Feeling Overwhelmed? Try These Strategies For Managing Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life for everyone. It’s caused by a variety of circumstances, and it’s not always bad. In fact, stress is sometimes helpful. Unfortunately, long-term stress takes its toll on our bodies. It often results in a host of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. While avoiding stress entirely is virtually impossible, learning to manage stress is completely within our control. Below we will discuss some strategies for managing stress.
Exercise. Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to manage stress. Many people cite their busy schedules as the reason for avoiding exercise, but finding time for physical activity can greatly improve mental health. Not only does exercise provide a distraction from the worries of your day, but it also releases feel-good endorphins. Find creative ways to get moving throughout the day: go for a walk during your lunch break, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or go for an evening bike ride.
Meditate. Often, our stress comes from dwelling on past events or anticipating future events. Meditation is a tool that allows us to focus on the present. By focusing on our breathing, we immerse ourselves in the moment.
Use guided imagery. This stress-reducing strategy involves imaging yourself in a happy place that allows you to feel calm, relaxed, and completely at ease. There are plenty of books and audiotapes that can help you through the guided-imagery process.
Practice progressive muscle relaxation. The name sounds complicated, but this is a relatively simple and effective strategy for stress reduction. Simply get into a comfortable position and focus on relaxing the muscle groups one-by-one until your body is fully at ease.
Be mindful of what goes into your body. Drinking plenty of water is not only good for your physical health. It also has a positive impact on your mental health, too. Your body produces the hormone cortisol when you’re stressed, and dehydration can increase the level of cortisol in your body. Additionally, a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat has a positive effect on mood.
If you would like help in effectively manage your stress and in taking control of your life, please contact me.