Being stressed is not a good way to live your life, whether you are studying for exams in college, or you’re working and trying to balance your home life too. No matter what situation you find yourself in or what stage of life you are at, stress can be a toxic issue that causes health issues, both physically and mentally. Therefore, reducing stress as much as possible is the key to being happy and healthy.
There is no way that you can remove all stresses from your life (and no reason to either; some stress is good and can actually help you be more focused and productive), but removing chronic stress problems will ease the strain you are feeling and keep you on the right track. Here are some ways to do it.
Meditation might sound like a strange idea if you have never tried it before, but it really can reduce your stress down to a much more manageable level. It eases anxiety and staves off feelings of depression in many cases. Daily meditation has been shown to change the pathways in your brain, and that makes you much more resilient when it comes to stress. Basically, the more you meditate, the calmer you will be in everyday life, so when something stressful comes your way you will be better able to deal with it.
To get started, you only need 10 minutes or so each day. Try meditating first thing in the morning, or just before you go to sleep. You can meditate in the shower, between classes, or when you take a break at work. All you need to do is be still, close your eyes, and focus on a positive mantra. It could be something like, ‘I am peaceful,’ or ‘I am calm,’ for example. Something that expresses how you wish to feel is ideal. You don’t even need to speak the words out loud – just think them over and over again. When you open your eyes, you really will feel better, and your problems will be much easier to solve.
Something that you can easily combine with mediation is deep breathing. Again, it only takes a few minutes of deep breathing to re-set your mind and your focus, allowing you to feel a lot more peaceful and capable of dealing with whatever it is that is causing you to be stressed. The best way to do this is to find a quiet spot, sit up straight, close your eyes, and inhale slowly through your nose. Make sure you can feel that breath sit in your stomach area, and then slowly exhale through your mouth.
Your heart rate will lower and so will your blood pressure, making you feel a lot better in general.
Something that often causes people to feel more stressed than they need to is being disorganized. Not knowing exactly what is happening or what you are supposed to be doing can cause stress levels to rise hugely when all it would take is some time management to put it right. You can read more now about how time management can help you in life, in work, and in school. It really makes a difference to your day to day life when you are organized and know what is coming next. You’ll be so much more productive and happier too.
It may seem to make more sense to rush through life and do as much as possible in as short a timeframe as you can, but this actually has the opposite effect and you not only become less productive, but you become more stressed as a result too. What you really need to be doing is slowing down, taking stock of whatever situation you are in, and readjusting your thinking to deal with it.
One way to really slow down is to be more present in your life. Being present means that you have an appreciation for the here and now, rather than constantly rushing towards the next thing, whatever that may be. To do this, you can use all of your senses to help you. Notice exactly what color the sky is, and what the clouds look like. Focus on how the ground feels under your feet. When you’re eating, choose something you will really enjoy and make every bite count, thinking about the texture and taste of every last morsel.
Exercise is good for you for all kinds of reasons and will get you fit and healthy if you do it regularly. Although everyone is aware of how good regular exercise is for the body, not as many know that it is also a great way to keep your mind healthy and to reduce your stress levels. Any kind of exercise from running to yoga to sports to heading out to the gym – even taking a brisk walk around the block or local park – will help you feel less stressed. That’s because your brain will release hormones and chemicals that make you feel good, and that also works against the hormones and chemicals that make you feel stressed. Plus, when you’re exercising, you’re not thinking about your problems, which also reduces your stress levels.
Ask For Help
Sometimes stress can be too much, and no amount of de-stressing will rid us of it. This is where asking for help has to be done. Not many people like the idea of asking for help, but there is no shame in it, and it is not a sign of weakness; no one will judge you for feeling totally overwhelmed because it could happen to anyone at any time. Therefore, if you are trying coping strategies for stress but they don’t seem to be doing anything, your next step should be to talk to someone. This could be a medical professional such as a psychiatrist or a doctor, or it could be a friend or family member. The choice is yours, but talking about your problems is certainly something that will help you and ensure you aren’t alone.