Powerful Ways to Manage Stress in Everyday Life
Stress can be a helpful response to challenging situations, alerting you to potential dangers and prompting you to take action. Many of us experience persistent stress from work, school, family obligations, financial concerns or other everyday stressors that leave us feeling worried and anxious at times. Stress has been linked to numerous mental health problems. Constant stress also decreases your quality of life by reducing productivity and efficiency, while also increasing strain on personal relationships.
Identifying Your Triggers
The first step is to keep track of your stress levels throughout the day, noting what situations seem to increase your stress and how much stress your daily activities cause you. Next, try to identify why certain activities or tasks cause you more stress than others. You may notice that some tasks are more demanding than others. Or you may find that certain situations always cause you more stress than others. For example, you may always find that your work or school responsibilities cause you more stress than other daily tasks. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can then begin to develop strategies to reduce your stress levels in those situations.
Develop a Relaxation Ritual
The benefits of relaxation include reduced blood pressure and heart rate, lowered levels of stress hormones and improved immune system functioning. A daily relaxation ritual might include deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, a warm bath or other activities that help you feel more relaxed. You may also want to consider keeping a journal to help you process your feelings and thoughts, which can be a helpful way to deal with stress. Journaling may also help you identify any underlying feelings or issues that are contributing to your chronic stress.
Get Enough Sleep
When you experience chronic stress, your body stays in a state of heightened alertness, which means you may not be getting enough quality sleep each night. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can negatively impact your body’s stress response, making it less effective at helping you cope with stress.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress, consider making sleep a higher priority in your daily routine: stick to a consistent sleep schedule, reduce sources of light (including screen light) before bedtime and eliminate any sources of noise (such as a ticking clock) that might interfere with your ability to sleep.
Exercise More Often
Regular physical activity has been shown to be an effective way to keep stress under control. Exercise has been found to relieve stress by positively impacting both your mental and physical health: It can reduce the level of stress hormones in your body and boost your mood and self-confidence.
When you exercise, you give your body a break from the constant “fight or flight” response that it experiences when you are stressed out. Although exercise is not a magical cure-all for stress, it can be a helpful aspect of an overall stress reduction strategy. If you are currently experiencing high levels of stress, consider making exercise a higher priority in your daily routine.
Stress is a part of everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. By following these tips, you can better manage the effects of everyday stress and become more resilient in the long run. And remember: It may not be possible to completely eliminate all sources of stress from your life, but you can learn to better manage your stress in order to reduce its negative impact on your health and well-being.
The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!