Stress is a part of everyday life, but mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and sleep problems may occur when stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged. It may also lead to other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, a weak immune system, and headaches. Cognitive symptoms of stress may include lack of self-confidence and concentration, constant worrying, memory problems, and difficulties with concentration. At the same time, emotional signs may be irritability, unhappiness, hopelessness, agitation, and more. You may also experience physical and behavioral symptoms.
When a person feels that their well-being is threatened or they’re unable to cope with the demands and pressures of life, they may become stressed. Common sources of stress may include work, grief, relationships, finances, illness, and other situations beyond human control. Since stress is a normal part of everyone’s life, the severity depends on its frequency, intensity, and duration. Below are some tips you can use for coping with stress.
1. Pay attention to your diet
Besides building your immune system, leveling your mood, and lowering blood pressure, diet lessens the effects of stress. To protect your cells against chronic stress damage, concentrate on foods rich in antioxidants such as vegetables, fruits, beans, berries, and spices like ginger. Stick to a healthy diet that comprises complex carbohydrates, fatty acids, lean protein, eggs, and nuts. Nutrients from vitamin C, magnesium, and omega-3’s may also reduce stress. Considering it’s not always possible to get all the necessary nutrients from your diet, consider dietary supplements to cover the deficiencies. Click here for more details.
2. Make exercising a part of your daily routine
Physical activity reduces stress. Exercises reduce stress hormones and stimulate mood elevator chemicals called endorphins which are responsible for feelings of optimism and relaxation. Consider performing regular aerobic exercises, which will improve not only your metabolism, heart, and body but also your spirits. These exercises have the unique relaxing and exhilarating capacity to stimulate and calm, countering stress and depression. Other stress-relieving exercises include tai chi, walking, gardening, dancing, circuit training, and tennis. Consistent exercising builds strength and stamina, improving self-image, confidence, and pride. This helps reduce stress.
3. Improve your sleeping patterns
Stress disrupts your sleeping patterns, and if it goes on for too long, it may lead to insomnia. Lack of enough sleep affects your concentration, creativity, and ability to make sound decisions, causing fatigue and irritability. Sleep is a powerful stress reliever. This is why you should consider having a good night sleeping routine to regulate your mood, boost concentration, calm and restore your body, improve your judgment and decision-making ability. Enough sleep also increases your energy level and boosts mental clarity, reducing stress.
4. Adopt relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques reduce stress and reserve a space for inner calm. Besides offering you peace of mind, relaxation reduces mind and body stress effects, helping you cope with daily stress and related health problems like heart disease. Consider learning basic relaxation techniques to lower stress and improve your health.
Practicing consistent relaxation techniques brings many benefits like reducing stress hormone activity, improving sleep quality, concentration, mood, anger, and frustration reduction, lowering blood pressure, and slowing your breathing and heart rate. Know the different types of relaxation techniques and choose the ones that will work best for you. Some of the techniques you may adopt include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, deep breathing, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy.
5. Share your problems and worries
Talking about your problems and worries reduces their burden on you. Consider talking to a friend, family member, therapist, doctor, or trusted clergy. When you share your negative emotions and problems with someone you trust, you lower your emotional and physical distress and reduce mental stress. If you find it difficult to share your problems, consider writing them down. Sharing aims to release emotional stress and pain, and when you write, you reduce the pain of keeping it inside.
6. Rely on a social support network
A social support network may comprise family, friends, or peers. Without a strong social support network, you may find yourself isolated and lonely, deprived of the much-needed support system one requires during stressful periods. When you build a social support network, you are assured of support during the most difficult times of your life. Becoming part of a support group improves your ability to cope with stressful situations, reduces emotional distress effects, promotes good mental health, and encourages treatment plan adherence.
Surrounding yourself with family, friends, and confidants helps boost your mental health and ability to cope with stress.
7. Consider eliminating your stress triggers
Knowing the triggers of stress in your life makes it easy to eliminate or reduce them. If you can’t figure them out, consider keeping a stress journal to record your stress triggers, observe the pattern, and then develop ways to reduce or eliminate them.
8. Create time for your hobbies
Hobbies are purposeful activities that help you unwind. When you spend time on an activity you love and enjoy, you’re less likely to suffer from depression, stress, and low moods. Hobbies add a sense of freedom and fun into your life, minimizing the impact of stress. When done regularly, hobbies help you release the daily stresses of life, improving your mental health. You may consider enjoying your hobbies alone or as part of a group.
9. Practice self-care
When physical and emotional exhaustion depletes you, you’re unable to handle the stresses that life throws at you. Create and maintain a self-care routine where you can enjoy massages, hot baths, a spa experience, and any other pampering forms that energize you inside out. When you practice self-care, your body generates soothing feelings, and you get some alone relaxation moments that leave you refreshed and rejuvenated, making it easy for you to fight stress.
Keeping in stress is harmful to your mental, physical, and emotional health. The next time you feel down, try not to bottle up your emotions. Consider using these tips to relieve yourself of stress and enjoy life.