As we're living in a busy society, I believe that all of us have experienced being overwhelmed by stress. Every single day, we are bombarded with all kinds of stimuli that induce our body's stress response. Though occasional stress can produce many positive effects like heightened agility and stamina as well as enhanced cognitive functions, long-term exposure to high levels of stress can lead to the formation of disabling and serious conditions such as anxiety, depression, heart diseases and cancer. Thus, knowing what to do to stop stresson its tracks is vital. Below are 5 practical suggestions you can use to manage the stress in your life:
Keep away from stress-inducing substances. There are a number of food items which are a regular part of our everyday diet that may predispose us to stress and eventually, lead to a serious stress-related physical disorder. Generally, foods that consist of high amounts of sugar, sodium and fat have been found to aggravate stress . Along with substances from food, I would also like to add that too much caffeine and nicotine which are potent stimulants can also stimulate a stress response.
Eliminate environmental stressors. We experience plenty of little environmental stresses everyday--ranging from the annoyances of heavy traffic to badly organized workspaces, infuriating work mates, a cluttered home and many others. While these stressors are small, they can all accumulate and greatly increase your stress levels. That's why, it is very important that you give importance to these small yet cumulative environmental stresses. To get started on this, you will need to pay attention to your environment and pinpoint the things in it that bother you or make you feel terrible and then start creating a plan on what you can do to make things better.
Educate yourself on techniques for time management. Do you always feel as if you do not have enough time to finish all the tasks that you need to do in a given day? Well, you should know that you're not alone. Research has shown that majority of people nowadays think that the 24-hours of each day is not enough time to undertake everything they planned and still have time for sufficient rest and relaxation. However, this idea is incorrect. The same study showed that it is really not a lack of time that is the problem, but instead people's poor time management skills. Learn to budget your time wisely, so that you can accomplish the tasks that are required of you within the day. You can take the aid of handy tools like daily planners, organizers, and to-do lists.
Learn to say no.A lot of stressors are avoidable, one of which is a common stressor called "responsibility overload." Many of us have this habit of always saying "yes" to requests of other people--by our bosses, our office mates, family members and friends. Though being responsible and helpful is good, going too far and accepting too many responsibilities might lead to stress. To avoid this unecessary stressor, you need to know your controls and make it a point to stay within them. Carry out your responsibilities to others but do not forget that your foremost responsibility is to your own well-being.
Learn some relaxation strategies. While the first tips are geared towards helping you stop stress from happening, this tip will help you cope with stress when it creeps in. There are plenty of relaxation techniques you can try out. Among the most favored relaxation activities include deep-breathing, visual imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and yoga. These relaxation activities will help you handle the physical symptoms associated with stress--muscular tension, rapid breathing and etcetera.