Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Everyone must deal with feelings of being under pressure and stressed at some point in their lives. Eliminating situations that can cause us to feel stress, is not always an option. Managing stress, however, is something that all of us can learn to do.
Many different things can contribute to feeling stressed out. Our jobs, parenting issues, financial problems, relationship problems, sickness, seeing injustice in the world, are some of the more common things we think of when we hear the word stress. Stress, however, can also be self-induced by our perception of the situation and how we take care of ourselves. Worrying over something that has not even happened yet can cause stress. Having a negative mindset can cause stress. Replaying embarrassing or tense moments from the past over and again can keep our brains in state of anxiety. Another important thing to recognize is that all stress is not bad. Some stress can push us to be better and achieve more. It can be just what we need to meet deadlines or accomplish something that we need to do.
· Exercise regularly. Research has shown that a fit body is much more effective at fighting off everything from disease to stress.
· Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and proteins will fuel your body in such a way that it is better equipped to keep your stress levels at bay.
· Meditate. Just practicing the art of being quiet and living in the moment is another effective method of stress management. When you are living in the moment, you are not worrying about the past or the future.
· Learn to recognize that everything is not within your control. Life happens. Sometimes good things happen and sometimes bad things happen. These happenings are not always something we can control. Recognizing this can eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with self-blame and the need to control things all of the time.
· Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Sleep is very important to the way we function on a day-to-day basis. When you are well rested you are less likely to let things overwhelm you to the point of getting stressed out.
· Have fun. Make time to have fun, socialize, spend time with people who love you. There is something so healing and self-affirming about just relaxing, laughing, and having a good time. Stress and other problems seem to melt away during these times. Laughter has also been shown to have amazing physical, as well as psychological benefits.
· Learn to say “no”. Much of the stress we have is often related to our inability to set boundaries in our life. Even though our intentions may be good when we always agree to help others, there comes a point when we are overextended. When this happens, we can get stressed to the point we are not being effective at anything we are doing. To be our best for others, we must learn to take good care of ourselves. Sometimes that means saying “no”.
· Stay away from drugs and alcohol as a means of dealing with your stress. In the long run, it will only contribute to your stress.
Also, taking deep breaths, expanding your lower abdomen and centering yourself in the present moment! Check out our blog at www.esupportcounseling.com/blog for a demonstration of deep breathing. Reach out to a counselor if you find that you are having a difficult time managing your stress on your own. At eSupport Counseling, we’d love to be there to help you reach your stress management goals!!