Stress is a natural part of the human experience. It alerts us, drives us to work harder and makes us care about things. Stress is not always bad, but too much stress can cause serious health issues including increased blood pressure, risk of heart disease and vulnerability to the immune system. It’s easy to get caught up in it- work, family, money, relationships; there is a lot we could potentially feel stressed and anxious about. Stress, if anything, is relatable, so much so that April 16 has been deemed National Stress Awareness day.
Here are some tips for how to deal with stress:
Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine
Mindfulness is vague, but it basically just means being more conscious of yourself, your thoughts and your emotions throughout the day. Practices such as meditation, yoga and mantra helps us stay grounded. The point of having daily mindfulness practices is to avoid overwhelm when life gets stressful. Headspace, a mindfulness app, provides the following tips to stay dedicated to your practice: Start early, same time, same place, get creative about location, sit comfortably and find the best position for you.
Move your body
Exercising when you are stressed will trick you into thinking that you LOVE working out if you aren’t a gym person. Exercise helps burn off that extra stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, “physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.” So, moving might help make you happy.
Some people find comfort in productivity, and the stress only leaves them when the cause of the stress does too. This is where organization comes into play. If you are this person, lists are your best friends. Wake up and organize your day’s tasks, even if it has to be hour by hour. Being able to take a step back and look at what is stressing you out can make it easier to tackle.
Surround yourself with support
Having a strong support system can make things a lot easier. Even if your friends and family aren’t directly helping you with your work or personal problems, knowing that you are supported and loved is something to be thankful for. We all want to know that we are not alone.
Try these simple tips along with basic self-love (eat well, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, treat yourself to a massage if that’s your thing) and do not underestimate the beauty of alone time. And if you are one of those lucky, stress-free people, maybe use November 6th as an opportunity to reach out to a friend who is struggling on National Stress Awareness Day.
by Stephanie Cornwell