How have your stress levels been lately? Does it feel like you’re trudging through life carrying a bag of bricks that gets heavier by the step? Whether you experienced a traumatic event, a major crisis, or the regular wear and tear of work, stress can slowly chip away at your health. When too much stress builds up in the body, it can feel like you aren’t in control of yourself, making your life extremely difficult.
You may not have control over every circumstance in life, but you can control how you respond to things. If you experience an overwhelming amount of stress, to the point where it becomes chronic, your health can start to decline. You may not notice this decline at first, but stress chips away at your health, leading to decreased immune function, poor eating habits, insomnia, or even high blood pressure. Learn to ebb the flow of stress if you want to live a calmer, healthier life.
The Benefits Of Managing Stress
When you experience unrelenting stressors, be they work, family, money, racism, inequality, etc., your body is always on high alert. When you learn to manage your stress levels, you can reduce the amount of cortisol in your system. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can lead to dangerous inflammation in the body, sluggish metabolism, and spontaneous weight gain. Some studies even link stress to poor blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and memory loss. When you’re able to manage all of that stress and build resilience, the body performs better mentally, emotionally, and physically. Many people who get a handle on their stress find that they have better appreciation for family, friends, and daily life.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation that will magically vanish stress from your life. We wish this was the case, but it just isn’t that simple. A stress management technique that works for one person may not work for someone else. It’s beneficial to have multiple tools for the job, so to speak. Craft a series of stress-reducing tools, so you can adapt to any circumstance. The following three strategies can help you reset and establish a sense of calm.
Burn Off Your Tension
More often than not, people who experience high stress levels don’t have an outlet that allows them to burn off tension. No good comes from holding all that tension inside the body, so you have to release it if you want to be healthier and stress-free. Some people find that regular exercise is most beneficial. In fact, several studies found that exercise helps you balance the mind and reduce cortisol levels. Scheduling workouts, however, can be another source of stress. If exercise isn’t for you, consider other outlets like gardening, hiking, nature walks, yoga, meditation, or even chopping wood. Let out the stress so you can stay motivated and recharge the body.
Look At Problems Through A Different Lens
When people encounter something that causes stress, they are quick to react. Often blinded by rage or fury, the response to a stressful situation does not reveal your best self. When you can look at whatever causes stress through a different lens, you will be able to reduce angry or aggressive behavior. You may not know that letting anger take the wheel actually causes more stress. Keep everything in perspective by backing away from the stressor, analyzing it, and forming a positive response to resolve the issue.
Invite Order Into Your Life
If you’re the type of person who spends 10 minutes looking for your water bottle or cannot locate the sunglasses on your head, something is wrong. There is no way to lower stress levels if your life is in a state of disarray. Some people may argue the fact that the most creative people live in a constant state of clutter. Well, clutter and disorganization create stress in your life. Organization has proven to be a great stress reliever! You can start small by organizing your desk area or planning a nightly routine that gets your ready for better sleep.
Once you feel more advanced, consider meal prepping on the weekends to save time when you get home from work. Finally, if you know that you will encounter a stressful period of craziness in your life, prep yourself by mapping out how you plan to manage it. This goes a long way and can reduce or even prevent the damage it has on your health.