What is stress?
Stress is how the brain and body respond to a challenge or demand. It is a feeling of physical or emotional pressure. Some stress can be good as it allows you to avoid danger or grow and become stronger. However, high levels of stress can impact your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress, whether it’s never having enough hours in a day or having a demanding work and family schedule. But knowing how to manage stress can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.
It’s important to learn and practice different ways you can cope with stress. Having multiple “tools” for your stress toolbox allows you to pick the one that best fits the situation and what you need at that time.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone can help you build healthy relationships and provide you with support. Talking to someone can also help you understand the feelings you are experiencing, which helps you process your emotions and gain an outside perspective on the situation.
Do a physical activity you enjoy
When you’re stressed, you may not feel like getting up and exercising. But physical activity can be a great stress reliever as it produces “feel good” hormones and boosts energy. There are plenty of resources on how to move more your way or get moving for your mental health.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to reduce stress. When you breathe deeply, your brain and body get the message to calm down and relax. There are lots of phone apps that can help you with deep breathing such as Prana Breath, Breathe2Relax, and Breathe+.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for stress management. Getting the recommended amount might be hard, but there are ways to improve your quality of sleep. A great place to start is to create a bedtime routine.
Write it out
Writing can also be a wonderful way to reduce stress as it can help you process your thoughts and emotions. It can also be a terrific way to cope and problem solve. If you’re having a hard time knowing what to journal about, just put down the first thing that comes to mind. Remember there’s no right or wrong way to journal!
By Amber Kohl