We all deal with stress in one way or another on an almost daily basis. Our jobs (or lack of a job), family relationships, finances, co-workers, daily commute, health issues, noise or air pollution, unfavorable weather conditions, and many other reasons can plague us on a day to day basis until we feel like we just want to scream or hide away until life settles back down again.
Rare is the person who has no stress at all in their day to day life. In fact, if someone were to say they never get stressed, I would be inclined not to believe them. Everyone deals with a certain amount of stress no matter how much we try to avoid it. Unfortunately, if we do not handle the stress in our life as it happens, we may have to deal with much more serious consequences later on.
If you are struggling with stress, here are a few tips that may help you out.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Numerous studies have found that people who do not get enough sleep struggle with both mental and physical stress, especially if the sleep issues persist over a long period of time. Try to stick to a regular sleep pattern by going to bed and getting up about the same time every day. The general rule of thumb is to try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
Make sure you are eating the right food. Eating three regular meals and one snack a day is the preferred plan according to many health care experts. They also stress you should always eat breakfast in the morning to give you a healthy boost for the day. Avoid skipping breakfast and eat fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods, lean meat and focus on eating well-balanced meals. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeine, especially in the evening.
Make sure you get enough exercise. Walking, running, and working out are great stress relievers and will help promote a healthy lifestyle. We’ve all heard about the endorphins that the body releases when we exercise, you know – the ones that are also call happy hormones. Exercise helps us in so many ways that it’s a shame when we don’t at least do something every day. At the very minimum we should do a few stretches when we first get up in the morning just to loosen up our body.
Make sure you check out alternative options such as meditation and yoga. If you have never tried any of these stress relievers, you are in for a pleasant surprise. If you are not into running, aerobics, or weight lifting, yoga could be what you are looking for. Other alternative options include praying, keeping a daily journal – especially stream of consciousness writing that allows you to let it all hang out.
Make time in your day to spend time with yourself so that you can focus on clearing away the cobwebs or hook up with a special friend that you can freely talk to.
Make sure you check in with your primary care physician. You primary care doctor can give you further suggestions, run tests if necessary, and help you figure out if your stress is caused by physical problems, or emotional or mental turmoil. They can also review any medications you are on, make adjustments if necessary, or suggest other options.
Consider seeing a therapist or counselor. If you are dealing with emotional stress, talking to someone outside your circle of family and friends can often be beneficial to your state of mind. Bottling up your emotions and trying to take care of everything yourself often causes deeper problems in the long run. If nothing else, they can serve as a listening ear if you don’t want others to know what you are struggling with.
As you can see, there are numerous ways you can safely handle stress before something serious happens. Stress can cause major damage to your life; body, soul, and spirit.
Addressing your stress head-on will help you move on to a much happier way of living.
It also helps all of us to know that we are not alone and there are many other people out there that are willing to help us. We have family, friends, coworkers, ministers and priests, therapists, physicians, counselors, and so much more. No matter what kind of stress we are dealing with, we have options. And that is the best news of all.