Stress Is the Greatest Part of Our Lives Now: How to Tackle It? In today’s time, stress has become a very common thing in our life. But what is stress exactly? Well, it can be characterized as our body’s response to some kind of challenge or demand. Ideally, anyone and everyone can experience some kind of stress in their life, and nowadays, more and more people are experiencing this. Needless to say, a huge amount of stress can surely have some adverse effects on your life.
So, how can you diminish this stress in your life? Well, this is what this post is all about. Let’s check them out one by one.
You Need to Become Active
Frankly, any kind of physical activity can relieve stress for you. Even if you are not a great athlete or have never had a very nice physique, any kind of physical activity can surely relieve the stress you have.
When you exercise, it can surely pump up your feel-good endorphins and also some other natural neural chemicals. These chemicals can enhance your sense of well-being. Plus, every time you exercise, it can also refocus your mind on your body’s movements. This way, your mode will be improved, and all the irritations you feel will surely fade away. Some of the things you can do are walking, jogging, gardening, housecleaning, biking, swimming, weightlifting, or anything else that gets you active.
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Always Go for a Healthy Diet
You should always go for a healthy diet as this is a very important part of taking care of yourself. Make sure to exercise and also consume a substantial amount of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Make Sure You Avoid Unhealthy Habits
There are people who have the habit of dealing with stress by drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. Some even try habits like smoking, eating too much, or using illegal substances. You need to understand that depending on these practices will defeat the very purpose of relieving stress since they can harm your health.
You cannot harm yourself in the process of relieving stress. So, stay out of these habits.
Try and Meditate
When you meditate, the goal here is to focus your attention and make yourself calm and quiet. When you calm yourself, all the stream of jumbled thoughts will go away, which are responsible for crowding your mind and causing stress. The moment you start meditation, it can immediately instill a sense of calm, peace, and balance inside your body. This can surely benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.
There are some other forms of meditation as well that you can try and they are guided meditation, guided imagery, and visualization. The best part is that you can practice them anywhere at any time, be it when you’re out for a walk, when you are riding the bus to work or when you are waiting at the doctor’s office. You can also try deep breathing anywhere.
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Laughter Is a Medicine
Laughter is great medicine, and you need to laugh more to relieve the stress you have in you. If you have a good sense of humor, then you will be able to cure all your ailments, and it can help you feel better. Even if you force a fake laugh through your grumpiness, it can still be beneficial for you. The moment you start laughing, it will instantly lighten your mental load but can also cause some positive physical changes in your body.
Laughter will fire up and then cool down your stress response. So, it is always helpful to read some jokes or just tell some jokes, watch a comedy or hang out with your funny friends. Some people also try laughter yoga, and they can be helpful as well.
Try and Connect with Other People
When you feel irritated and super stressed, it becomes your natural instinct to actually isolate yourself from others. But that is not a very good strategy. Rather, you should always try and connect with others. You should try and reach out to people like family and friends and make social connections.
Having an ample amount of social contact can work as a good stress reliever since it can offer you some distraction and also provide support and help you tolerate the up and downs of life. So, why don’t you take a coffee break with a friend, email a relative or visit your place of worship?
If you have even more time, then you can also consider volunteering for a charitable group and just help yourself while helping others.
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Try to Assert Yourself
Well, most people would wish to do it all, but the reality is that you cannot do everything and definitely not without paying any kind of price. So, if you learn to say no or still be willing to delegate your work, then it can help manage your to-do list and your stress.
I know that saying yes may seem like the best and easy way to keep the peace, stay away from all the conflicts and get the job done. But trust me when I say it can actually cause you internal conflict because, in this scenario, your needs and those of your family will come second. This can cause you a lot of stress, anger, and resentment, and sometimes, you may feel the desire to exact revenge. When this happens, it is not a very calm and peaceful reaction.
Try Things Like Yoga
Yoga comes with a series of postures and controlled-breathing exercises, and it is known as one of the most popular stress relievers. It can bring together physical and mental disciplines, and it can surely help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. Plus, with this, you will feel much more relaxed and can easily manage stress and anxiety.
