Stress is arguably one of the least treated health risks in modern society. Suffering from stress isn’t just about being in a bad mood or experiencing anxiety, being stressed can have negative consequences on your health.
Learning how to deal with stress can be a real game-changer for those who are suffering from it. Join us as we go over 9 of the most effective strategies that will help you become happier and less stressed out in your day-to-day life.
1. Exercise to Boost Dopamine
Exercising is one of the oldest and most effective ways of reducing stress. They say keeping the mind healthy also keeps the body healthy. Well, it works the other way around as well. Interestingly enough, this saying has proof in chemistry.
The reason why exercising is so effective has to do with how your brain reacts to physical exertion. As you’re working out, your brain releases endorphins – neurochemicals that cause a boost in mood, literally making you feel good. At the same time, working out reduces cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone.
2. Work On Your Procrastination
Failing to meet deadlines or deal with obligations on time causes anxiety. By simply working on your procrastination, you’ll most likely reduce the amount of stress in your life quite a bit. Best of all, getting everything done on time leaves more room for relaxation.
Although curbing procrastination takes time, it’s well worth the effort. Having the discipline to meet your obligations head-on is a solid way to approach work or any other activity that’s causing you anxiety. When procrastination is left unaddressed, it can turn into a serious problem and cause you a lot of harm in the long term.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so underrated these days. We live in a world that requires at least 25 hours in a day, but we only get 24. Compensating for the lack of time by not sleeping is terrible for both your body and your mind. When you sleep, your brain goes through a detox process. It uses this time to flush all the toxins that have accumulated over the day.
Depriving the brain of such vital maintenance can cause larger issues down the road. The more immediate effect is lack of attention during the day, being highly irritable, high doses of stress, and more. Do whatever you can to clock at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
4. Balance your Diet
You are what you eat. Enjoying a balanced diet full of nutrients will keep your blood pressure down while also curbing the production of cortisol.
If your daily diet consists mainly of fast food, sugary drinks, and other ‘empty calories’, chances are that your body and your brain aren’t getting all the nutrients they need.
5. Talk to Someone
Talking about your issues with a professional is a great way to get help. Having perspective matters. Ever since the pandemic hit, more and more services are moving online. This also applies to therapy.
Specialized psychiatrists at ThriveTalk report that clients are responding well to remote therapy. Go to their website to find out more about how online therapy can benefit one’s mental health. Being able to get treatment remotely might become the new norm even after the dust from the pandemic settles.
After all, you only need a smartphone (preferably with a camera), access to the internet and you’re good to go.
6. Find Hobbies that Relax You
Everyone needs a hobby. For most people, having a hobby is a way to disconnect for a while and do something that brings them happiness. It’s a blow-off valve that helps relieve the pressure on a daily basis. A hobby doesn’t need to be expensive nor difficult to get into.
All you need is an activity you enjoy. More power to you if your hobby involves being physically active. Find something that interests you and check out clubs or organizations in your area. There’s a world of people with similar interests out there who would love to have you in their ranks.
7. Change your Environment
A good way to get rid of stress is to simply remove yourself from a stressful environment. Surround yourself with people who don’t give you anxiety. Sometimes this is impossible to do at work. Dealing with stress at work is a whole different beast. That being said, you can absolutely build a stress-free environment at home.
It’s okay to remove hard-to-deal-with people from your life. Anyone who is causing you more anxiety than joy should not be a part of your adventure.
8. Learn How to Say No
Learning how to say no is probably one of the most useful skills you can have. Saying no is hard, especially if you’re a natural people pleaser. However, by saying yes to everything, especially at work, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Taking on responsibilities you can’t handle in a given timeframe will cause your stress levels to spike. Not only that, but you’ll fail to meet deadlines and quickly find yourself in hot water with your employer.
9. Recognize When You Need a Break
We all need to step away from the chaos of our daily life from time to time. It’s important to know when to step away and not let things get too far.
Failing to do so often leads to burnout, and by then the damage is already done. Burnouts are bad for two reasons – they take a toll on you every time they happen, and they take a toll on those around you. Burnouts have a blast radius and anyone caught in it will suffer.
Long Term Stress Management
Using the methods described above is a great way to establish stress management patterns. These patterns could essentially lead to long term stress management. Learning how to deal with anxiety on a daily basis is slowly becoming the key to a happy life. It’s a skill, just like any other, and it takes practice.
The way modern societies are developing promises to increase stressors, not reduce them. That being said, understanding what the problem is and taking action is the first step towards a healthier and happier life.