Easy Ways to Manage Stress
No matter who you are, where you live, or what type of work you do, there’s a good chance that stress is a regular part of your life. When stress becomes long-standing and intense, it can cause us to feel overwhelmed and interfere with our functioning and performance. Here are a few simple tips to help you manage your stress.
Take a break
When you focus for too long on the same issue without moving forward, you’re not being productive. When you feel like things are too much to handle, do something that will take your mind off of your troubles. It may seem difficult, but when you allow yourself to move your mind away from it, you’re opening yourself up to other activities which might shift focus and help you to clear your mind.
Use positive self-statements
During hard times, go a little easy on yourself. No one is perfect or built to withstand extreme pressure constantly. Remind yourself that you are doing your best and that’s what’s important. Whenever you notice yourself becoming irritated, ashamed or angry, say this to yourself: "It's true, I don't like this. This is uncomfortable, but it’s part of life and I can tolerate it”.
Remember that it is okay to make mistakes
Trying to be perfect or being afraid of making mistakes is tiring and can make us anxious. Mistakes offer a valuable chance to learn and grow. So, rather than trying to avoid making a mistake, accept that you might make some and that it is okay. Being compassionate towards yourself will make stress easier to deal with.
Smile and laugh
The way the muscles of our face move is linked to the way we think. When we’re stressed, we frown and our faces are tense. In contrast, when we feel happy, we smile. This also works the other way around. Making a conscious effort to smile and laugh can help let go of some of that stress.
Live in the present
Try to live in the present moment and be aware of the things around you and within you. Focus on your breathing. Let your thoughts pass without judgment.
Communicate better and maintain good boundaries
Improving communication skills can help you express what you want or feel and help in solving the problem in a positive way. Take a careful look at what commitments you make, and whether you can actually live up to them or not. This will help you in setting boundaries and saying ‘No’.
Share more and ask for help
Being able to share your thoughts and feelings with someone who understands you, can help you feel more equipped to deal with it. Create a safe space for yourself to talk about your concerns with someone you trust. Simply sharing your stress can sometimes make it easier to bear.
Try a physical activity which requires you to do the same action again and again, such as running. It can help you release tension by tightening and loosening your muscles repeatedly. You can even practice yoga, knitting or musical instruments. With regular practice, you can develop a quieter mind.
Take good care of yourself
No matter how rushed life gets, make time for yourself — even if it's just simple things like reading a good book or listening to your favorite music. Eat healthy food, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Take more vacations. Avoid unhealthy habits that might get worse in times of stress, like drinking or smoking.
The research keeps growing — exercise helps your mind as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session during a stressful time can have an effect which lasts for several hours.
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