Stress is a natural part of life. We all experience it from time to time, and most of us handle it well. However, for some people, stress can be overwhelming and lead to serious health consequences. Research has linked chronic stress with high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses. If you have trouble dealing with stress in your life — or even if you don't — here are five tips for managing this common emotion:
Learn more about your stress symptoms
Knowing what to look out for is key in determining whether you are experiencing an excess of stress. Stress symptoms can vary from person to person, but the following are common indicators:
Feelings of anxiety and fear. Do you have a sense of dread or worry about something that seems outside your control?
Unexplained physical ailments. Are you experiencing headaches, nausea, or body pain for no apparent reason? Is it hard for you to sleep at night and/or does it feel like the slightest noise will wake you up? Have you lost interest in things that used to give pleasure (e.g., hobbies)?
Anger issues. Do certain words really bother or anger you more than they should? Do arguments with others easily escalate into shouting matches?
Look for ways to change the situation
Take a break from the situation.
Stay motivated by taking things day by day
Change your environment.
Talk to someone about it, and listen to their advice, too!
Write down your feelings on paper (or type them out). This can help you get things off of your chest and put them into perspective at the same time!
Do something different for a while—go for a walk in nature (or take some time tonight), listen to music that makes you happy, or spend an afternoon watching movies with family and friends.
Accept things you cannot change.
The first step in relieving stress from your life is accepting that there are things you have no control over. This may sound like a defeatist attitude, but it's not the same as resignation. Acceptance means recognizing that some things are out of your hands and you can't do anything about them—but it also means choosing to focus on what matters instead of worrying about things beyond your control.
Accepting these realities doesn't mean giving up or losing hope; in fact, acceptance is often the first step toward taking control of a situation and making positive changes in your life. You'll find yourself less anxious when you stop fighting against what cannot be changed, which frees up energy for taking steps toward more fulfilling goals!
By focusing on acceptance rather than fixing every problem right away (or even later), we can learn how to cope with stressful situations more effectively instead of falling apart under pressure.
Develop healthy coping skills
Learn to relax
Set aside time for yourself every day
Take a walk in the park or go to the beach, just get outside and enjoy nature!
Exercise regularly (running or going to the gym)
You are not in control of everything.
You can not control everything. It's true, and it's OK to acknowledge this fact. When you do, it will help you put things into perspective, which will ultimately reduce your stress level. You have no control over what other people do or how they treat you. You cannot control the weather (as much as we'd like to). The more you think about what is out of your hands and focus on what is within them instead (like being happy with yourself), the less stressed out you'll feel!
We hope that this article has given you some insight into stress and how to relieve it in your life. Remember, there are always options for dealing with stress, even when it seems overwhelming. You can take care of yourself by learning more about your symptoms, finding ways to change the situation, changing how you respond, accepting things you cannot change and developing healthy coping skills.