How To Combat Stress and Feel Better

Stress can be taxing on your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. It occurs when the demands of daily life exceed your ability to cope with the world around you, or battles within yourself. These can involve personal situations, such as relationships with friends and family members. Additionally, work and school can contribute to undue stress on the body.

Unfortunately, these stressors can wreak havoc on your immune system, as well as interfere with your central nervous system and cardiovascular health.

In fact, multiple studies have shown that prolonged stress can be implicated in a number of diseases and illnesses, such as depression and obesity. Many folks with high blood pressure and weakened immune systems are suffering due to unmanaged stress. Likewise, anxiety and insomnia are often associated with poor stress management skills.

Fortunately, there is hope. By learning how to manage stress, it is possible to minimize many of the health problems associated with it. The best coping skills will vary from one individual to the next. For instance, one person might find that regular yoga or meditation sessions are the best way to relieve stress, while others might prefer an artistic endeavor. It may be that a person chooses counselling to combat stress, whatever is right for the individual.

Several studies have shown the following techniques to be useful for virtually everyone:

Take time to step away. Self-care is vital to health, and spending half an hour away from a stressful situation can be a way to reclaim personal wellness. Although many think it virtually impossible to get away from stressors, a small break doing something productive, like going for a walk, can add a new perspective to the situation. Although this doesn’t mean that you should ignore them (after all, bills need to be paid), a meditation break can make them less overwhelming.

Exercise is beneficial for every aspect of your being. In addition to toning your muscles, exercise can release stress in a healthy way. If you don’t have time to visit the gym for hours every day, you can still benefit from exercise. Try dancing for fifteen minutes at home or taking a swim.

They say laughter is the best medicine, and research shows that it can be quite useful for boosting moods and reducing stress. Smiling and laughing can do wonders for relieving tension naturally. It actually creates a chemical reaction in the body that can change your perspective, so give it a try. Watch a funny movie, or read the comics when you can.

Create a social network of support. It is important that you connect with people who will promote positivity and validate your experiences. Avoid negative folks and those who cause you stress. Also, don’t complain about your family to an unsympathetic coworker or dump your work woes on an unsupportive family.

Meditation and mindfulness have also shown to release stress and increase peace of mind. Doing so regularly can boost insight, release tension and improve focus. You don’t have to become an advanced yogi in order to reap these rewards. In fact, just a few minutes can begin to reset your thinking and feeling. Consider taking a few minutes alone to increase your awareness when possible.


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ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.
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