We are no stranger to stress. Somehow, that little word has snuck its way into every aspect of our lives and changed the way we handle everything. Can you even remember a time you didn’t feel stressed out or anxious? Your mind probably goes back to your last vacation. Take a moment to de-stress and train your brain for a mini-vacation from stress every day.
What You Should Know about Stress
When our bodies our stressed, they react as they would in an emergency situation. Our bodies release stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstream to allow us to function at a high level. This reaction increases heart rate and raises blood pressure.
Although the body does not continue this behavior long term, when this happens multiple times a day, you may feel aches and pains, experience depression, have difficulty sleeping or feel helpless. If they last for a few days, these may be signs of chronic stress.
10 Stress Busters- Ways to Manage Stress in Our Busy Lives
1. Be aware of stressors and their causes- Know what sets your body into the “fight or flight” response. Are you stressed at work when a large project is not completed? When your family doesn’t help out with chores at home? When a plan falls through? When you know what causes your stress, it is easier to stop it in its tracks
2. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others- Over commitment can be a huge stressor in our lives because we have taken on more than we can handle, and will feel upset and frustrated with ourselves when we cannot follow through.
3. Laugh as much as possible- Humor is one of the greatest de-stressors and can boost your mood immediately, especially during a stressed out situation. Reap the benefits of a good joke, a funny story or a hilarious video.
4. Take care of yourself- It seems too simple, but don’t forget about you. Your well being is one of the most important things in life and should not be overlooked. Before you can successfully take care of others, take care of yourself.
5. Create a good support system- A group of friends, your family or co-workers who care for you and provide uplifting motivation and advice can help as counselors in a stressed out situation. Talking out your problems can make all the difference and you will feel more in control when you have support from people you love. When you can be there to support them in a situation in their lives, you will feel even better. Strengthen and nurture these relationships.
6. Relax- Relaxation is not impossible and you can achieve it! Everyone relaxes in a different way, so be sure to try other relaxation techniques if one isn’t quite it for you. Spend some time alone each day to quiet your mind and feel peace.
7. Take a deep breath- Deep breathing can help quickly lower blood pressure and ease your heartbeat back into its normal rhythm.
8. Engage in physical activity- Physical activity is a perfect way to release stress and tension from the day as well as increase cardiovascular health and prevent diseases and chronic conditions. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins to boost your mood and many studies show that people who regularly exercise have lower levels of depression.
9. Keep that glass half full- Maintain a positive attitude. Stress is a negative aspect of our lives, but it does not need to change our perspective on everything. When you stay positive, you will be a happier person, even while experiencing negativity.
10. Don’t sacrifice sleep- Sleep is the first thing to go when you are feeling short on time. You can’t eliminate something so important. Your body recovers each night while you are sleeping and when you cut out one, two or even three hours a night, you are more prone to other complications and disorders.
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