10 Useful Tips to Combat Stress
People who are constantly distracted by technology report higher levels of stress and frustration because they never feel like they're accomplishing what they should
Introduction: In a world that is becoming more and more stressful, it can be difficult to live happily. With the constant demands of work, family, and society today, anyone can become stressed out. But don't worry! The following 10 tips will help you reduce stress in your life and maybe even make you a happier person in the process.
Let's face it, you probably won't eliminate stress completely but you can try some of these methods to reduce the stress you do experience on a daily basis.
Stress can surface for many reasons such as financial problems, relationship issues, parenting, family, just life in general. Yes, you decide how to react to stressful situations however, life has a way of kicking you in the butt when you least expect it.
Check the stats:
According to the American Institute of Stress:
- 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress
- 77 percent of people report stress that affects their physical health
- 73 percent of people have stress that affects their mental health
- 48 percent of people report stress that impacts their sleep
Here are 10 tips to help you combat stress:
1. Exercise daily
If you don't exercise, start now because it's one of the best ways to reduce stress.
According to Harvard Medical Publishing:
"The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators."
To reduce stress, exercise at least three to four times per week for 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Manage your time well
Do what's important first - As tempting as it is to spend hours on Facebook or social media, make sure you get everything done that you need before playing around on the internet.
According to the National Institute of Health:
"People who are constantly distracted by technology report higher levels of stress and frustration because they never feel like they're accomplishing what they should."
Be sure to prioritize your tasks before you start doing anything else. Doing the most important things first will not only make you feel less stressed but, you'll also get more done in the same amount of time.
3. Don't dwell on things you can't change -
Accept your fate and know when to let certain things go because fighting to change things you can't control will only lead to more stress.
According to HelpGuide:
"Accept that which you cannot change but commit to changing what you can. You know what's best for you and you're not helpless. Instead of feeling like the world is bullying you, remind yourself that this too shall pass. It may be tough, but try to persevere."
Accepting reality will relieve your stress rather than allowing it to eat away at you.
It's fine to feel upset for a little while, time heals all wounds, but after some time has passed it is essential to let go of the things you cannot change.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others -
Comparing yourself to others generates stress which isn't good so stop comparing your life and success to someone else's because everyone's story is different.
According to Entrepreneur:
"The truth is, there's no way you can ever achieve what they have because their journey is different than yours. The only thing you should be focusing on is how you can get ahead in your own personal situation."
You don't know the struggles someone else has endured to become successful therefore it is unwise to compare yourself to them.
5. Practice mindfulness -
"What? Mindfulness is just another hype word that everyone's talking about," you say, but mindfulness really can reduce stress and improve your mental health. According to Harvard Health Publications:
"Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment rather than letting your mind wander to the past or future. Research has found that this simple mental state reduces rumination and lowers cortisol levels."
What's great about mindfulness is that as little as 10 minutes per day can make a positive difference in your stress level. Just take five minutes to practice mindful breathing and awareness before starting work each morning and you'll feel less stressed during the rest of the day.
6. Make time for friends and family -
If you have a busy schedule it's easy to forget that everyone needs their personal space, but it's important to make time for friends and family because they're a huge stress reliever.
According to Harvard Health Publishing:
"Friends help you cope by providing a reality check, emotional support, and a fun break from your daily stressors. Make it a priority to schedule time with friends and family, and be sure to put it on your calendar."
Make sure you're not too busy to spend quality time with the people in your life who care about you most because doing so is paramount for reducing stress. A couple of hours of hanging out with friends is a great way to relieve stress and feel happier.
7. Eat healthily
Food has a significant impact on your energy level and stress levels so try eating more foods that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
"Eating a healthy diet and getting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can not only improve your mood but also help reduce the physical effects of stress."
Make an effort to include more antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin-rich foods in your diet because doing so will make you feel better. From avocados and spinach to acai berries, there are tons of healthy foods that can combat stress.
8. Stop thinking so much -
"I'm so stressed I don't know what to do," you say, but is your mind actually doing the stressing or is it your thoughts? According to Psychology Today:
"Rumination is a cycle of negative thoughts like, 'I'm such a loser,' and 'My life is totally messed up.' Chronic worriers often talk themselves in circles, becoming even more distressed without realizing it. So the best way to reduce your stress level is to stop thinking so much."
The truth about rumination is that you're the only one who can stop the cycle of negative thoughts so stop worrying and choose not to think so much. When you notice your mind drifting toward negative thoughts, try focusing on your breath or a relaxing routine and calm yourself down.
9. Sleep enough
"Go to bed already!" It's easy for anyone to complain about lack of sleep but getting the proper amount of sleep is absolutely vital for good health.
According to the National Sleep Foundation:
"Lack of sleep can cause anxiety, irritability, and depression. Stressors in your life may trigger or exacerbate a mood disorder such as major depression."
When you aren't getting enough sleep, your body experiences a significant amount of stress so make sure you're getting enough sleep. Your mood and stress level will improve if you go to bed at the right time every night.
10. Try aromatherapy
The smell of lavender has a calming effect that reduces stress levels,
According to Healthline:
"This fragrant plant oil contains linalool, which relaxes the mind, body, and soul. Many people use lavender oil to help induce sleep."
When you smell lavender, your body experiences a reduction in stress hormones so if you love the smell of lavender then try diffusing it or using lavender essential oil. You can also choose to drink chamomile tea because this beverage contains healthy compounds that can help reduce stress. There are many other scents that provide a similar effect, such as jasmine and vanilla, so seek out calming aromas whenever you need to relax.
Stress is something that everyone experiences on a daily basis so it's important to learn how to deal with stress effectively. Use the 10 tips included in this article to combat stress, improve your mood, and feel happier.