When you are faced with stress, your body reacts with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Your body is designed to respond to stress. It is a natural part of life. Stress is responsible for keeping you alert and helping you avoid danger. While there are positives sides to stress, there are many negative factors.
High-stress levels have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other health issues. You can also experience headaches, increased blood pressure, chest pain, stomach pain, and difficulty sleeping.
Like many health concerns, stress can have a snowball effect on your health. As your health suffers, you become more susceptible to other illnesses.
Stress is a common problem for adults. It is estimated that about 43 percent of adults suffer negatively from stress on a regular basis. In fact, over 75 percent of doctor’s office visits are scheduled due to a stress-related health issue.
If you are experiencing health issues related to your stress, you are going to need to address the problem. Find ways to manage your stress. Start by using these 7 tips for stress relief to improve your health and happiness.
1. Learn to Manage Your Stress
You are in control of your body, so you need to learn how to manage your reaction to stress. To say that stress is the problem is an over-simplification of the facts. The real problem is your reaction to the stress and how you manage it.
Whenever you feel stressed, take a deep breath and think about your current situation. Giving your brain time to think, will help you manage stress and allow you to begin understanding the common causes of your stress.
2. Learn To Say “No”
Many people find it difficult to say “No” making life difficult for themselves sometimes, especially when they already have a full plate. We may say “Yes” mostly because we want to be seen as team players. We want to be included. We don’t want to hurt feelings, so we say “Yes” maybe out of guilt or for some reason.
Whatever the reason for saying “Yes”, the fact remains that it can become overwhelming and counterproductive. Learning to say “No” takes some practice but definitely beneficial in the long run. Don’t be afraid to be “selfish” sometimes, for your own good.
3. Avoid Negative Thoughts
Try not to dwell on negative thoughts. It is perfectly understandable to occasionally think about negative situations, but you should push those thoughts away if you begin to dwell on them. When you are stuck on a negative thought, think of something nice and pleasant instead.
4. Focus On Positive Thinking
Learn to be mindful and focus on positive thoughts and things that you would like to see happen. Your brain cannot tell the difference between what you see and what you think. Visualize the positive things that you want. It may even be helpful to write your thoughts down or somehow physically visualize them—by drawing, writing, or even doodling.
5. Practice Meditation
Meditation is not overly complicated. Anyone can learn how to meditate, but it may take the time to teach your brain to relax.
Meditation can help correct hormonal or chemical imbalances which may be increasing your stress. It can also relax your mind and offer stress relief.
The simplest meditation is visualization meditation. Focus on a single thought or image.
Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing as you continue to focus on the thought or image. Allow your mind to drift while you continue breathing comfortably for at least fifteen minutes.
6. Listen to Your Body
A key part of dealing with stress is becoming more in-tune with your body. Listen to your body. When your muscles are sore, you should rest them. When you are hungry, eat food. If you are thirsty, then drink. Ignoring your basic needs can increase your stress levels and limit your ability to handle stress. It can quickly become a downward spiral.
7. Get Consistent Sleep
You should aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you tend to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night, then give yourself a bed time. Setting a regular sleep schedule will help train your brain when to go to bed and allow you get peaceful sleep.
These tips should help cut some of the stress from your life, but there are plenty of other ways to manage your stress. You could also keep a stress journal, writing down your common stressors so that you can learn how to deal with them. Eat a balanced diet, cut back on caffeine, and get regular exercise.
Stress is something that everyone has to deal with. With some practice, it can be manageable, if you take the time to learn how to lower your stress.