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The Transition House, Inc.

5 Ways to Manage Stress

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Stress is a natural aspect of life. While stress sometimes acts as a motivator, too much can also put a real damper on our mood and overall mental health. It’s important to know how to manage stress so it doesn’t consume our thoughts and take precedence over what we truly value in life. Here are five ways to manage stress that we have found to work.

Exercise

Engaging in routine physical activity is known to be a stress relief for many people. When we exercise, not only does it make our bodies ready for a good night’s sleep, but it also releases endorphins to help block pain and gives you a euphoric feeling. 

Exercising also acts as a mood booster because of the way it makes people feel good about themself. Working towards a goal and achieving it gets us excited and motivated to tackle any stress that may come our way throughout the day. 

There are tons of different ways to get your body moving, but some exercises specifically for relieving stress include:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming 
  • Cycling 
  • Aerobics

Regardless of what exercise looks like for you, just getting outside and moving for a few minutes a day is a great way to reduce your stress level. 

Relaxation techniques

This may sound obvious, but an essential part of managing stress is actively engaging in relaxation techniques. 

Deep breathing exercises are a great way to get your mind focused on your breath and get your body to calm your nerves. A good tip is to breathe in for five seconds and out for seven to help reduce your anxiety and get your mind in a better place. 

Similarly, meditation is a technique great for relieving stress. Meditating involves finding a quiet, comfortable place to focus on your breathing and letting your thoughts flow without judgment. It is a technique that has been around for thousands of years. Meditation has proven helpful in relieving stress and anxiety because it offers you a shift in perspective in dealing with sources of stress.

For example, many people practice yoga for managing stress because it allows them to get their bodies moving while also relaxing their minds

No matter what relaxation technique you decide to engage in, you will reap the benefits when managing stress in your life.

Talking with a friend

Sharing your thoughts with a loved one who will listen to you is an effective stress reliever. As humans, we are social creatures. Being able to share our wins, losses, and frustrations with others is what makes us human.

Connecting with others is a way of relieving stress because you start to feel at ease. Feeling comfortable spending time with a friend or family member makes us feel relaxed. By taking your mind off anxious thoughts for a few minutes, you can tackle the day with a fresh mind. 

Maintaining a healthy diet

Believe it or not, a lot of our physical as well as mental struggles stem from our diets. Since our brains and bodies are connected, ensuring you maintain a healthy diet can help relieve some stress. 

We know that junk food can seem extremely appealing when under a lot of stress, and it’s important to listen to your body when it’s telling you what it wants. However, it’s also important to fuel our bodies with energy that is healthy and sustainable. That way, we can better manage whatever stressors get thrown our way. 

Similar to exercise, eating healthy goes beyond liking what you see in the mirror. Maintaining a healthy diet has tremendous effects on our mental health and is an excellent way of managing stress. 

Sleep

Who doesn’t love to sleep? Sleep is our body and mind’s time to rest and prepare us for the day ahead. However, many people struggle with getting the sleep they need. 

Engaging in better sleeping habits can help relieve stress on the body and mind. This includes both short and long term changes:

  • Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it as best as possible
  • Limiting screen time and not engaging in electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime
  • Finding a way to relax before getting into bed to get your mind ready to sleep
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake overall, but especially right before bed
  • Finding what makes you most comfortable when getting ready to fall asleep (i.e., lighting, white noise, temperature)

Getting enough adequate sleep will help you better manage your stress because it allows you to start your day on the right foot. Quieting your mind is essential for stress relief, and what better time for quiet time than sleep!

Dealing with stress takes practice, but implementing these stress management techniques is a great start. If you feel like your stress is unmanageable, please schedule an appointment with a counselor and seek the help you may be lacking.


 

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