Running around, struggling to get things done on time, feeling overwhelmed– Sound familiar? Stress is a common part of life for most people, and something we all have to deal with. Learning how to manage stress is important for your mental and physical well-being. It also tends to make life a little more pleasant. Completely avoiding stress is impossible but dealing with it in a healthy way helps you unwind and relax. Here are six stress management techniques that can help you reduce your stress levels in the midst of a busy life.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It helps your mind and body relax and improves your mood. To get the most benefit, you should exercise at least three to five times per week for 30 minutes each time. Don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t fit into your schedule yet; start exercising a little and gradually increase to meet your goal.
Daily relaxation is a great stress buster. There are many ways to relax, but deep breathing is a good way to start because it’s simple, quick, and free. Try to practice every day by following these five steps:
- Sit in a comfortable position or lie down
- Close your eyes
- Picture yourself in a relaxing place, like the beach, a field of flowers, or by a quiet stream.
- Focus on slowly breathing in and out
- Continue taking slow breaths for 5 to 10 minutes
Accept that you can’t control everything or do things perfectly and go easy on yourself. Cultivate your sense of humor and enjoy moments of stress-relieving laughter.
Talking about the things that are bothering you with others is a good way to help relieve stress, but it’s also important to talk to yourself. Negative self-talk increases stress, but positive self-talk is a great way to control stress. If you find yourself saying things like “I can’t do this,” or “Nothing is going right,” then stop yourself and say instead something like “I’ll do the best I can,” or “I’ll handle this one step at a time.”
Pausing in the midst of busy days for downtime is an important part of managing stress. Set aside time for restful and relaxing activities, like yoga, reading a favorite book, meditation, prayer, doing an art project, listening to music, or spending time in nature.
Try to identify your biggest causes of stress, then work to eliminate or reduce them. Consider working with an anxiety doctor to get to the bottom of your fears or worries. Keeping a stress journal and looking for patterns can help you determine what is causing your stress and may help you find ways to lessen triggers.
Life is stressful but learning how to manage stress helps you deal with it and promotes your mental and physical well-being. Stress management is often difficult, but these six techniques can help you get started.