Stress has become a common component of everyone’s life. It’s your body’s way of responding to certain challenges and situations that could be overwhelming for you, such as your day-to-day responsibilities, work tasks, or school projects. However, when stress levels become chronic or too much for your body, it can adversely affect your overall wellbeing. Some physical and emotional symptoms of too much stress may include:
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Body pains and headaches
- Loss of interest
- Feelings of withdrawal or isolation
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Overwhelming emotions of anger, anxiety, worriedness, or frustration
Besides these symptoms, stress can also negatively affect your relationship with other people as you become more irritable. These symptoms will sooner or later affect your lifestyle and make you less functional in society. Worst of all, overwhelming and uncontrollable stress levels could hurt your overall health. It could lead to constant doctor visits to treat chronic headaches, or you might need alcohol rehab if you've used alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Thus, it’s imperative that each of you knows how to handle and healthily cope with stress. While there’s no one-size-fits-all when coping and managing stress, there are some tools and techniques you could apply or practice to help lower your stress levels and manage its symptoms.
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Healthy Strategies To Cope And Manage Stress
While stress is something you can’t always control due to its regular occurrence, you can still control how you positively and healthily respond to it. Here are eight healthy strategies you can do to manage and cope with stress:
1) Practice Relaxation Techniques
When things suddenly feel too stressful and overwhelming for you, one immediate coping strategy you can do is to perform relaxation techniques. These can be deep breathing exercises, online guided journaling, meditation, guided imagery, and yoga. Doing any of these relaxation techniques will help put you in a restful and calm state and eventually allow your mind, muscles, and overall body to relax.
For example, if you’re feeling stressed at work, give yourself at least five to ten minutes of break to stop whatever you’re doing and do some deep breathing exercises at your office desk or in the bathroom. You can also enhance your relaxation state by taking natural supplements like SUPA Naturals CBD Oil.
Another way to incorporate relaxation techniques into your lifestyle is by performing yoga or meditation every morning when you wake up or every night before bedtime. Including meditation or yoga in your daily routine will improve your body’s response to stress and help start your day from a more positive perspective. Overall, you should include relaxation in your daily regimen.
2) Re-balance Your Work and Personal Life
One of the leading contributors to stress is the lack of a balanced work-life. When you’re all working with almost no time for your personal life, you’ll likely become a workaholic facing many work-related issues and problems. Thus, you must have a healthy work-life balance to reduce stress and prevent burnout in the workplace.
You can re-balance your work and personal life by:
- Not bringing work to your home
- Handling work-related tasks within your working hours only
- Utilizing your break time or lunch break for an actual rest (or eat) and not doing extra work
- Creating a realistic to-do checklist for work
- Letting go of work perfectionism
- Stepping out of your workplace for a few minutes to recollect yourself or spend time with people outside of work
Your job is important, but that doesn’t mean you’ll compromise your health and overall wellbeing just for it. So, help yourself manage and cope with stress by re-balancing your work and personal life.
3) Engage In Regular Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activity frequently can also help healthily cope with stress. When you constantly move your body, it promotes blood circulation, which helps eliminate stress hormones. Furthermore, it also boosts your body’s production of endorphins which is the chemical responsible for elevating your mood. Don’t worry, as engaging in physical activities doesn’t mean hitting the gym every day.
Even a 15–20-minute walk around the neighborhood every day is enough to make a difference and reduce your stress levels. You can also incorporate regular physical activity into your day-to-day routine. For instance, you can bike or walk your way to work to promote emotional and physical health. If you have the option between taking the elevator or the stairs, take the stairs if possible. Overall, regular physical activity isn’t only for your physical health but also your mental and emotional health.
4) Eat And Drink Healthily
What you eat or drink is linked to how your body responds to stress. When you constantly eat sugary foods, processed meals, or drink too much alcohol or caffeine, your cortisol hormone increases, worsening your stress levels. To help your body cope with stress better, focus on eating well-balanced meals, drinking more water, and avoiding skipping meals. A well-nourished body is more likely to cope with stress easier; plus, your overall health will thank you.
5) Socialize With Supportive People
Just because you have a busy life doesn’t mean you need to cut yourself off from your friends and social circle. The more you withdraw yourself from others, the harder it’ll be for you to cope with stress. So, always make time to include socializing as part of your routine. Don’t worry, as socializing doesn’t always mean constantly hanging out with your friends in fancy restaurants or bars. It only means getting in touch with the supportive people in your life.
For instance, after a long day at work, you can invite your parents or best friend for a coffee date to relax or perhaps have a movie night with your partner. If you’re not in the mood to step out of your home, you can still socialize by utilizing virtual calls, remote game nights, or video calls. Overall, socializing will be a great distraction from your stress and worries.
6) Make Time For Your Hobbies
Don’t get so wrapped up with the seriousness of life that you forget to make time for your hobbies and passion. If you love to garden, read, dance, bake, or listen to music, make sure to make time to pursue these activities that bring you joy and pleasure. Doing your hobbies and engaging in any pleasurable activity can help lower your heart rate and reduce stress.
7) Sleep Enough
You’ve probably experienced waking up feeling cranky and irritable because of a poor sleep last night, which is normal. However, when you’re frequently sleep-deprived, not only will you feel grumpy in the morning, but your body will also have a hard time managing stress at all. As a result, your stress levels will keep you up all night, all the more affecting the quality of your sleep.
Thus, always remember to let your body rest and get enough sleep at night. If sleeping seems difficult, you could start a bedtime routine or add meditation and yoga to help your body relax and sleep easier.
8) Play With Your Pet
It’s pleasantly surprising how spending time with your pet can do wonders for your health and help you cope with stress. So, if you have a pet, don’t forget to give it some extra love and care. Not only will your pet love the extra attention, but their presence alone can help cut off your stress levels.
Stress isn’t something you can avoid in your life. Thankfully, you can still control your body’s response to it and manage it to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect your physical and mental health. So, starting today, you can find out stressors in life and apply these strategies to cope with them effectively.