Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress
âIts key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,â Dr. Stoll says. âWe all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.â
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.
1. Re-balance Work and Home
All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
2. Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
4. Connect with Supportive People
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.
5. Carve out Hobby Time
Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.
6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga
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.
How To Control Stress Top 15 Ways To Control Stress
Juggling work commitments, dealing with professional hara-kiri and trying to keep an organized personal life is like being caught in a whirlpool. It is overwhelming and can have a direct impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of a person.
What a person needs at this point in time is to find ways and means to control stress so that he can manage to keep it at bay and find the necessary balance and stability in life. One of the best ways to lead a healthy and happy life is by dealing with the stress factor positively.
Remember that you are in charge of your life and you can as easily combat stress as anything else in this world. Find your inner strength and make changes in your thought process, actions, lifestyle, and behavior so that you can relieve the pressure.
Maintain your positive attitude even in the face of adverse conditions and become assertive while describing your opinions and feelings instead of becoming angry or aggressive.
Your entire well-being depends upon your emotional and mental equilibrium hence find the balance that will help you to enhance your ability to think, function and act effectively.
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Tip : Connect To Others
There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the bodys defensive fight-or-flight response. Its natures natural stress reliever . So make it a point to connect regularlyand in personwith family and friends.
Keep in mind that the people you talk to dont have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.
Of course, its not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to lifes stressors.
Tips for building relationships
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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Work Life Can Create A Lot Of Stress Which Can Hamper The Mental And Physical Health Of A Person Know How To Deal With It
Written by Kinkini Gupta | Updated : July 20, 2022 1:31 PM IST
Work life can create a lot of stress which can hamper the mental and physical health of a person. Similarly stress due to work can also impact s a personâs quality of work. It is like a vicious cycle. Tensions and problems at work can cause stress and that can affect your work. Although this is stated as common, chronic stress and prolonged stress is never good and it is certainly not normal. If you are experiencing this kind of stress frequently, your body will start showing some signs. Too much stress can cause fatigue, exhaustion and inability to multitask during the day, some people even fall ill due to extreme stress. Your professional life may affect you in many ways, but do not let it affect your mental health. Know the ways you can manage stressful situations.
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Handy Pdfs & 1 Ppt About Stress Management
Now that weâve covered the various stress management solutions, here are some handy downloadable PDFs for creating your personal stress management plan:
For adults and teens, this PDF Stress diary is an excellent template put together by Mindtools.com. It helps make us aware of when we stress, how we stress and how often we stress. Download the diary and make regular entries to start increasing the awareness surrounding your stress.
Itâs easy for stress to come and go, with us accepting itâs just part of our lives instead of something that needs addressing. Once we bring our awareness to these key stress components, we can start taking steps to manage it.
Once youâve identified how you show stress, you can start fleshing out a plan that works best for you. This Stress management PDF will help you to put in place some solid solutions, such as social support, emotional skills, ideas for a healthy life balance, and how you can best attend to your basic needs.
Specifically for teens, this PDF is an easy to use 10-point plan put together by www.fosteringresilience.com to help manage stress. It has been broken down into four digestible parts for you to work through including:
If youâre looking for a handy PPT, this Reducing Stress Presentation explains how we can best manage our stress by changing our health behaviors.
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Searching For Quick Fixes
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
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Cut Out Things That Add To Your Stress
Sometimes, the best way to reduce your stress is to cut something out of your life. Get rid of the things that are adding to your stress so you can experience more peace.
Watching the news, being constantly connected to your digital devices, drinking alcohol, and consuming too much caffeine are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better.
Make Time For Fun And Relaxation
It is important to include time for fun and relaxation in your schedule. These are important for helping you to feel good generally, and that in turn reduces stress, and keeps you healthy. Looking forward to doing things that you enjoy, and that give you pleasure, helps when you have to cope with less pleasant aspects of life. Whats more, laughter has huge positive benefits for both mental and physical health.
If you are working hard, and are conscientious, however, it can feel wrong to take time out to relax and have fun.
It is therefore important to remember that you and your health are important. You should not ignore your physical or mental health in favour of more urgent activities.
