There is no doubt that every one of us suffers from stress from time to time. While some stress is not a problem, too much can lead to a negative effect on both your mental and physical health. Therefore, it is worth doing everything that you can to tackle stress head-on.
There are several different strategies that you can attempt, and the following piece will deal with some of the most common and effective. It’s important to remember that there are different types of stress, and therefore, different strategies involved in addressing it.
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Short-Term Stress Relief
When it comes to short-term stress relief, this can be useful if you have experienced a sudden burst of stress but it’s not ongoing. One way of calming yourself down with this type of stress is with meditation — which has the natural advantage of being free — and you can practice it from anywhere. Just a few minutes of mindfulness can end up leaving you feeling much better in a short time frame. Of course, mindfulness can also be a long-term solution as well if you practice it daily. Focusing on what is around you can help to take your mind off whatever is causing you stress.
Another great way of clearing your mind is by heading out on a walk. The simple act of gentle exercise and enjoying nature can have an enormously restorative effect on your body and mind. Guided imagery is another technique that people use. Essentially, this involves going off to your ’happy place’ in your mind – whether this is on a deserted beach or at the top of a mountain. You then need to close your eyes and imagine all the sensory experiences that you would be enjoying in that place. Once you have achieved a sense of inner calm, you can then return to the present day and get on with your tasks with a renewed sense of purpose.
Long-Term Stress Relief
Sometimes, the stress that you are experiencing in your life is more pervasive and long-lasting. Therefore, this requires some ongoing coping strategies. One of the most effective is to eat a balanced diet that doesn’t contain high amounts of fat or sugar. While these snacks can provide temporary relief, they can also end up making your long-term stress even worse. A balanced diet helps to keep you on an even keel.
Closely related to eating a balanced diet is plenty of physical activity. While many people feel like they don’t have enough time in their schedules to exercise, you should always be able to make time to relieve stress in your life. Ultimately, this could be a high-intensity workout like running, but you could equally take up something that is gentler like yoga, which has the added benefit of allowing you to practice some mindfulness at the same time. Long-term stress relief activities require you to have a high level of dedication, ensuring that you practice the lifestyle changes necessary to bring your stress levels down to a minimum.
Home Stress Relief
There are also strategies that you can practice from the comfort of your own home. One is to simply spend some time with those who you care about. While watching TV and movies can be an effective form of escapism, you should also try activities that allow you to interact with your loved ones directly. Other options include exercising your creative side by doing artwork, writing in a journal, or playing music. You could also turn to video games for a side distraction; however, while media and technology can be helpful in limited doses, you should research subjects such as stress induced by video games to give you a fuller picture. Click here for more information.
Another option is to use aromatherapy provided by body products, diffusers, candles, etc. Making your home more of a minimalist environment can also help. Essentially, this means getting rid of a lot of the clutter and anything else in your life that is not bringing you joy. Even the act of decluttering your house on its own can prove to be an experience that provides an enormous sense of calm, so why not try it yourself?
Problem-Focused Stress Relief
While there are plenty of occasions when you experience stress that is more generalized, there are also lots of times when you know what is causing the problem, and you can deal with it in a more targeted manner. A common problem that people have is that there is simply too much on their plate. On these occasions, it is worth reassessing your to-do list to see if there is anything that you can do to reduce it. Perhaps you can allocate some of the tasks elsewhere to make your life just a little bit easier. With what is left, make a list in order of priority, putting your least favourite or appealing task first. This way, you will get it out of the way early and it won’t be left hanging over your head.
Sometimes, it is simply the act of talking to another person about your problems that can make all the difference in reducing your stress levels. If you feel like your network is getting somewhat thin on the ground, you could always make an effort to expand it by joining an organization or support group. Another technique is to work out the direct causes of your stress so you can tackle them head-on. Some of the most common stressors include watching too much of the news, relying too much on technology and social media, drinking alcohol and caffeine as coping mechanisms, etc.
Find the Techniques that Work for You
Ultimately, stress is a strange beast, and everyone experiences it differently. But learning to cope with your own version of it can end up making a significant difference to your life in both the long and short term. Consult the list above and try out a few of the strategies until you work out what is the most effective for your life and put it into practice.