can learn how to manage your stress better so you can reduce its intensity and frequency and achieve more balance in your life
Look at stress in the eye. The first step is to acknowledge that you are indeed stressed out so you can investigate the cause of it. Is it due to pressures at work? Conflicts with your spouse, family members or other people close to you? Financial woes? Health problems? Or perhaps a combination of one or two of these things?
Then, trace your response to these stressful situations. How do you cope with stressors, and the coping mechanisms you use help or do they add more problems to the mix? Some of your strategies may give you instant gratification – drinking alcohol, smoking, emotional eating, using stimulants or simply withdrawing from it all may feel good at the moment, but they’re unhealthy and may lead to other complications in the long term.
Adapt and accept. Now that you’ve pinpointed the cause of stress and your response to it, you can do a comprehensive audit and see if you can alter or eliminate stressful situations altogether. For instance, if the pressure at work seems always too hot to handle, do you think you can switch to another department or change jobs to make a clean cut from your main stressor?
On the other hand, if completely avoiding stress is impossible, see if you can make some changes that reduce your contact with aggravating things. If you see no agreements in the near future, try to avoid highly sensitive topics during conversations. Look for a middle ground and make compromises. Start change from within; if work is too much, look into time management methods that will prevent you from being too overworked or bogged down by deadlines.
Implement lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle is your most powerful weapon to combat, handle and manage stress. When your health is at its best, your mind can make clear, smart judgements that will shield you from making mistakes, wrong decisions and highly emotional outbursts. When your body is in optimum shape, you’ll have the strength to keep things within balance even if unexpected or unwanted events happen.
Some of the things you can do to relax and let go of strain:
- Exercise regularly. Select a sports or physical activity that you actually enjoy.
- Eat healthy and appreciate the pleasure of eating delicious, nutritious foods.
- Indulge in deep, relaxing, refreshing sleep every night.
- Invest in time for activities and relationships that make you happy.
- Recognise humour in life. Read a funny book, watch a live stand-up act, or simply enjoy light chitchats with your friends.
- Create a stress-free zone. Light an aromatherapy candle, drink your favourite tea, meditate or simply be quiet and enjoy the small minutes of peace. .