If you are feeling stressed by everything including stress itself, it is time for you to become proactive about handling the stress in your life. Stress management encompasses taking control of your thoughts, emotions, lifestyle and the manner in which you deal with stress. Here are some simple techniques to help you relieve stress and begin retaking command of your life.
Related: Stress and Anxiety Treatment Program
6 Tips to Help You Manage Stress
1. Analyze your stress. Start a stress journal and document what causes your stress, remembering to include the big and small events. Note your reactions to stress, such as avoidance, blaming others and or freaking out. Lastly, include your current stress induced activities. These may include drinking, smoking, binging on junk food, nail biting or becoming physically aggressive towards others.
2. Prioritize your tasks. The biggest source of stress is not being able to finish one task and being presented with a few new tasks at the same time. Focus on one task only at a time and finish it completely before starting the new one. Do not think about the deadline. Pretend as if you had one task only and no time limit. This way you will avoid being overwhelmed and distracted.
3. Become physically active with time for fun, rest and relaxation. Dance, walk, jog, cycle, or play an active game with family or friends. You want to get 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Initially, short bursts or just doing your regular routine in a more active way will suffice. Regular exercise will come almost naturally, once your mind and body become used to the increased activity level.
4. Along with physical activity, make sure you include time to relax, whether alone or in the company of others. Laughter is a good medicine, just as sleep or down-time is. Do things just for you and let the world spin on for a while.
5. Renew old relationships or make new ones. Make a call, type an email, or better yet engage in face-to-face interactions. Social contact helps put things into perspective. You will get support for the seemingly tough times, plus the reward of being there for others when they too need friendly reassurance.
6. Consider changing your lifestyle by switching to a healthy diet and minimizing potentially toxic foods and substances. Alcohol, tobacco and drugs will work for a short period and then add to your stress as they affect you physically and interfere with your relationships. Caffeine and sugar give a temporary high but almost always come with a letdown in both mood and energy. Nutritious and balanced meals and snacks will help your body function properly and give it what it needs to cope with and resist stress. Bring your healthy lunch to work.
There will always be stressors you cannot change, some that you can and others that require you to do the changing. Each of these six tips will contribute to stress relief, though some may work better for you than others. Give each one a good try and begin the change to less or no stress in your life!