Eleven Effective Ways To Leave Stress Behind

By Glossy Magazine

Eleven Effective Ways To Leave Stress Behind

Eleven Effective Ways To Leave Stress Behind

Eleven Effective Ways To Leave Stress Behind

According to a recent report, in the last year alone, 74% of people have claimed to feel “overwhelmed” with the amount of stress they are facing.

While a little stress here and there is unavoidable, when it becomes part of our daily routine, this can quickly become problematic, which is why it’s crucial that you develop a repertoire of coping mechanisms to rely on during this time.

What are the dangers of prolonged stress?

There are many dangers tied to dealing with high levels of stress over long periods of time. For example, it can “contribute to poor health behaviors linked to increased risk for heart disease and stroke”, impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep and can even impact your sight and vision.  In addition to this, prolonged stress can also take its toll on your mental health and well-being, too.

How To Leave Stress Behind: A Checklist.

  • Recognize the signs of stress. We all react to stressful situations in slightly different ways, which can make it difficult to know when we are experiencing “normal” stress over something that may become problematic. Being able to recognize the symptoms of stress can help here so that you know exactly when intervention is necessary. Common symptoms of stress include feeling overwhelmed, irritability, a lack of focus and poor sleeping habits.
  • Identify the root of the issue. When we become accustomed to a certain level of stress, it becomes difficult to determine what the actual trigger is. However, without doing so, how can we be expected to remove it from our lives? Next time you feel yourself begin to feel overwhelmed, take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. What event (or events) led up to these particular feelings? For example, if you’re dealing with workplace stress, this could be the product of conflicting deadlines, miscommunications, difficult customers or workplace conflict. Figuring out the exact reasoning means you can put plans in place to prevent this from happening again in the future for the betterment of your mental health.
  • Find effective ways to distract yourself. Finding effective ways to distract yourself can also help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is because your thoughts are quickly redirected and turned toward something more productive. For example, various studies have found that card games such as solitaire can be excellent stress-reducers. After all, the time spent playing this game is spent away from stressful thoughts and anxieties!
  • Combat stress through working out. While you may feel as though you’re too busy to make time in your routine for exercise or that you are simply not in the mood, regular exercise is one of the best possible defences you can have against stress. After all, not only does this mean that you are committing to your health and fitness goals, meaning that you will naturally begin to feel a little more positive and confident, but it can also suppress your body’s production of stress-inducing hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin. You do not need to work out for hours on end in order to notice the benefits either; even fifteen minutes a day can have a huge impact on your stress levels.
  • Talk openly about how you are feeling. It works. It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying silent when dealing with complex emotions such as stress. In fact, a study from the American Psychological Association found that “around three in five adults (62%) said they don’t talk about their stress overall because they don’t want to burden others.” While this is an understandable thought process, it isn’t exactly the healthiest. After all, not only does it mean that your own feelings and emotions are going unaddressed, but it isn’t setting a great example for others either. Moving forward, try to be as open about your feelings as possible. Sometimes, talking through our emotions outloud can help us to process them, and speaking to others means that we can listen to an outsider’s perspective. While those we confide in may not always have the answers, being reminded of the fact that there is always someone waiting to listen can make a real, profound difference.
  • Reach out to a therapist. While you may consider speaking to a therapist when dealing with the symptoms of anxiety and depression, you’d be surprised at just how beneficial these services can be for those dealing with stress, too. After all, they can help you develop a range of clinician-backed coping mechanisms that challenge your current way of thought and leave you feeling calm and clear-headed.
  • Practice Deep Breathing Techniques. Deep breathing techniques can also play a pivotal role in stress reduction, as they help you to “calm the nervous system that controls the body’s involuntary functions.” This means that you are able to think more clearly as a result. To begin, start by breathing in and out gently for five seconds each time. You may find it useful to close your eys during this time, so that you are able to focus more keenly.
  • Work on fixing your sleeping habits. Poor sleeping patterns are often a direct symptom of stress. However, the less sleep you get, the more vulnerable you are to stress and other negative emotions. As such, it is incredibly easy to get caught in a negative cycle of sleep deprivation and stress. As such, now is the perfect time to focus on fixing your sleeping habits where possible. Luckily, there are many different ways in which you can improve your sleep. For example, you could focus on developing an effective nightime schedule so that your body (and mind) will automatically begin to feel tired at the same time each night, making it a little easier to drift off. You may also want to practice meditation and mindfulness before bed, both of which are attributed to clearing your head of any negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Pick up a new hobby. Picking up a new hobby can also help with stress management. This is because it provides you with a fun, welcome distraction that allows you to leave whatever is bothering you behind, if only temporarily. Fortunately, there is a wide range of hobbies to choose from in this regard. For example, creative hobbies, such as painting and sewing, are scientifically proven to lower stress levels while also being a great way to spend some of your free time. However, the truth is when you find a hobby that you truly enjoy, you are sure to notice the benefits. You may want to try out a range of different habits until you find one that fits!
  • Hang out with your friends and family. Dealing with stress and other forms of turmoil can be isolating, as it often means we’d prefer to spend time alone than with others. However, fighting through this instinct to isolate ourselves can make a real difference. After all, spending time with those we love is known to boost your body’s production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, which are one of our primary defences against stress. In addition to this, it also means that you’re more likely to open up and talk about how you are feeling, which, as mentioned above, can really help you to tackle stress more effectively moving forward. For example, they may be able to provide you with practical tips and advice.
  • Take a break. When dealing with extraordinarily high levels of success, it’s natural to push yourself to keep going as much as possible. After all, in theory, this will help you to move forward with your life without getting too caught up in your stress. However, in practice, pushing forward can sometimes allow the stress you are dealing with to worsen or intensify. As such, one of he best ways in which you can learn to cope in the face of intense stress is to give yourself a break. If dealing with workplace stress, speak to your employer to see if they will allow you to take some time off or if they can put adjustments in place to support you during this time. If you’re dealing with stress in your person life, try to take a step back where you can so that you are able to eliminate your stress.

Final Thoughts.

In short, while stress can sometimes feel inescapable, there are many practical steps that you can take to reduce its impact on your life. This means that you’re able to better handle the challenges that life may throw your way, even if you can not eliminate the stressors altogether.

While all of the advice listed above is useful in this regard, perhaps the most important to thing to remember is that you are not alone. Speaking about how you are feeling, whether that be with a trained mental health professional or a compassionate friend, is often the first step toward recovery – one that can have a real, lasting impact on your stress levels and overall wellness.

Photo by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash