Many people have accepted a constant state of stress as their new normal. In fact, the majority of Americans are overly stressed, and more so than usual. Yet, the health implications of this state of mind can be dangerous.
While stress is a natural response to certain situations, too much of it can keep your body overworking in an instinctive preparation for fight or flight. It can raise your blood pressure, weaken your immune system and cause weight gain. It can even constrict your blood vessels, leading to long-term issues like diabetes and heart disease if left untreated.
Stress, however, can be surprisingly easy to manage. While major lifestyle changes like improved diet and commitment to exercise are important, simple steps can also significantly help decrease your feelings of physical or mental pressure. Below are five of the best ways to manage your stress.
Keeping a journal allows you to explore your thoughts privately, which can make it easier to understand your emotions or deal with stressful times. By simply writing down the details of your day, you can problem-solve with a more logical frame of mind and clear away anxious thoughts. Try a journal that includes to-do lists to help you organize your daily tasks and alleviate some pressure. A journal can also work as a record keeper for the next time you’re feeling stressed. How did you deal with it then? How can you learn to overcome your difficulties from past experience?
Treating yourself to a hot bath, new restaurant, or a spontaneous trip are all great ways of giving yourself a little love and reducing feelings of stress. By lowering your heart rate and boosting your mood, self-care can be a powerful tool in the fight against stress. It can also go a long way in helping you relax or brush off an especially stressful day. If you’re feeling especially tightly-wound, try to find some time for yourself. Read in a quiet spot or meditate before bed in order to lower your stress and improve your mood. Whatever method works best, make sure you’re setting aside at least a few minutes every day to enjoy yourself and look after your health.
- Go For A Walk
Taking a walk can minimize stress in more ways than one. First, the exercise can boost endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body and battle stress hormones. A walk is especially beneficial, however, due to its outdoor advantage. Simply being outside can ease anxiety and feelings of depression. In fact, people who walk through forests instead of cities have lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Try bringing along a friend or a pet to stimulate social interaction and get a double shot of mood boosters.
A good night’s sleep has also been proven to lower cortisol levels, lessening feelings of stress and improving your ability to respond well to potentially trying situations. The average adult should be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but the majority of Americans don’t meet this recommendation. If you struggle getting in your full eight hours, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool. Try out bedding with airflow like that from Casper, which circulates air around you while you sleep to keep your temperatures down and help you stay asleep for longer. Alternatively, if you live in a city or noisy neighborhood, a white noise machine might be a sound investment. It can keep the distracting noises out of your bedroom that might keep you up.
Cooking for yourself can not only improve your nutritional intake, but it also has major stress-relievers built into it. Beginning creative projects, especially cooking and baking, can make you feel happier, more relaxed, and more excited to tackle tomorrow. Studies have also found that those who spend time in the kitchen feel a sense of personal fulfillment which is a powerful way to boost confidence and reduce feelings of stress. Plus, the money you’ll save could relieve some of your budget concerns. Skip the restaurant this weekend and cook a dinner that incorporate greens and whole grains in order to look after your physical, mental and financial health.
If you struggle with stress, make sure you’re taking as many proactive steps as possible. It’s important that you’re finding the one that best fits into your lifestyle. If these suggestions don’t fit into your schedule, there are a lot of other techniques available. Whichever trick you try, be sure to prioritize your wellbeing by managing your stress every day.