Everyone has stress of some kind in their lives. Review the following tips from the American Psychological Association for ideas to help you manage the stress in your life more effectively.
- Identify your sources of stress. What events or situations trigger stressful feelings for you?
- Learn your own stress signals. You may feel irritable or experience headaches, muscle tension, or fatigue. Identify any physical complaints you may have that might be linked to stress.
- Understand how you experience stress. How are your thoughts or behaviors different from times when you do not feel stressed?
- Recognize how you deal with stress. Determine if you are using abusing cigarettes, drugs, alcohol or food to cope. Is this a routine behavior, or is it specific to certain events or situations?
- Take a break from the stressor. Give yourself permission to step away from stressful situations. Even taking just 20-minutes to focus on yourself is helpful.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on changing a single behavior at a time.
- Take care of yourself. Eat right, give yourself enough time to sleep, drink plenty of water, and engage in regular physical activity. No matter how hectic life gets, make time for yourself.
- Exercise. Exercise benefits your mind and your body. Taking a 20-minute walk, run, or exercise session in the midst of a stressful time can provide relief.
- Smile and laugh. Laughing or smiling can relieve tension and improve your mood.
- Meditate. Helps your body to relax and allows your mind to clear.
- Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. Share your concerns or feelings with another person who understands and validates you.
- Reach out for support. Accept help from supportive friends and family. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, seek professional help from a psychologist to assist you in coping with and managing your stressors.
For more information visit www.apa.org