10 Ways to Relieve Stress and Take Back Your Life
Information about 10 Ways to Relieve Stress and Take Back Your Life
Learn 10 ways to relieve stress and take back your life.
Stress is a normal human emotion.
Our stress response is a biological reaction.
This is commonly referred to as our “fight or flight” response. “Fight or flight” refers to how our body protects us from danger. It pumps our adrenaline, increases our heart rate, and releases a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol increases glucose or sugars in the bloodstream. All of these responses are what cause you to feel stressed. Nonetheless, stress is a necessary emotion, but what happens when we start to feel stressed more often than not?
Maybe your days are consumed by a feeling of being overwhelmed, anxious and nervous. Perhaps you have lost your sense of joy for activities you used to love because you are all consumed with the stresses of your life. Anything can cause extreme stress, whether that is a high-pressure job, marital problems, familial struggles, isolation, loneliness, and anticipation. Your life does not have to be ruled by these negative emotions. It is essential to identify what triggers your crippling stress and avoid or lessen these triggers’ weight. Below I have listed 10 ways to relieve stress and take back your life.
Relieve Stress Tip 1: Find the root of the issue
As briefly mentioned above, figuring out where your stress and anxiety originates an essential step in controlling it. For some people, the source of the problem might be harder to put their fingers on. While for others, it might be sitting right in front of their face. Whatever the case may be, if you can find the root of the issue and potentially remove it from your life, that might be ideal. However, suppose your stressor revolves around a problem with a family member or your high-pressure job. In that case, it can be a little more challenging to control these emotions, but it is not impossible.
Relieve Stress Tip 2: Set boundaries
When your stress or anxiety is due to a job, partner, or even family member, it is imperative to set boundaries to help you relieve stress and take back your life so you can enjoy it again. If your stressor is due to a job, maybe you have a sit down with your boss about your feelings and work out a plan where they cannot contact you regarding work-related things after 6 pm. Specifically, if it is your boss, you may need to communicate with HR or look for a new job in a different environment. Likewise, if it is due to a partner or family member, having an open dialogue with this person to set aside time for yourself or express how you feel in a nonjudgmental space is a great way to set a boundary.
Relieve Stress Tip 3: Develop a self-care routine
There has been a lot of talk about self-care these days to the point it feels a little gimmicky to partake in. But, with all of that aside, self-care can do wonders for your stress and anxiety. Self-care also looks VERY different for everybody. Yes, the classic bubble bath, face mask, and meditation routine is a wonderful way for some people to relax, but the only requirement for an activity to qualify as a self-care act is that it makes you feel good. Maybe you want to set aside an hour to read a good book before bed or wake up earlier to get in a good workout. Maybe putting on a cute outfit and doing your make-up helps you feel strong and confident.
Perhaps you want to spend a couple of hours cooking a gourmet dinner for yourself after a long day. It does not matter what it is, as long as you can enjoy the process, and it makes you feel happy, relaxed, and joyful.
Relieve Stress Tip 4: Journal
Everyone, especially therapists, raves about the wonders of journaling. While it is more difficult for some people to put pen to paper, being able to write out your anxieties and feelings on a piece of paper is a great way to get them out of your system. Furthermore, writing them down can also help you pinpoint how you feel more precisely and, therefore, better treat the problem.
Relieve Stress Tip 5: Allow yourself a set period to feel anxious
This might sound odd at first, but if you set aside a specific time every day to allow yourself to feel all of those bubbling anxious emotions, it opens the door for more balance during the rest of your day. If you have allotted 2:30 – 3:30 pm to feel anxious about everything in your life. When something bubbles up around 10:00 am, you can tell yourself, “No, I will worry about this later.” Usually, by the time 2:30 pm rolls around, you will have most likely forgotten about most of those things that were making you stressed throughout the day.
Relieve Stress Tip 6: Eat a well-balanced diet
The mind-body connection is no joke. How we treat our body directly affects our mind and vice versa. Therefore, if you are not eating food that fuels your body, your state of mind will reflect that. You do not have to be a perfect health nut, but getting regular doses of fruits and veggies into your routine will do wonders for your brain function and mood. Of course, a balanced diet still contains that slice of cake or cookie because those items are great for the soul, but you should still be getting in those whole plant-based items that give you energy. In fact, over 50% of your serotonin (the happy brain chemical) is produced in your gut. Therefore, making sure your diet supports a balanced gut microbiome will directly affect your stress and anxiety levels.
Relieve Stress Tip 7: Move your body
In addition to making sure you are getting on a well-balanced diet, moving your body in any way, shape, or form is a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. Because stress and anxiety put our bodies into fight or flight mode, getting a workout that allows you to get that adrenaline energy out of your system is a great way to relieve this feeling. Exercise also releases endorphins which, just like serotonin, make you feel good and happy. It does not have to be a crazy insane workout. Even something a simple as a walk can get you where you need to be.
Relieve Stress Tip 8: Practice gratitude
This can seem slightly cheesy, but it does help change your mindset. Practicing gratitude for all you have in your life shifts your focus away from the worries that stress and anxiety clog up your brain with. If you feel stressed about your job, remind yourself how lucky and grateful you are to have a job. If you are stressed about a pipe leak in your home, remind yourself how lucky you are to have a home. This is not meant to minimize your emotions or make you feel like you are not allowed to feel a certain way. Hence, it is a great way to shift your perspective and mindset.
Relieve Stress Tip 9: Get adequate sleep
Everyone knows how a toddler will get cranky, cry, and throw a tantrum when they are tired. Sadly, these emotions don’t ever really go away as you get older. When you do not get enough sleep, your mood, and immune system crash. If you are already dealing with anxiety and stress, not getting enough sleep will only exacerbate the problem. Maybe a boundary you can set for yourself, per suggestion number 2, is time to wind down in the evening to make sure you can get a good night’s rest.
Relieve Stress Tip 10: Be gentle with yourself
Lastly, be gentle with yourself. It will not help you at all to use negative self-talk in your already anxious and overly stressed state of mind. Have compassion for yourself the way you would have compassion for someone you love. This is probably the most critical tip to implement in your journey to take your life back from stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety can feel like overpowering and all-consuming emotions. They can completely overshadow every pleasurable aspect of our lives, but it does not have to be this way forever. By implementing even just one of the 10 tips listed above, you can drastically reduce the stress and anxiety you are feeling and take your life back into your own hands.
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