Managing stress is an everyday struggle. If it isn’t traffic in the city stressing you, it might be your boss, family or business. Stress most times comes at you without a memo and can take a generous swipe on your mental health. You are left with the choice of buckling under the weight of stress or rising above it.
Stress is your body’s reaction to tension, whether emotional or physical. It tampers with the emotional equilibrium of your mind and can have negative effects on your mental health resulting in depression or physical ill-health. The question of how we can manage stress is an important one as stress can result in constant worry, anxiety attacks, muscle tension, loss of sex drive, insomnia, and so on.
Here are five easy tips to help you manage stress in the workplace, at home or with life generally;
Stress can make you feel battered and alone. Good relationships are a safe place to speak up about stress and how it is affecting you. Affectionate words like a simple “Hey, I am here for you” from your friends and family go a long way in easing stress. Researchers have advised taking 5-10 minutes to talk to someone who cares when faced with stress.
Take deep breaths and relax
A powerful way to manage stress is to take deep breaths, be calm and meditate. Getting more work done or running ahead of yourself to beat deadlines will only worsen the effect of stress on you. Step away from the stress triggers and just breathe. Close your eyes, imagine yourself in a relaxing place (like the beach, serene park or Grandma’s house), and take deep breaths for 5 to 10 minutes. This will take the pressure off and bring calm to your mind.
A stressful situation will increase the level of adrenaline and cortisol in your body. Physical activities give the body another way to deploy adrenaline. Exercise also allows the mind to shift focus from stressful situations. To manage stress better, take a run, walk a mile, swim or engage in any activity that requires physical exertion.
Eat Healthy Meals
Evidence has shown that food can affect your mood, both negatively or positively. Eating balanced meals, rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains keep you in a better mood to fight off stress. Start your day right with breakfast as skipping meals can make you buckle under stress. Avoid quick fixes like caffeine and sugar that only give a temporary high.
Schedule fun activities
You know what they say about all work and no play, it not only makes Jack a dull boy, it also makes him easy prey for stress. Give time for your hobbies and hanging out with family and friends. It helps you relax and relieves you of stress.
A work-life balance is important for your physical body and mental health. Stress will only upset that balance and therefore needs to be managed.