You can try and do yoga on your own, or you can also find a class. It can be very easy to find classes in most communities. Hatha yoga, in particular, is known to be a good stress reliever since it is of a slower pace and has easier movements.
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Always Get Ample Amount of Sleep
When you are stressed, there will be some trouble falling asleep. Since, during those stressful moments, you will have too much to do and also too much to think about, and this way, your sleep can suffer. Sleep is very important since this is the time when your brain and body recharge.
Also, along with the amount, the quality of sleep can also affect your mood, energy level, and concentration, and it can affect your overall functioning. If you are having sleep troubles, then you need to have a quiet, relaxing bedtime routine, and you can also try and listen to some soothing music. You should just put the clocks away and try to stick to a consistent schedule.
Make a habit of Keeping a Journal
I have the habit of writing down my thoughts and feelings then it can be a good release for otherwise pent-up emotions. The idea is to not think too much about what to write; you should just allow it to happen. Be open and ready to write whatever comes to mind. There is no need for anyone to read what you have written. Hence, you don’t have to worry too much about things like perfection in grammar or spelling.
You just have to let your thoughts flow on paper or the computer screen. Once you’re done writing whatever that you wanted to write, you can just toss out what you wrote or save it to reflect on later.
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Use Music and Try to Be Creative
A great way to relieve stress is by listening to or playing good music. This is a really good stress reliever since it can provide a mental distraction, reduce muscle tension and also decrease stress hormones. All you need to do is crank up the volume and just let your mind be absorbed by the music.
However, if music is something that you are not really interested in, then you need to direct your attention and energy to something else or another hobby you kind of enjoy, like gardening, sewing, or sketching. You can practically choose anything that will require you to focus on what you’re doing instead of what you think you should be doing.
Try and Seek Counselling
If the current situation is kind of challenging your ability to cope or the self-care measures you are taking just aren’t relieving your stress, then you may have to look for reinforcements in the form of therapy or counselling. Therapy can also prove to be a good idea when you are feeling overwhelmed or trapped; however, if you worry too much, or if you have some trouble carrying out daily routines or meeting responsibilities at work, home or school, then therapy can help you find out the right kind of way.
Just visit some professional counsellors or therapists, and they can help you identify sources of your stress and help you with some new coping tools.
Try and Stick to Some Healthy Diet
Believe it or not but the diet you choose will affect every aspect of your health, and it surely includes your mental health. According to studies, all the people who manage to follow a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar are very much likely to experience higher perceived stress levels.
If you are chronically stressed, then sometimes, it can lead you to overeat and reach for highly palatable foods. No matter what happens, it will surely harm your overall health and mood. On top of that, when you are not eating enough nutrient-dense whole foods, then it can increase your risk of deficiencies in nutrients, and they are essential for regulating stress and mood. Some of them are magnesium and B vitamins.
When you minimize the intake of highly processed foods and beverages and instead if you go for whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, nuts, and seeds, then it can surely ensure that your body is rightly nourished. This way, you will become much more resilient to stress. So, make sure to follow a nutrient-dense diet and limit your intake of ultra-processed foods, and it will provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health. Plus, it will decrease your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that help regulate stress.
Try and Minimize Your Phone Usage and Screen Time
Things like smartphones, computers, and tablets have become an unavoidable part of everyday life, and this is true for many people. Now, no one can deny that these devices are absolutely necessary, but when you use them too often, they can increase your stress levels. According to a number of studies, the excessive use of smartphones and “iPhone addiction” can lead to situations like increased levels of stress and mental health disorders. And it has been proven by many researchers over the years.
So, when you spend a lot of time in front of screens in general, it will directly associate you with lower psychological well-being and definitely increase stress levels in both adults and kids. On top of that, spending too much time on the screen can also negatively affect sleep, and it can also lead to increased stress levels. Hence, the idea is to minimize screen time, and it will help reduce stress and improve sleep in both children and adults.
Consider Using Supplements
There are several vitamins and minerals which play an important role in your body’s stress response. They can also affect our mood regulation. But if you see a deficiency in one or more of these nutrients, then automatically, it can affect your mental health and also your ability to cope with stress. Also, there have been studies that show that certain dietary supplements can surely help reduce stress and improve mood. Like, when you are chronically stressed, the magnesium levels of your body are bound to go low and depleted.
