What is Stress?
Stress can be a good thing if you know how to handle it. Stress can keep you focused on your work, push you to do your absolute best, and make sure that you’re prepared for any task at hand. That said, stress can also be very destructive if it gets out of control. It can be incredibly bad for your physical and mental health if you don’t handle it correctly. Although the major causes of stress are fairly obvious, that doesn’t mean that you can eliminate it all in an instant. For example, many people experience a lot of stress at work, and it might seem impossible to get out of a job like that. We all know that stress is an important factor in our lives and we have to accept it as part of the routine. There are ways we can manage it though, and I would just like to share a few of those with you. Here are six steps you can take to better cope with stress now, and prevent your stress levels from becoming too much to handle:
1. Focus on your Breathing
Breathing is a natural process that helps us stay alive, but it also has an amazing effect on our mental health. According to the University of California San Diego Health Library, non-aerobic movement with controlled breathing may be done to help reduce stress and anxiety often linked to disease and illness (https://myhealth.ucsd.edu/Search/85,P00175). Practicing deep breathing exercises can help you relax and calm down while also increasing your productivity. They can be done anywhere and in any position (even while standing up). So if you feel like you’re struggling with stress right now, practice a few deep breaths!
2. Write it down
Writing down your feelings and thoughts can help you to make sense of the stressful situation, and give you something concrete to work with. This is a great way to ease any anxiety or overwhelm that may be tied up in the stressor itself, as well as helping you take action on both short-term goals (like scheduling an appointment) and long-term planning (like deciding whether or not it’s worth switching careers). If you want to get started with writing down your feelings in a journal, there are lots of journal apps out there that can help. I’ve found that having a physical notebook is really helpful for me—it helps me feel more committed than if I were just writing things down on my phone or computer screen.
3. Get moving
The best way to cope with stress is by getting moving. Exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s own natural painkillers. That can help you sleep better and be less anxious, depressed and stressed. And since it also boosts your energy levels, exercise will make you feel more energised overall—making it easier to cope with whatever life throws your way.
So whether you’re looking for a quick fix or want something more long-term that will improve your health (and mood), here are some easy ways to make exercise part of your daily routine:
- Walk around the office building during your lunch break instead of sitting down at a desk
- Go on an after-work run or hike instead of hopping into rush hour traffic when leaving work
- Try taking stairs instead of elevators whenever possible; even just parking further from work than usual could help get those heart rates up every day
- Take advantage of opportunities throughout the day: sneak off during meetings for some squats or lunges; squeeze in intervals between tasks during long meetings (or commutes); do some pushups while watching TV
4. Do something relaxing before bedtime
When you get home from work, try doing some quiet activities like reading a book or meditating with some music playing softly in the background so that your mind has no choice but to relax (and hopefully not overthink things). If this seems impossible after such an exhausting day at work, try going out with friends instead; spending time around people who are happy makes us happier too! Even though being around others might seem like adding more stress into an already stressful situation, what happens instead is we bring happiness back into our lives by reminding ourselves why we enjoy certain activities so much while sharing them with others.
5. Take a nap
You may think that napping is just for kids, but it’s actually one of the best ways to relieve stress. Not only does it give your body a chance to recover from the day, but it can also reset your mind and help you feel more focused when you’re awake again. A quick 20-minute powernap at lunchtime or on break can give you an energy boost and make returning to work much easier! Just make sure to set aside time for napping in advance—the last thing anyone wants is for their boss or coworkers catching them snoozing on their desk!i
Meditation is an effective and easy way to reduce stress. It can be done anywhere, and doesn’t have to take much time at all. There are many different types of meditation, some more active than others—you might start with a simple breathing exercise and then move on to more challenging methods. Whatever type of meditation you choose, it will help you relax, focus better on what you’re doing at the moment (instead of worrying about the past or future), feel calmer overall, and sleep better at night.
There are many ways to handle stress now!
Stress is a normal response to difficult situations, so it’s important to recognise when you’re stressed out. Everyday life has its ups and downs, and we all know how hard stressful situations can be. Bad days are inevitable and so is stress. You should approach the topic of stress with a sense of positivity. Stress is one of those negative forces we have control over; there’s no point in becoming passively discouraged by it in the future. If anything, it might be helpful to think of stress as a challenge that you can meet head on — I consider stress to be crucial in developing my emotional intelligence. If stress is getting in the way of your ability to function, it’s time to take action. Fortunately, there are many ways to handle stress now. Try practicing just one of the options above today and see your life improve immediately.