Our Ten Tips For Stress Management

Stress reduction is a highly worthwhile cause. It impacts your mental, physical and emotional well being. We have brought together below our 10 Tips For Stress Management

1. Figure out what stresses you out
2. Avoid the situations and things which stress you most
3. Change things you can and recognize those you cannot
4. Make time to “unplug”
5. Exercise
6. Eat right
7. Encourage the “relaxation response” through relaxation techniques
8. Avoid stress causing substances
9. Get enough sleep
10. Find your own peace

10 Tips For Stress Management

1. Figure out what stresses you out 
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. You might be contributing your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to the mix. Other causes of stress to consider might include: work pressures, economic situation, relationship problems, or life events like bereavement, marriage, divorce or retirement.

2. Avoid the situations and things which stress you most 
Now this advice only refers to things which are not your duty or immediate responsibility (those are addressed in number 3 below). We encourage you here to avoid insignificant or non-essential stressors like: committing your time too much, negative or stressful people, the nightly news every night, getting into arguments about “hot-button” topics.

3. Change things you can and recognize those you cannot 
Be willing to compromise to reduce strife in your home; manage your time better; be more assertive and learn to say “no” to outside obligations; take positive steps to resolve job, money or relationship problems. Often just taking some positive action can greatly improve the situation. Recognize problems you cannot solve and accept them as “unfixable”. Remember this useful prayer:

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

4. Make time to “unplug” 
It is absolutely essential to your “stress health” that you take time out regularly to nurture yourself. If you make the time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be better able to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come. Do something you enjoy every day, even if it’s just curling up with a good book for half an hour. Make it a priority to engage in your favorite hobbies and recreations often. Remember that humor is “nature’s tranquilizer” and take time out to “smell the roses”. Your health literally depends on it!

5. Exercise 
Exercise increases your overall health and sense of well-being. This increases your energy level and makes you more physically able to fight off stress. Exercise also releases endorphins into your system (“feel-good” chemicals). So get started today on a sport and routine that works for you. Start slowly and gradually work up your strength and endurance. Schedule your exercise sessions into your daily routine. It’s that important!

6. Eat right 
Eat a healthy diet; a well-nourished body is better prepared to cope with stress. Start your day right with a light and healthy breakfast, like whole grain cereal, yogurt and fruit. Keep your energy level up with small nutritious snacks throughout the day, rather than 3 heavy meals. Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates [whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables]. Not only do complex carbs stabilize blood sugar, they also increase serotonin, which has a calming effect.

7. Learn the “relaxation response” through relaxation techniques 
You can lower your stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques which evoke the body’s relaxation response, a state of deep physical and mental restfulness that is the opposite of the “stress response”. Regularly practicing yoga breathing, tai chi, mindful meditation and/or guided imagery builds up your physical and emotional resilience, help keep your body healthy, and bring feelings of joy and tranquility back into your life.

8. Avoid stress causing substances 
Many people suffering from stress and anxiety turn to prescription medications for help. Why? They are desperate for a quick fix to their problem! While medication may prove necessary in some situations, people (and their physicians) tend to overmedicate. Avoid excessive alcohol and recreational (street) drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. As these substances wear off, they actually increase your anxiety and depression. Drinking or drugging for anxiety relief also starts you on a path that can lead to abuse and dependence. Also, reduce the caffeine and sugar you consume. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end with a crash in mood and energy.

9. Get enough sleep 
Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. And when you’re well rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance and stress levels low. Feeling tired may cause you to think irrationally, and make bad decisions, further adding to your stress. Keep a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends. Your “internal clock” helps keep your wake and sleep cycles on an even keel. Avoid stimulating situations or foods before bedtime. Get what sleep you can and try not to dwell on your insomnia. Worrying about it only adds to the problem.

10. Find your own peace
Did you realize you truly are the master of your own life, and can actually choose happiness for yourself? Well, you have that capability within your power. If you let them, stressful events can build up, wall you in, and eventually stop you from enjoying the good things in life. Make it a part of your daily routine to recognize the good things in your life. As you lie there preparing for sleep, think about the things (and people) you have to be thankful for. And send a prayer of thanks up to your higher power, if that is appropriate for you.

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