If you’re like 80% of Americans, you feel stressed out daily. It’s no secret that this can wreak havoc on our lives. Chronic stress makes us physically sick and affects both our cognitive functioning and mental health.
If you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, you should consider a stress management program. If you know how to handle stress when it starts affecting your life, you’ll be able to manage it better. There are many stress coping mechanisms out there, but you need to find one (or more) that work for you.
We’ve put together a list of five stress coping strategies to get you started. Pick one to begin with and see how fast your stress levels drop off.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils. These oils are added to a diffuser or skincare products for daily use.
Proponents of aromatherapy believe it works by stimulating smell receptors in your nose. These send messages to the part of the brain in charge of emotions.
We recommend trying lavender, lemon, or ylang-ylang for stress.
2. Identify Your Stress
Knowing what’s causing your stress is half the battle. When you can identify what’s making you stressed out, it’s easier to determine what needs to be done to fix it.
Implement a time-management schedule if a looming deadline is making you frazzled. Talk to Human Resources if you’re struggling with overwhelm or harassment at work. End toxic relationships that are causing you distress.
3. Nix the Coffee (and Alcohol and Nicotine)
We know what you’re thinking. “But, coffee, booze, and smoking are my vices!” Hear us out, though.
Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that’ll raise your stress hormone (cortisol) levels. When these hormones are elevated you can experience irritability, weight gain, and headaches.
Stressed folks often turn to alcohol to take away their problems. But when you do this, you’re not confronting the issues. Alcohol should never be a cure for stress.
If you need to wet your whistle, opt for good ol’ H20 or herbal teas to stay hydrated. If you can’t skip your morning coffee, smoke break at work or glass of wine with dinner, at least try to reduce your consumption.
The benefits of exercise extend far beyond maintaining and losing weight. Working out increases levels of the happiness hormone – endorphins. Legally Blonde taught us that happy people just don’t shoot their husbands (and they’re less likely to get stressed, too).
Participating in cardiovascular exercise can decrease your tension levels and stabilize your moods. It’ll also help you sleep better and make you more self-confident.
A mindfulness practice might be one of the best stress management techniques. Scientific research backs up the health benefits of mindfulness.
Your mindfulness program will help you manage your emotions better. Emotional regulation will give you the tools you need to nix stress before it starts.
Another great benefit of meditation and mindfulness is that it allows you to slow down. Society is busier today than ever before, so taking a few moments for slowing down is stress relieving and nourishing.
Put Our Stress Coping Strategies to Use
Now that you have five different ways to deal with stress, it’s time to take action. Use whichever of our stress coping strategies speaks to you the most. Don’t limit yourself to one approach if more sound appealing.
Be sure to check out our Well-Being section for more tips on improving your life.