There are very few people who can honestly say they’ve never had a stressful moment in their life. For a large number of people, dealing with stress can be a daily burden. The world we live in is full of stressful situations, some we can control and other we can do nothing about. The bills will never stop falling through the mailbox, there will never be enough hours in the day, and for many, there are always going to be work and family responsibilities. We all deal with stress in different ways. Realizing that you’re in control of your life is a good place to start. Are there any other effective ways to manage stress? Of course there are.
Good Stress-Busting Strategies
Too much stress can be very damaging not just for your mental but your physical wellbeing too. Therefore, it’s important that you learn to manage it effectively. Some of the best ways to combat stress are:
- Fresh air – it is thought that sunlight can boost your vitamin D levels and thereby lift your levels of serotonin. Enjoying the world outside of your little bubble also directs your focus away from your problems.
- Rituals – it helps to turn to some of your comforting routines in times of stress. Your routine might include walking the dog in the park before bedtime or enjoying your breakfast outside on the balcony.
- Give your hands and brain something creative and engaging to do – take up knitting, coloring, painting a picture or pottery.
- Meditate – you don’t have to sit cross-legged chanting while you meditate. Simply find a quiet place, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, just for a few minutes every day.
- Exercise – this is the healthiest way to bust your stress. It helps your body to release feel-good endorphins, regulate your sleep, boost your energy and help you remain calm.
Unhealthy Ways to Combat Stress
As well as these healthy ways to combat stress there are also some very unhealthy ones. They probably work very well for a short period of time, but in the long run, they only lead to bigger problems.
Smoking is one example, along with drinking in excess. Another way that many people try to overcome stress is to take drugs. These could be over the counter prescription drugs or illegal ones such as cannabis, heroin and cocaine. Taking drugs is counterproductive because it only masks the problem and increases the negative impact of stress. Many of the people undergoing opiate addiction recovery started taking drugs to help with stress.
Hiding under the covers and hoping the world will go away often sounds like a good idea when you’re feeling stressed. However, too much sleep is not a good thing either.
Food can become a crutch, much the same as smoking, alcohol and drugs. Eating high-calorie, high-sugar or high-fat comfort foods numbs the pain for a while but it won’t be long before negative emotions become associated with eating and you feel worse about yourself.
Finding the best way to manage your own stress is vital. It will help you to be a happier, healthier and more productive person. We’re all different and cope with life in different ways. The important thing is to find a way that suits you.