10 Strategies for Managing Your Stress
Apr 19, 2023
Unfortunately everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives. We tend to think that things like work, relationships, health, or finances cause our stress, however, that is not the case. It is what we are thinking about things like work, relationships, health, or finances that cause our stress. While some thoughts that create stress can be motivating and help you perform better, too much stress can be harmful to your physical and mental health.
There are strategies that will help you manage your stress by helping you slow down your nervous system, release tension, and take care of yourself physically, however, it is also important to learn how to manage your thoughts that are ultimately creating your stress.
I am going to share 10 strategies for managing stress with the last one being the one I encourage you to practice over and over since it is the one that relates to your thinking patterns that can increase or decrease your stress.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can help you to slow down your nervous system and clear your mind from the thoughts that are causing you stress. Taking even just 5 minutes a couple of times per day can help you reset throughout the day. You can grab my guide, 5 Breathing Strategies for Anxiety and Stress HERE. In this guide I walk you step-by-step through 5 different ways of breathing to reduce stress and anxiety so that you can find the 1 or 2 ways that work best for you.
- Exercise regularly: Even though it may feel like the last thing you want to do if you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health. If you don’t currently exercise with at all or with any consistency, try starting with just 5-10 minutes per day, and once that is consistent, build from there.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase stress levels (and make everything else feel harder), so it is important to get enough sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours per night and work to establish a regular sleep routine. If you are able to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, that can significantly increase the likelihood that you will get enough sleep each night on a consistent basis.
- Eat healthy most of the time: A healthy diet can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and sugar which can worsen stress and cause your moods to fluctuate up and down.
- Improve your time management: Poor time management can lead to stress and anxiety. Make a to-do list and prioritize tasks according to their importance. Break down big tasks into smaller ones and tackle them one at a time. Also, work to set boundaries with others so that they don’t take over control of your schedule or how you prioritize your time.
- Build strong social connections: Strong and positive social connections can help reduce stress and provide emotional support as well as offering a distraction from the thoughts that are causing you to feel stressed out. Make time for family and friends, even when you feel very busy and seek out social support when you need it.
- Avoid negative coping strategies: Negative coping strategies such as smoking, drinking, and overeating can worsen stress in addition to having negative health effects. Avoid these negative coping strategies and replace them with healthier alternatives such as exercise, breathing, or other self-care activities or spending time with loved ones.
- Seek professional help: If stress is interfering with your daily life, seek professional help. A therapist or coach can help you get to the root of your stress and the underlying thoughts causing it quicker, as well as help you develop coping skills specific to your situation
- Practice gratitude: Focusing on the positive aspects of your life, even when there are challenges, can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Each day, take time to reflect on what you are grateful for, even if it's something small. This will help you feel more balanced and remember that even during hard times, there are small, positive things around you each day.
- Challenge your thoughts: Just because you have a thought does not mean it is true. We are all innately wired to focus on the negative things happening around us, as well as the potential negative things. If there are challenging things happening around you, your brain will want to stay overly focused on those things. In addition, it will make up stories about other negative things that could happen in the future which will create unnecessary stress and worry. When you experience stress, get clear about what you are thinking about a situation and then decide if that thinking is helpful. If it is not, come up with a different way of thinking about it that feels better.
This may feel challenging at first, however, once you learn how to do this, you will feel much more in control of how you feel, and of your life overall.
Managing stress is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. By identifying the thoughts that are creating your stress and challenging them as well as implementing healthy coping strategies, you can reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life. Using deep breathing to slow down your nervous system will help you to explore your thoughts from a logical perspective, rather than an emotional perspective. You can grab my guide that will walk you through 5 breathing techniques for anxiety and stress HERE.
Live your best life!
Karen Vincent Solutions
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