If you consciously put relaxing or fun activities into your diary, and think of this as a way to keep yourself healthy and able to work, you are likely to feel much more positive. This, in turn, will mean that you feel less guilty, and therefore stressed, about doing it.
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Up Your Avoidance Of Caffeine Alcohol And Nicotine
We previously said that it was a good idea not to have too much caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as a way to avoid stress. If you are already feeling stressed, this becomes even more important. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it.
Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is therefore not ultimately helpful.
Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated. This will enable your body to cope better with stress.
You should also aim to avoid or reduce your intake of refined sugars – they are contained in many manufactured foods and can cause energy crashes which may lead you to feel tired and irritable.
There is more about this in our page What are Carbohydrates?.
Be More Realistic About Your Capabilities
It is helpful to remember that most people underestimate how long it will take to do something, and overestimate how much they can do. This means that they end up taking on too much, and then failing to deliver.
Develop the simple habit of doubling your time estimates for any task.
You are then far more likely to under-promise and over-deliver. This will make everyoneincluding youmuch happier than the other way round .
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How Frequently Have You Had This Feeling
Rate your frequency or experience in the past month, using 0, 1, 2, or 3, from lowest to highest.
- Felt tense, nervous, anxious, or upset.
- Felt sad, depressed, down in the dumps, or hopeless.
- Felt low energy, exhausted, tired, or unable to get things done.
- Couldnt turn my thoughts off long enough at nights or on weekends to feel relaxed and refreshed the next day.
- Found myself unable to sit still, and had to move around constantly.
- Was so upset that I felt I was losing control of my feelings.
- Have been preoccupied with a serious personal problem.
- Have been in unpleasant situations that I felt hopeless to do anything about.
- Felt tired in the morning, no energy to get up or face daily activities.
- Have had problems concentrating on things, or remembering names.
- Feel I could be doing a great deal more to take care of myself and keep healthy.
- Dont feel I have much control over the events in my life.
- No matter how hard I try, I cant seem to accomplish what I want.
- Have been continually frustrated in my life by bad breaks and people not living up to my expectations.
- My standards are very high for my own activities.
- When something difficult or stressful is coming up, I find myself thinking about all the ways that things can go poorly for me.
- My life is empty and has no meaning.
- Often run into problems I cant solve.
- Am not able to give what I would like to the people closest to me.
- Have not felt close to or accepted by the people around me, both family and friends.
Stress Relief Activities & Exercises
Relax and have fun with these soothing activities and videos. We kick off this section with an interesting test, and then proceed with a wide variety of stress relief options.
1. Test your knowledge
You can test your stress knowledge using this simple quiz developed by APA.
2. Stress Management â anywhere, anytime
How? Firstly, you can start by simply being aware of your thoughts.
Try to observe your thoughts as an outsider. Take note of whatâs going on, but without judging or attaching to the details. Then just let them go. Theyâll come back again thatâs for sureâbut continue to do the same thought watching and theyll slowly lessen. This is otherwise known as being âmindful.
More information on being mindful can be found here.
Another great tool that you have on hand at all times is the ability to tap into your senses an old meditative trick that you can use, anywhere anytime. By tuning into your senses See, smell, touch, taste and hear, this will automatically slow down the brain.
Spend at least one minute on each:
Another stress management tool that you can do anywhere, anytime is a self-massage. The below clip shows you how.
4. Relaxing music
Or if youâre looking for some background sound, put on this relaxation music and experience the calming effects.
5. Schedule time to de-stress
Set aside time each day to intentionally wind down.
6. Deep breathing
8. Game time
10. Do it in groups
11. Media platforms
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When You’re Suffering From Chronic Stress
While some stress is good, if you’re suffering from these symptoms it may indicate the stress in your life is becoming a problem that’s interfering with your ability to function. If that’s the case, what do you do?
The American Psychological Association says that some things that can help include setting limits on what demands you’re placing on yourself, sharing your feelings with close friends or family members, and reminding yourself to try to keep a positive outlook wherever possible. They also suggest making a commitment to a single activity that will improve your overall health, like taking a short walk on your lunch break or cutting out that second cup of coffee in the morning. They also suggest trying some relaxation techniques to help you get a better night’s sleep, and also say that if stress is interfering with your daily life, psychologists can give you any number of techniques to help it all become more manageable.