Due to the fast-paced nature of the society we live in, tackling and reducing stress to the minimalist level has become a bigger issue. About 19 million Americans suffer from illnesses related to stress. Cortisol (the stress hormone) is released in the body during stressful events, and if not treated properly, can lead to some serious mental disturbances as well as risk of infection and disease. Being familiar with ways to manage stress can lead to a happier, healthier life. Below are seven effective ways for how to manage stress.
7 Effective Ways for How to Manage Stress
1) Adequate Sleep
Did you know that sleep is the number one defense against stress? It is the time where the body and mind revitalize itself. When we wake from a good sleep, our body and mind are refreshed and ready to handle any stressful situation well. For the average person, 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep is considered adequate sleep.
Meditation is the opposite of fight or flight. It is a deep state of restful awareness which works well to counter stress. Practicing twenty minutes of meditation a day helps us remain calm in stressful situations. Relaxation techniques, visualization, or deep breathing are very helpful in lowering cortisol levels.
3) Exercise and Workouts
Weight lifting has proven to be very effective as well. Doing high intensity workouts a few times a week is a successful strategy for managing your stress. Making use of cardio workouts, such as running, playing sports, or cycling a few times a week, is also very effective. Even moderate workouts such as going for walks can be a big help. Always ensure you have a balanced cardio and weight training exercise to get the best results.
4) Balanced Diet
A healthy diet containing B vitamins and magnesium helps a great deal in relieving chronic tension. Vitamin B’s are needed for stress management. Magnesium helps in easing muscle tension, stress, and also anxiety. When doing exercise to reduce stress, ensure that you maintain a balance of protein and carbohydrates.
Laughing helps to boost the body’s immune system and reduce hormones, such as cortisol, that are produced by our body during stressful periods. One way we can use laughter is to imagine ridiculous things. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, imagine your brain soaring out of your head and bouncing off the walls around the room. Going to comedy shows or renting funny movies will help as well because apart from reducing stress, laughter has great healing properties.
Chronic stress is one factor that determines how we perceive the events around us. We can keep ourselves feeling optimistic when confronted with various challenges or new situations. How we perceive situations is a personal choice. When observing a particular situation, try to break it down to adaptable components. Instead of focusing on the negatives, look at situations from a realistic point of view, and work towards taking the appropriate steps to resolve the issues.
7) Being Social
It has been proven that socially-active people handle stressful situations much better. If your social life currently isn’t that great, try to setup a network of close friends and family who are better listeners. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, give someone in your network a call to talk things out with them, or set up a day and time to do something fun. Your family and friends can be supportive in helping you manage your stress.
Why not try one or two of the stress solutions listed above today. Any or all of these steps will help to reduce your stress levels this year. Try to pick one that’s not too easy for you to tackle. Challenge yourself with a task that would take you out of your comfort zone but also fits well with your lifestyle. Learning how to manage stress will lead to a healthier, happier you.