Since these minerals play an important role in your body’s stress response, it is absolutely necessary for you to make sure that your body is getting enough of them each day. So, it will be a very good idea to supplement your body with magnesium, and it will prove to be very useful in improving the stress defensive system in chronically stressed people.
There has been an 8-week study in 264 people who have very low magnesium, and when they were taking 300 mg of this mineral daily, it helped them reduce their stress levels. If you are able to combine this dose of magnesium with vitamin B6, then the whole thing would become even more effective.
There are other supplements as well, which include Rhodiola, ashwagandha, B vitamins, and L-theanine. All of them have been shown to help reduce your stress as well. Also, there can be many different dietary supplements, but not all of them might be very much appropriate or safe for everyone. Before you consume them, you should always consult a healthcare professional if you feel they can help you to relieve stress. But supplements like magnesium, L-theanine, Rhodiola, and B vitamins can be sure-fire to reduce your stress levels.
Why Not Practice Self-Care
To reduce the maximum amount of stress, you need to set aside some time to practice self-care, and it can surely help reduce your stress levels. Some practical examples include:
- going for a walk outside
- taking a bath
- lighting candles
- reading a good book
- preparing a healthy meal
- stretching before bed
- getting a massage
- practicing a hobby
- using a diffuser with calming scents
- practicing yoga
There has been more than one study that showed people who engage in self-care always have lower levels of stress and a much more improved quality of life. But when there is a lack of self-care, then it is always associated with a higher risk of stress and burnout. This is something that most people fail to understand, and they just neglect it.
You need to understand that taking some time out for yourself is absolutely essential in order to live a healthy life. It is also very much important for people who tend to be highly stressed, including nurses, doctors, teachers, and caretakers. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that self-care, in general, they don’t have to be elaborate or complicated. They simply mean tending to your well-being and happiness. Like, even having ample exposure to certain scents via candles or essential oils can also be especially calming. Here are a few relaxing scents:
- Roman chamomile
- orange or orange blossom
You can use these scents to boost your mood, and it is called aromatherapy. There have been several studies where it is suggested that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep. This is why it is now being used all around the world. So, you need to understand that self-care is an important part of managing stress. If you use using some simple strategies like trying yoga, lighting candles, taking baths, and reading a good book, all of them can help you with something positive.
Try and Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is actually a chemical that can be abundantly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks, and it has the quality to stimulate your central nervous system. But if you consume too much of this chemical, then it can worsen and increase feelings of anxiety. On top of that, when you consume too much caffeine, it can surely harm your sleep and sleeping pattern. Instead of making you feel better, it can increase stress and anxiety symptoms.
It varies from person to person, but each and every one of us here has different thresholds for how much caffeine we can tolerate. If you notice and observe yourself, then you will realize that caffeine can make you feel jittery or anxious. So, you should really consider cutting back this amount by replacing coffee or energy drinks with decaffeinated herbal tea or water. But there are many studies conducted that indicate that coffee is healthy in moderation, and it’s very much recommended to keep caffeine intake under 400 mg per day.
This is equal to 4–5 cups (0.9–1.2 L) of coffee per day. Still, for those people who are very much sensitive to caffeine, they can still experience increased anxiety and stress after consuming less caffeine than this very much. Hence, it is important that you become aware of your individual tolerance. There can be no doubt that large amounts of caffeine can increase stress and anxiety, but people’s sensitivity to caffeine also varies greatly.
Try and Learn How to Avoid Procrastination
Another great way to take control of your stress is to just stay on top of your priorities and avoid all kinds of procrastinating. Believe it or not but procrastination can harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can become a huge reason for stress, and it also negatively affects your health and quality of sleep.
Based on a study on 140 medical students in China, it is seen that procrastination increased stress levels. It also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with other aspects such as negative parenting styles, which include punishment and rejection. So, if you find yourself procrastinating regularly, then it is better that you start to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Also, always try to give yourself some realistic deadlines and work your way down the list. This way, you can work on the things that need your immediate attention and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time.
So, these are the ways by which you can cope with stress. I hope these points help you tackle it each day. If you have any such personal experience, then do feel free to share that with us in the comments section.
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