Five Ways to Manage and Relieve Stress
Life can be stressful at times, so knowing how to manage and deal with stress is very important and can be helpful to your overall health and well-being. Stress comes in different forms and can either move us forward, signaling when to pay attention to those things that bring us passion and joy, or it can signal danger and distress, which can bring feelings of fear, dread, and even incapacitate us in certain situations. Stress is very real and may be a fact of life, but being stressed out is not. Here are five ways to better manage and relieve stress.
Reduce stressors (cause of stress). Many people find that life is filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. Effective time-management skills involve asking for help when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.
Set realistic goals and expectations. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize you can’t be 100% successful at everything all at once or all of the time. Tell yourself that it is okay and take baby steps to create healthy habits that will last over time.
Study and practice relaxation techniques. Incorporate a time to rest and relax into your day. Choose from a variety of different techniques. Have you tried deep breathing exercises, meditation, muscle relaxation, mental imagery relaxation, or music relaxation? Creating that time and space to just be is important.
Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins, natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive outlook and overall well being. Get outside and go for a walk up to 30 mins a day or even select non-competitive exercise. Remember to set reasonable goals for yourself.
Be Assertive. Know it’s okay to say “No.” You do not have to meet others' expectations or demands. Being assertive helps you create healthy boundaries for yourself while still respecting those around you.
Most importantly if you are feeling stressed, try to keep a positive attitude as best you can. Understand that sometimes there are life events that may be out of your control so be willing to accept that if you can and find the best ways to work through those situations.
Resting and eating a healthy well-balanced diet is also key in helping to relieve stress. Be sure to make time for you to enjoy life, your hobbies, and the things that bring you joy and make you happy. Remember you need to take care of yourself first during stressful times and that’s okay. When you are feeling your best, you’ll have the stamina to deal with the various life stressors that may come your way.
As always, know you can seek help and talk through stressful situations you may be experiencing with an expert counselor who can help you navigate the situation. If stressful situations feel overwhelming seek advice as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment today, please call 208-345-2212.