Connect with others
Spending time with others can be a great stress reliever especially close friends or family who make you feel understood and safe. In person contact helps to counteract the flight or fight which is the bodies defensive response by triggering hormones. Connecting with others helps to naturally relieve stress and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression. Try to encourage yourself to meet and speak with others regularly. These people may not be able to reduce all of your stress but it may definitely help and it is a good opportunity to get worries out of your mind and talk to a friend who is a good listener. It’s important to open up and you shouldnt be worried about feeling weak, deter you from doing so. People will be flattered that you trust them to open up to them and will be happy that you are no longer bottling problems up inside and it may even boost your relationship.
Friends may not always be there every minute of the day but knowing that you have a trustworthy close group of friends can really help you get through stressful situations.
Make time to relax and have fun
Setting time aside for yourself can limit stress and create a positive attitude for yourself. Try not to get so involved in the quick pace of life that you ignore your own personal needs. Taking care of yourself should be a necessity instead of a luxury. If you often set aside time for relaxation and fun, you will then be in a better place to deal with stress.
- Set aside time for leisure: add relaxation and rest into your day. Do not let other responsibilities affect this. Having a bit of ‘you’ time is a great time to recharge and forget about daily struggles for a while.
- Do things you enjoy: spend time doing activities that you enjoy, this could be as simple as taking a morning stroll, playing on the piano or stargazing.
- Have a sense of humour: simply laughing has so many benefits especially when it comes to fighting stress, this includes laughing at yourself sometimes too.
- Relaxation: there are many forms of relaxation including; deep breathing, meditation and yoga. These activities activate the body’s response to relaxation, which is the opposite to stress. As you practice and learn these techniques, you will become less stressed and your body and mind will become centered and calm.
Not managing time effectively can lead to lots of stress. When you are running behind or late to something, it may be difficult to stay focused and calm. In addition, these stresses may result in you limiting other healthy things in your life such as sleeping well and socialising. However, there are several ways to achieve a healthy work life balance.
- Try not to over-commit: avoid cramming too much into your day, as this may lead to unnecessary stress.
- Prioritise tasks: create a to-do list and tick them off depending on their importance, starting with the most important. If there is a task you are not looking forward to doing then try to get it completed early on in the day as this gets it over and done with. This will result in a more positive day.
- Segment projects into little steps: if a big project seems slightly overwhelming then take it step by step. Focus on small manageable steps, rather than tackling it all in one go.
- Delegate responsibilities: if you are struggling, you do not have to complete tasks on your own. This may be at work, school or home, it may be beneficial to ask others to help or if they offer, say yes. By allowing help from others then you will also be reducing unnecessary stress.
Live a healthy life
As well as exercising regularly, there are other steps you can take in your life to limit stress, these include;
- Eat a balanced diet: if your body is well nourished, then you will be in a better place to deal with stressful situations, so try to consider what you are eating. Begin your day by eating a nutritious breakfast, that will help with your energy levels and ensure you are focused throughout the day. Throughout the day, also ensure that you are eating balanced meals and snacks.
- Reduce sugar and caffeine: temporary highs of sugar and caffeine often result in crashes in energy and mood later on in the day. By limiting sugar snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and coffee in your diet, you will feel more relaxed as well as sleep better.
- Avoid drugs, cigarettes and alcohol: taking these substances may provide a temporary relief however, this stress relief will not last in the long term. Try not to avoid your problems, instead deal with them face on.
- Sleep well: getting enough sleep each night will help to fuel your body and mind. Tiredness will increase stress levels and may lead to irrationality.
Learn how to reduce stress within the moment
If you are in an argument, in a tiresome meeting or stressed from the morning commute, then you will need to know how to manage your stress straight away. This is where fast stress relief is important. The quickest way to limit stress is by deep breathing and utilising your senses such as; touch, taste, smell, sound and vision. By looking at photos that make you smile, listening to music or smelling a relaxing scent may help you focus yourself and relax quickly.
Not all stress relief techniques will work for everyone, it’s all about finding the ones that work for you. Are you ready to destress?