“I’m so stressed!”, “This is so stressful!”, “I’m so stressed, I’m basically ready to tap out!” These are phrases we commonly hear not just from ourselves but also from most people around us. And that’s not surprising. Whenever humans, or any living thing for that matter, faces internal or external stimuli, it invokes one to come up with a decision of fight or flight. Either to face the stimuli head-on or veer away from it. Regardless, this decision-making process, although much of it occurs in the background, almost automatic, still requires a significant number of resources causing your body to be in a state of alertness. Imagine being on guard all the time.
Being in this state of alertness is beneficial if occurring in short, temporary instances but once you stay in this state for a prolonged time, then that will cause some serious health issues. This will cause your body to burn through resources and will push your body past its limits sometimes too much of something is really bad.
There’s nothing wrong with stress. In fact, stress is needed for progress to happen. Imagine a world without stress, without anything to trigger you to push forward. The world and everyone in it would remain stagnant. It wouldn’t be wise to think that you can completely eliminate stress because it’s a naturally occurring thing. It’s as natural as breathing. What we can do is how to manage it. How we can live with it so that it doesn’t cause us to deteriorate, healthwise.
There are multitudes of ways and disciplines to help you manage stress and after reading this article, please feel free to explore them as you see fit but for those of you who are looking for ways, scientifically-proven ways, to help you manage stress and act on them as soon as possible, then these 5 tips we prepared today might be of help:
1. Be mindful
- This list is not by all means arranged according to its importance but we figured to start with being mindful. Why? Because at the end of the day, stress management starts when one is aware that there is “stress that needs to be managed”. Mindfulness, the awareness and recognition of the fact that stress is a problem that needs to be observed and managed already solves half of the problem
2. Eating Right
- Once you have accepted the fact that you are indeed stressed, you will notice how this state affects the way you eat. Humans have a tendency to revert back to something that’s comfortable when faced with stress. That means you will look for comfort food. Unfortunately, most comfort foods are seldomly the most healthy ones: fries, chocolates, chips, soda, sweets, etc.
- So, try to be aware of that and if you do feel the urge to stress-eat, might as well prepare something healthy: fruits, veggies, salads, anything that’s less salty and rich with vitamins and minerals instead.
3. Be active every day
- Another problem when we feel stressed is that we make it a reason to avoid exercise and our most common excuse is that we need downtime. While downtimes are important, using this as an excuse to avoid exercise is not the most prudent decision.
- Exercise in fact, helps your body release stress hormones and secrete them out of your body and enables your body to produce happy hormones as well. It also takes your mind off of things and helps you stay in shape (which in a way, also helps you boost your self-image).
4. Permit yourself to unplug
- When you’re facing something that stresses you and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to solve it, then it might be a good opportunity to step back a bit and reassess the situation.
- This includes detaching yourself from social media, your phone, and consciously putting an effort to stop yourself whenever you have the urge to check your emails every 30 seconds. When you wake up each morning, instead of checking what you missed on Instagram, you may opt to read a book instead or spend the first 30 mins of your day meditating instead.
5. Get more sleep
- Last but definitely not the least, give your body enough chances to sleep. 8 hours is ideal but having at least 6 hours is a minimum requirement. People who sleep less are at risk of developing heart diseases. If you are having some trouble sleeping, products such as essential oils may help put your mind at ease and get that good night’s sleep you’re longing for.
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