Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapeutic approach helps illuminate the links between your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. It can be a very effective type of therapy to help you change certain behavior patterns.
At least one small study suggests that CBT may be effective in balancing changes in brain chemistry associated with cell phone addiction.
If you think this type of therapy may help you, talk with your primary care doctor about where or how you can find a therapist.
Quick Stress Relief At Work
Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy, or take calls outside when possible.
On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Suck on a peppermint. Sip tea.
Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Chat with a colleague.
Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk or mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.
Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
Prioritizing your sleep may be an effective way to reduce cortisol levels. Chronic sleep issues such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, or shift work have been associated with higher cortisol .
One review of 28 studies in shift workers found that cortisol levels were higher in workers who slept during the day rather than at night .
Those on rotating shifts have been linked with poorer health outcomes, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and worsened mental health (
Practicing good sleep hygiene can help to keep cortisol in a normal rhythm. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine 6 hours before bed, and staying off your cell phone right before bed are effective strategies.
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Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
How To Set Yourself Up To Deal With Stress
Regular self-care practices and behavior modifications can help keep stress from overwhelming you and scale your stress response in proportion to the stressor.
Its important to understand that when it comes to stress and its impact on health, you may want to think about trying longer-term strategies and changes in lifestyle, says Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant physician and clinical researcher at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
A healthy lifestyle eating well, getting high-quality sleep, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can buffer you against the wear and tear of stress, says Holly Schiff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist with Jewish Family Services of Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut. These steps don’t eliminate the challenge. But they will ensure your strongest, calmest, most rational self shows up to meet whatever obstacle youre facing.
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As far as exercise goes, just make sure its something you enjoy. Exercise doesnt have to be intense, and you dont have to join a gym, Dr. Haythe says. I tell my patients to buy a pair of sneakers and start walking for 15 to 20 minutes a day.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
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Write About Your Stress
Writing about your stress and how you feel is therapeutic. And it helps you to organize your thoughts and how theyre affecting you so that you can better understand whats going on inside your mind.
Moreover, your increased awareness will help you to identify the most effective, healthy solutions.
To de-stress using this method, start by setting a timer for at least 5 minutes . Get a journal or piece of paper out and begin writing.
Write about whats going on, your feelings and the beliefs you have around your situation. Get curious about how you could be exacerbating your stress. Ask what you want to do about the situation and write about that.
Once your timer goes off, make a choice to let go.
How To Manage Stress
There are a few methods that will help you to manage stress before it worsens.
Practicing these can help keep stress at bay:
Learn to manage your time effectively.
Make time for hobbies.
Spend time with your loved ones.
Do not rely on alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs, assuming they will help reduce stress.
Avoid people who stress you out.
Do not try to control the things which are not under your control.
Do things that make you happy.
Prioritize your tasks.
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Create Obstacles And Rewards
If you tend to pick up your phone when youre supposed to be working, turn off your phone and put it somewhere out of sight before you get started with the day.
Make sure to reward yourself for your efforts, too. After you get a good chunk of work done, take a break to watch a funny video, catch up with your friends, or swap selfies with your partner.
Thinking in terms of rewards rather than punishments can help you encourage yourself, too.
- Instead of: If I dont work out tonight, I cant watch the next episode of Lucifer.’
- Try: Ill go for a jog after work, and then Ill watch an episode of Lucifer before bed.
If youre a long-time procrastinator, breaking the habit may require a little extra support.
Connecting with a therapist may be a good next step when procrastination:
- affects your performance at school or work
- creates problems in your personal relationships
- leads to feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, or makes existing symptoms worse
A therapist can help you identify and explore possible emotional triggers. They can also provide more insight into any underlying mental health concerns contributing to procrastination.
Stress Management: What Can You Do About It
- Stress is a fact of life. A 2017 American Psychological Association survey found that a whopping 71% of respondents reported experiencing at least one symptom of stress over the past month. And stressors from the COVID-19 pandemic only made matters worse.
- Sometimes we stress over good things, like a long line at a brunch spot, a new job, an upcoming wedding or a new baby. And other times, its over not-so-good things like being sick, working too much or family drama.
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Affirmations For Mental Health
Affirmations are a great way to improve mental health. They help crossdressers to develop a positive self-image and mindset, which can have a huge impact on your everyday life. It helps sisters recognize and accept our feelings, even if they are difficult to face. By accepting and acknowledging your feelings, you can identify what is causing them and learn how to manage them. Affirmations also help you to recognize that your thoughts and feelings are not necessarily accurate or true.
When we think negatively about ourselves or our situations, it can create a negative self-fulfilling prophecy where we see things as worse than they really are. The more time we spend thinking about our negative thoughts, the more power they have over us. Affirmations help us break this cycle by reminding us that our thoughts are just thoughts, not facts about reality.
Affirmations for mental health are beneficial because they focus on your positive crossdressing attributes. When you tell yourself that youre beautiful, smart, kind, or talented, it can help to counter the negative thoughts that plague your mind. Finally, affirmations remind us of who we really arethe good parts of ourselves that we so often overlook or discount.
Why Is Stress Bad For Us
We need the bodys stress response to get us through tough times. When you sense a threat or danger, your body rises to the challenge by releasing stress hormones, tightening your muscles, making your blood pressure rise and your heart and lungs work harder, and releasing a surge of fat and sugar to give you energy. When danger subsides, your body goes back to normal operations.
If you get stressed out frequently, however, the stress response can become constant and cause ongoing harm, including chronic inflammation the persistent activation of the immune system, which sharply raises the risks for many diseases such as dementia, heart disease, and stroke.
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Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration
Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.
Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.
Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?
The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.
Take a break from technology
Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.
When To Seek Help
Its always OK to reach out for help when youre dealing with any issue that concerns you, or that you feel you dont have control over.
If youre noticing symptoms of addiction or dependence, or if the people in your life are talking to you about the amount of time you spend on your phone, it may be a good idea to ask for help.
Consider reaching out to a therapist or your doctor, checking out a self-help guide, or following a digital detox program.
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Try These Tips To Get Out Of Stress Fast
Get more wellness tips at heart.org/HealthyForGood
Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
On May 19, 2022, Verywell Mind hosted a virtual Mental Health in the Workplace webinar, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW. If you missed it, check out this recap to learn ways to foster supportive work environments and helpful strategies to improve your well-being on the job.
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Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
Learn To Recognize Stressful Thinking
Paying attention to stressful thoughts may help you reduce them.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a strategy that involves becoming more self-aware of stress-provoking thoughts, accepting them without judgment or resistance, and allowing yourself the ability to process them .
Training yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate, and other signs of tension helps you recognize stress when it begins .
Recognizing stressful thoughts allows you to formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. For example, a study involving 43 women in a mindfulness-based program showed the ability to describe and articulate stress was linked to a lower cortisol response (
Tending to your own happiness can help keep cortisol down. If youre feeling stressed, try listening to music or making yourself laugh.
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Techniques To Reduce Stress
We all feel stress from time to time, and thank goodness we do. A stress reaction is what allows our bodies to act quickly in an emergency and prevent injury for ourselves or others. Fortunately, most days we do not encounter emergencies, and yet most of us continue to experience stress on a daily basis.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 73%-77% of people experience stress that affects their physical and mental health. Did you hear that? Up to 77% of us! So unless you are an exceptionally chill Zen master, you probably are experiencing physical and mental discomfort in this very moment due to stress.
Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress, but we are not equipped to handle the long-term stress most of us experience on a day-to-day basis.
There are myriad symptoms one may be having in reaction to too much stress. Reach out to a doctor if you are concerned that stress may be affecting your health, and start implementing relaxation techniques today.