Most of us have to deal with stress at some point in our lives. Stress is often mild, and usually, we can bounce back and recover fairly quickly, but in some cases, stress can become more severe. If you’re prone to stress or you feel like you’ve become increasingly stressed out recently, it may be beneficial to seek advice from your doctor, but here are some self-help techniques that could also prove useful.
Sometimes, we get to a point where we feel like we want to rant and rave, but instead, we keep everything bottled up. If you tend to overthink things or you find it hard to talk to others, try and be more open. Sometimes, even just saying what’s on your mind can make a positive difference and lift a weight off your shoulders. Speak to a friend or family member if you need advice or you simply want to somebody to share your thoughts or worries with. It can be really helpful to talk to others and get things off your chest. The longer you let negative thoughts fester, the more stressed and anxious you’ll become. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to somebody you know, try chatting with a therapist. If work is getting you down, open up to your boss. You may feel like you’ve got too much work on or you need extra help with a specific project. If you outline how you’re feeling, your boss may be able to help and the working day will become a lot more manageable.
Did you know that exercising is one of the most powerful natural stress-busters out there? When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and the level of serotonin in the brain increases. These chemical changes lift your mood and make you feel less fraught. Tailor the type of exercise to your mood and how you’re feeling. If you’ve been rushed off your feet all day and you need to just calm down and unwind, consider booking a yoga or Pilates class or go for a jog along the beach. If you’re angry, you’re frustrated, or you feel like you’ve got the excess energy to burn, look into more explosive, intensive activities like kickboxing, martial arts or interval training. You can find out more about classes and sessions on offer online. If you’re nervous about going to a class for the first time or you don’t exercise much, find a workout buddy. Exercising with friends is usually more fun, and you’ll have the benefit of a bit of moral support.
Studies show that creative activities can help to reduce stress. If you paint a picture, write a song or a poem, draw or even color in, this gives you a chance to express yourself and distract your mind from things that may be making you feel stressed. You don’t have to be incredibly skilled to benefit. As long as you find an activity you enjoy, you should find that it has benefits for you.
Meditation has been used to clear the mind for centuries, and it remains a very popular means of switching off, refocusing and reflecting. If you have an overactive mind or you struggle to gather your thoughts; it’s a good idea to try and meditate. You could join a local group in your community or learn to meditate alone using guided meditation apps or video tutorials. Choose a quiet location and allow yourself to zone out for a few minutes. Meditation can give you clarity and help you cope if you’re feeling like things are getting on top of you. Research shows that meditating for just 10 minutes per day can help to improve sleep patterns, lift your mood and reduce stress.
Have you ever read articles about dentists using dogs to help their patients relax or colleges enabling students to pet puppies or kittens when they’re stressed about exams? Most of us love animals, and cuddling up with a furry friend is proven to make you feel better. When you’ve had a rubbish day at work, coming home to your pet can put a smile on your face. Having a pet doesn’t just improve mental health. The American Heart Association also suggests that owning a pet, most notably, a dog, can also lower your risk of developing heart disease.
If you’re stressed out, you may struggle to sleep. The trouble is that the more sleepless nights you have, the more stressed you feel. It can be easy to get into a vicious cycle that is hard to break. If you find yourself falling asleep on the sofa or you can never get up in the mornings; these are signs that your body needs more rest. Try and adjust your bedtime routine to make sure that you get sufficient sleep every night. It may take a while for your body to adjust, but soon your body clock will get used to your routine, and you should find it easier to nod off. It’s also really important to try and wind down before you get into bed. Don’t peel back the covers and then start checking emails or seeing what people are up to on social media. Have a bath, listen to some music or read a book and then go to bed. Keep tablets and phones out of your bedroom and try and leave work at the office. If you continue to have problems with insomnia, see your doctor. It’s so important for both your physical and mental health that you get enough sleep.
Are you stressed out? Does stress affect you on a regular basis? It’s normal to have days when nothing seems to go to plan, or you have too much to do, but stress shouldn’t be a staple in your life. If you are struggling, try these self-help techniques. You may not find all of them effective, but some of them may prove beneficial. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and spend some time doing things you enjoy or make you feel better.